Saturday, July 17, 2021

A Message from the Prior General on the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel



A Message from the National Prior and the TOC Council

The National Prior Alejandro “Bot” Bautista and his Council together with the Administrators of this page wishes the Carmelite Family, Members of the Brown Scapular Confraternity, our readers and subscribers and everyone a BLESSED AND HAPPY SOLEMNITY OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL.

May all of us who are faithful devotees of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel be blessed by our good Lord and may Our Lady impart her maternal graces to us all.

Saturday, July 03, 2021

Formation Talk on the Brown Scapular


Fr. Sirenio Jaranilla, OCarm., delivered a formation talk on the Brown Scapular on July 3 via Zoom. The talk focused on the history of Mariology and its influence to Carmelite Spirituality and the Brown Scapular.

Several TOC members from different communities joined the virtual event.

Invitation to the Carmelite Rosary

Experience praying the Holy Rosary the CARMELITE WAY!

We invite all to experience reciting the Carmelite Rosary and the Evening Prayer of the Church (Liturgy of the Hours) with the Friars and Novices of the Spring of Carmel Novitiate Community this evening, July 3, at 6:00 pm, Philippine Standard Time, thru Zoom or FB Live.

Join us in honoring Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and in celebrating the Public Prayer of the Church every First Saturday of the month!

Those joining via Zoom may use the following Zoom ID and passcode below:

Zoom ID link: 815 2296 1531
Passcode: 905268

Thank you!

Thursday, July 01, 2021

The New TOC National Council (2021-2024)


The Third Order of Carmelites recently concluded its 2021 National Convention last June 26, 2021 with the election of the TOC National Council.

The following members have been elected for the period 2021-2024:

National Prior: Bro. Alejandro "Bot" Bautista, TOCarm (Barasoain)


1st - Sis. Catherine "Peachy" Roa, TOCarm (Project 7)

2nd - Sis. Crisanta "Nene" Alimagno, TOCarm (Pilar)

3rd - Sis. Rosario "Tina" Guillerme, TOCarm (Cubao)

4th - Sis. Mary Ann Navalta, TOCarm (Project 7)

Provincial Delegate: Rev. Fr. Baltazar Ronato, OCarm

Congratulations to the newly-elected officers!


Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Causa Nostrae Laetitia

The Venerable Third Order of Carmel Philippines, prayerfully congratulates His Excellency, LUIS FRANCISCO MIRANDA RIVERA, O.Carm. DD, on his elevation as the new bishop of the Diocese of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico.

The Carmelite Order gave the announcement on May 16, 2020, that the Most Holy Father, His Holiness Pope Francis, has nominated bishop of the Diocese of Fajardo-Humacao in Puerto Rico, Reverend Father Luis Francisco Miranda Rivera, O.Carm of the Provincial Commissariat of the Antilles of the Province of Aragon, Castile and Valencia.

Father Luis Francisco was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico on January 22, 1954. Following his profession in the Order on August 15, 1980, he studied theology at the Pontificate University of Salamanca in Spain, after which he completed a Licentiate in Theology (Religious Life). He was ordained a priest on September 14, 1984.

He is currently the delegate of the flourishing Carmelite Third Order in Puerto Rico, which has already established 17 lay Carmelite communities in the country. He has lived with the Carmelite Community of San Juan de Puerto Rico for the past 15 years and has served as pastor in the Parish of Santa Teresa de San Juan in Puerto Rico, as well as Episcopal Vicar of the San Juan-Santurce Zone.


Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Invitation to All TOC Members

Join us on Holy Thursday at 6:00 PM - Facebook Live
Please click Third Order of Carmelites - Lay Carmelites of the Philippines Facebook Page to view the livestream.

“In this ‘public prayer of the Church,’ the faithful (clergy, religious, and lay people) exercise the royal priesthood of the baptized (CCC 1174)."

All members of the TOC are obligated to pray this Vespers due to the prevailing Enhanced Community Quarantine in the Philippines. 

The laity in general are encouraged to participate.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Revealing God's Grace in the Time of Lockdown and Quarantine


No public gatherings.

No open churches.

No celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

Lockdown, enhanced community quarantine, stay home appeals. Television and social media are explicit with these terms that it has become second nature to us. Wherever we are right now, we are faced with this unseen, microscopic enemy. It can be unnerving to hear the silence at any time of the day.

Solitude and Isolation as a Expression of Faith

Practicing solitude can be a daunting experience, more so with isolation brought about by COVID-19. In a society that is so used to noise and seeming chaos, a momentary silence can make one uncomfortable or even fearful of what one does not or suddenly hears. Hearing a wailing sound will probably scare us, or a whisper will probably stop us in our tracks--thinking that it may be a ghost or something.

