Christmas Joy shared in Italy
On December 28, 2021, the community at Santuario La Madonnina, Capannori, Lucca, Italy, was privileged to host its first Christmas Gathering of the Carmelites of the Karnataka-Goa Province serving in Italy. The Christmas joy was palpable as the friars from all over Italy – Casa Generalizia, Teresianum, Santa Maria della Scala (Rome), Santa Maria a Ripa (Empoli), Corpus Domini (Milan), Santa Teresa del Bambin Gesù (Legnano) – arrived at this ‘new home’ of our Province. Rev. Fr Pius D’Souza, the Definitor General, presided over the Eucharistic celebration at 11:00 a.m. along with the rest of the friars, the Secular Carmel, the community of the Carmelite Sisters of the UCT Congregation and the laity, in the 400-year-old Shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Mt Carmel. In his meaningful homily, Fr Pius highlighted the Carmelite character of the liturgical feasts just celebrated. Then followed a sumptuous meal prepared by the expert hands of Frs. Ajith and Selva. Fr Alwyn Aranha, the superior, took the opportunity to welcome Rev. Fr Pius, and to wish the silver jubilarians Frs. Richard and Selva, as well as all those who celebrated their birthdays and ordination anniversaries in the Christmas Octave. After the meal, the friars graced the community of the UCT sisters for a coffee. The next day, the majority of friars who stayed back went for a tour of the city of Lucca and in the noon, paid a visit to the Cloistered Carmel sisters, spending an hour of recreation with them, serenading carols and sharing the Christmas joy. May the Babe of Bethlehem, born to unite heaven and earth in the love of God, continue to be the source of our joy and togetherness all through the year.


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