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Provincial Circular


CKG/XIV/02/2020                                                              Sadbhavana, Bengaluru
Circular, Karnataka-Goa Province                                October 05, 2020.
 

Dear Fathers, Brothers and Sisters,
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 the earliest.

Fraternal visit:
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 more.

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 situation.

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 deadly virus.

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 the following:

  • As there is no regular flow of income, communities should try to cut down expenses (even food).

  • Any celebration should be moderate.

  • 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 ecclesiastical authorities.

Some important information:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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
Provincial Superior

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