CKG/XIV/04/2021 Sadbhavana, Bengaluru
Circular, Karnataka-Goa Province
March 10, 2021
Dear Fathers, Sisters, Brothers,
Ruby Jubilee of the Province: One of the great events that draws our attention
to itself this year, is the fortieth anniversary of the birth of our Karnataka-Goa
Province. Our Province was born on 12 March 1981, when the then Superior General
Rev. Fr. Philip Sainz de Baranda, came to Mangalore, and declared the three
communities in Margao, Mangalore and Mysore, culled out from the Manjummel
Province form a new Province to be known as Karnataka-Goa Province comprising
the states of Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
How well this circumscription coincided with missions entrusted in earlier
centuries to Carmelite Vicars Apostolic! The Vicariate Apostolic of the “Great
Mogul” set up in 1696 was entrusted to the Carmelites. This Vicariate was
coextensive with the large Mogul empire which by then had absorbed also Bijapur
and Golkonda. It had its headquarters in Surat (Gujarat). The Christians of
Mumbai too came under its jurisdiction between 1720-1850. A little later the
headquarters of the Carmelite Vicars was shifted from Surat to Sunkeri (Karwar).
Bp. John Dominic of St. Clare is said to have conferred confirmation to 15,000
persons in Canara. He himself fell ill later and was laid to rest in Shirva (Udupi)
in 1772. He had used the services of the Goan tertiary Chimbel Carmelites,
especially after the suppression of the Jesuits who had been looking after the
missions in Ankola and Kumta. Likewise, the mission of Mysore-Madurai was also
entrusted to the Carmelite Vicar Apostolic in 1777.
Around 1834 Mangalore was placed under the Vicar Apostolic of Verapoly. The
people of Mangalore who felt that Verapoly was too distant, requested for a
Vicar Apostolic for Mangalore, whereupon three Carmelite Vicar Apostolic were
appointed between 1845-1873. Around 1800 Fr. Francis Xavier of St. Anne, a
Carmelite came from Genova, Italy and rebuilt Sunkeri and much that had been
ruined by Tippu Sultan. He visited Coorg in the Mysore region to resolve certain
All these stations and missions are now embraced by the Karnataka-Goa Province.
Are we not privileged to inherit the field and the harvest in which our
Carmelite predecessors toiled heroically? Forty years ago, our Province began
with 37 friars out of which 4 were non-clerics. Today we have 202 Priests; 4
Non-Clerical Brothers; 4 Solemnly Professed Brothers; 66 Simple Professed
Brothers; 6 Novices; 6 Postulants; 41 Aspirants and the grand total is 329,
spread out in the four states of India, Tanzania, South Africa, Canada, Italy
and Australia. We have 10 Cloistered Carmels with 119 sisters.
Thanks are due, first and foremost, to the loving kindness of God who has guided
our history from its earliest beginnings to the present moment. We are devoutly
thankful to the Regina decor Carmeli for her intercession and to our Patroness,
St. Teresa of Avila, the patroness of our Province, for her inspiration.
We place on record the benevolence of Manjummel Province for all they have done
for us and through Fr. Gregory D’Souza who was the Delegate Provincial, in
facilitating the formation of the new Province. Fr. Nemesio Alzola, our first
Provincial of happy memory, and all his successors along with their teams have
marked the route on which our Province has kept marching and built itself up to
reach its present bloom. While we live in thankfulness to God, I intend to have
a Province-level celebration of its fortieth birthday during the course of this
Year of St. Joseph: The fortieth anniversary of our Province, coincides with a
year, especially dedicated to St. Joseph, the Patron of the Universal Church. I
wish that in all our Chapels and Shrines and Parishes, special honours be given
to St. Joseph. St. Teresa, while recovering from a serious ailment, found no
doctor better than St. Joseph to pray for her and bring out her recovery (cf.
Life ch. 6). She encourages her sons and daughters to cultivate a special
devotion to St. Joseph not only because of his powerful intercession she
experienced but also because Carmel has Mary as its Queen and Mother. Devotion
to Mary, according to St. Teresa, implies devotion to St. Joseph (Const. no.
Province Retreat (Pray and Proclaim): Recently we had the Province Retreat from
February 22-27, 2021 preached by Fr Alvito Fernandes on our Contemplative
dimension keeping in mind the theme of the Provincial Chapter. The friars who
have attended the retreat have benefitted to a greater extent from this retreat
due to its emphasis on growth in contemplative prayer. Two more similar retreats
by Fr. Alvito will be organized in the second half of this year. Their
respective dates will be intimated to you by Fr. Deep Fernandes, Councilor in
charge of Spirituality. I would like that all our friars participate in one or
other of these retreats keeping in mind the main objective of our recent
Provincial Chapter, namely “Pray and Proclaim”.
Cordial Invitation: Three of our friars, Jossey Rodrigues, Charles Serrao and
Joe Tauro are completing their 50 years of Religious Profession on the feast of
St. Joseph (19th March). You are cordially invited to their celebration to be
held at the Infant Jesus Shrine, Carmel Hill, Mangalore on April 06, 2021 at
4-30 pm. Two of our Deacons, Ashwath D’Souza and Vishan Vinu Monis will be
Ordained priests on April 07, 2021 at 9-30 am, at Most Holy Redeemer Church,
Belthangady. I invite you all to participate in the service of their Ordination
and pray for them.
Approaching Easter: Lent is a season of grace during which we come to know
ourselves better and all the areas in our life that need repair and renewal. I
wish you all a fruitful season of Lent in preparation of a happy Easter. May the
blessings of the Risen Lord fill our Province with joy, raising us up to higher
levels of true Carmelite Spirituality.
Fraternally yours in Carmel
Rev. Fr. Pius James D’Souza OCD