Welcome to Sadbhavana : Carmelite Provincialate

Provincial Circular

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 ecclesiastical problems.

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.

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. 52).

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
Provincial Superior



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