Solitude--the Carmelite Way

The Rule of St. Albert says that: Each one of you is to stay in his own cell or nearby, pondering the Lord's law day and night and keeping watch at his prayers unless attending to some other duty. We are taught that the cell does not refer to a physical place, but rather one's innermost being where the Spirit of God dwells as its temple (1 Cor. 6:19).

So solitude is nothing new to us Carmelites; in fact, it is nothing to be feared at. What is happening in the world today is merely a physical solitude where we are required to stay inside our homes. We are called to a spiritual solitude where our hearts are directed towards the Beloved. "Be still and see that I am God" (Psalm 45:11). 

Isolation of St. Teresa Benedicta

A number of Carmelite saints have experienced this period of isolation. St. John's produced his Spiritual Canticle during his period of confinement. St. Teresa of Avila, St. Therese of Lisieux and Blessed Titus Brandsma also experienced isolation in their lifetimes, among other Carmelite saints.

Lesser known to us was the period of confinement of another Carmelite saint and Holocaust martyr, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. In one of her letters in 1942, she wrote that:

"We are very calm and cheerful. Of course, so far there has been no Mass and Communion; maybe that will come later. Now we have a chance to experience a little how to live purely from within" (written from Westerbork transit camp, August 1942).

Enter into Holy Week

Catholics all over the world celebrate Palm Sunday today, bringing to Holy Week. Just as our Lord Jesus entered into Jerusalem, let us enter into Holy Week with much prayer and reflection, meditating on the passion of our Lord. 

Let us bring Him into our cell, where we will find comfort and peace.  

Friday, March 27, 2020

Faith in God through Prayer: Living in Unprecedented Times

We live in uncertain times with the threat of COVID-19.

Being Carmelites who are called to life of prayer and contemplation, let us do our part in uplifting the spirits of our fellow brothers and sisters by our prayers and sacrifices: those who are ill and fighting for their lives; those in medical/healthcare workers who work tirelessly to give relief to the sick, the "everyday people" (market vendors, baggers, delivery men, police officers and the military) who risk their lives to ensure the safety and needs of everyone. Yes, we pray for ourselves and for our family members and friends, but we also should pray bigger and include others in our daily intentions--people who are incapacitated to pray, do not have time to pray, and who have lost faith in praying.

Watching the news and getting hooked on social media can distract you from prayer. And in this time of great uncertainty, all the more should we anchor our attention in prayer. "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day." - 2 Corinthians 4:16.

Words of encouragement

Let us reflect on the words of Fr. Bal Nonato to all of us:


What is your "essence"?

In my retreats with students, I use this short exercise. It went something like this....

When you squeeze an orange, what comes out? Orange juice, yes. And how about lemon? Lemon juice, yes that's right. With this reality, we can basically say then that the juice is the essence of the orange and of the lemon. When they are squeezed the juice that comes out of them is their "essence".

So what comes out of you when life's trials and tribulations squeeze you?

Stripping us bare

I've marveled at the way God is stripping us of our idols during this pandemic crisis. Sports, money, entertainment, food, comfort, the basic freedom to do what we want to do are all being stripped away... and it makes folks uncomfortable. You can tell what your idol is by what makes you the most uncomfortable when you lose it.

A Greater Good

God has the most wonderful way of bringing a greater good out of evil. It's a gift to discover our idols and have them stripped away--uncomfortable, but good. If we don't know we have an idol, we can't purge it out of our lives. God grants us a huge gift--a world-wide examination of conscience as it is, a gift of self-knowledge so that we can return to Him in humility and be reconciled.

So what is your "essence" then? Have you figured it out? What's been coming out of you lately through this world-wife squeezing of humanity?

It comes in the form of how you respond during this time of crisis as God reveals to you your idols and squeezes you. Are you lashing out at others? Condemning? Panicking? Hoarding? Losing your peace in some form or fashion? Spending hours scrolling the news and social media out of fear or curiosity? If so, God is granting you a gift of self-knowledge, an opportunity to take these to Him in one of those drive-through reconciliation lines and surrender at His feet.

Finding Grace

All is grace. God is in this difficult time and will never leave us orphaned. He is bringing good out of this terrible situation both collectively and individually. Let us not miss the opportunity to see the greater good He is calling His people to. Nothing is accidental. Don't miss what God is doing. Embrace it in humility and be reconciled to Him.

Monday, January 13, 2020

National Training of Formators - 1

Formators from different TOC communities attended the first national training of formators at the Domus Carmelitana Flos Carmeli in Calamba, Laguna last 11-12 January. The training was conducted by Fr. Bal Nonato, OCarm.

The first of 3 trainings scheduled for the year, the theme focused on the fundamentals of human and Christian formation.