Circular, Karnataka-Goa Province
October 05, 2020.
Dear Fathers, Brothers and
All the communities in India have been formed and the triennium with the
theme “Pray and Proclaim” has begun. The message from the Provincial Chapter on
the theme is being printed and one each copy will be sent to all the communities
for display in common. I request you to take into consideration the suggestions
given to you through a letter from the Provincial Council dated 24th of August,
2020, as you finalize your plans and programmes. Those who have still not done
so, should send the community horarium for approval by the Provincial Council at
Since the Provincial Chapter I have been able to speak to all friars over
the phone, especially when assigning conventualities and other responsibilities.
It was my earnest desire to meet you personally and so I have begun visiting the
communities. My visit also includes all our sisters in the Cloistered Carmels in
the region. Starting from Bengaluru, I have covered, Londa, Goa region, Honnavar,
Kundapur, Mangalore region, Kushalnagar, Mysuru and Bangalore region. My
itinerary will be circulated from time to time, so that the local Superior can
ensure that all the members are present when I visit you.
In my dialogue with the communities, I have been sharing some highlights of the
recently held Provincial Chapter and insisting on the community acts, especially
prayer and fraternal life. Besides, I have highlighted some issues or aspects
pertaining to your particular community. Wherever required, the Provincial
Administration will step in and give the necessary advice or help.
Orientation and Postulancy:
After a delay due to the pandemic, we have finally begun the Orientation
Course at Mapusa and the Postulancy at Margao. I was happy to be present on both
occasions and inaugurate them officially. We have 23 aspirants, who are full of
life and promising, while there are 6 postulants (5 coming from Madanthyar and 1
from Mapusa). Once again, my sincere gratitude to all the Vocation Promoters who
have worked hard to recruit them, after carefully following them for a year or
Covid 19 - Our Response and our Responsibility:
The world is still reeling under the effects of Covid-19. You are aware that
many priests and religious have tested positive and some have also succumbed to
the virus. A few of our friars and sisters were also tested positive but they
are now recuperating. We remain thankful to the Lord. Very soon India may top
the list with the highest number of victims. We are almost facing an emergency
My predecessor, Fr. Charles Serrao had sent a circular dated 28th of March, 2020
as the pandemic was just unfolding its tentacles. It contained some pertinent
instructions and a message to help us live this period meaningfully and
fruitfully, as Carmelites. I am reminding you again to take adequate precautions
to protect yourself and others in this period when the pandemic is rampant. Let
us intercede as individuals and communities, that the medical personnel who are
involved in research will soon find a vaccine that will arrest the growth of the
We are facing many inconveniences due to the present situation, and it appears
that we will go through this phase for a long time. It will affect our normal
life and activities. In this connection I would like to bring to your attention
As there is no regular flow of
income, communities should try to cut down expenses (even food).
Any celebration should be
Unnecessary travel (which
preferably should be by private vehicle) should be avoided.
Search for means and methods
(initiatives) as alternative sources of income.
Those communities that have decided
to open our Churches / Chapels should follow all directives by the civil and
Some important information:
In the past few months, the
Indian government has passed some bills which have a direct impact on our
lives, especially Registered Societies. A number of amendments have also
been made to the FCRA. It is the duty of Local Superiors and Procurators to
get more information and maintain the house accounts accordingly. You may
contact Fr. Arun Sunil Lobo, the Provincial Procurator for any further
details or clarifications.
It is my desire to begin an
Association of seminarians who have left our Order at different stages of
formation. They could be called “Friends of Carmel.” I have instructed local
Superiors in the various regions to get in touch with them. They should
forward their contact details to Fr. Vinod Lobo, Provincial Secretary.
The Special Congress of the
Regional Vicariate of Tanzania could not be held within two months after the
Provincial Chapter. If I am able to travel, it would be organized in the
month of November. Please pray that all may go well and be fruitful.
Our missionary dimension:
We have just begun the month of October, which is traditionally dedicated to
the missions. This year it may not be possible to celebrate it along with the
people, but after the example of our sister, St Therese, we can all double our
prayers for the missionaries all over the world and also offer sacrifices for
the salvation of souls. As the missions form an integral part of our Carmelite
charism, this is a good occasion to create an awareness and a desire for the
missions in our young formees. If there are friars around who have served in
Tanzania, they could be invited to share their experiences with our brothers.
On 15th of October, is the Solemnity of St Teresa of Avila, the patroness of our
Province. There were moments and seasons in which St. Teresa needed
extraordinary fortitude to face the challenges which she had to confront. Being
our patroness, we can trust that her prayers will take us through the
bewilderment and perplexities that we are encountering on every side. On the one
hand the onslaught of the prevailing pandemic and on the other hand the volatile
political situation are the sources of anxiety. All of us need to take our
prayer life more seriously, firmly confident that God’s help will enable us to
respond to the signs of the times.
Wishing you God’s choicest favours on the feast of our dear patroness St.
Teresa, I invoke on you the divine blessings.
Fraternally yours in Carmel
Rev. Fr. Pius James D’Souza OCD