Tuesday, November 15, 2005

By Rossana A Garcia, TOCarm & Apolinario Gregorio, TOCarm

This year’s Leadership Training was held on two (2) occasions:

1.Oct. 1-2, 2005 for NCR/Bicol/Laguna Communities at the Oblates Missionary Center, Mapayapa Village, Quezon City, a retreat house run by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate with 48 participants.

2.Oct. 8-9, 2005 for Bulacan and Central Luzon communities at the Bukal ng Buhay Retreat House in Bustos, Bulacan with 26 participants.

As participants in the said seminar, it is worth noting the different topics, insights as well as inputs that we have gathered during this almost two-day-one night activity as part of the National Council’s program and efforts to equip us [incumbent and future leaders] with practical guidelines about governance of TOC Communities.

The program started with the registration of the participants on early Saturday morning of October 1, the first day of the seminar. The same schedule was followed a week later on October 8 at the Bukal Ng Buhay Retreat House in Bulacan.

The Bulacan Retreat House was surrounded with blooming orchids of different colors on the day we were there. We can probably say that we TOCs are like those plants that bring forth new flowers and branches out to new directions. And the soil being the foundation represents our Creator who gives us wisdom and the ability to use our reason. These plants will continue to spread its roots in much the same way that we need to spread out and promote the Order we love so dearly.

If we reflect on their importance, the process would be the same: we need to grow and continue to learn to give inspirations to others. The purpose of our training program is to equip us with the necessary skills that will strengthen us in our mission to found new communities – new branches, new flowers.

After the participants have gone to their respective room assignments all proceeded to the conference hall to meet Fr Christian “Toots” Buenafe, OCarm, resource speaker.

Prior to his talk, Sis. Nimfa, our National Prioress, delivered a message which gave us an idea on what to expect from the Seminar by going through the letters of WELCOME and what it stood for. She explained that the seminar would be a Working Seminar consisting of three Workshops which will give us a chance to Evaluate ourselves as leaders of our communities. The seminar will thus give us valuable inputs and insights on how to be effective spiritual Leaders. We would also be given the chance to reflect and analyze the kind of Climate that we have in our communities at present and that we needed to be Objective and Open-minded in our deliberations in order to get the real picture. At the same time we needed to determine what community Model we belong to. Hopefully the Seminar would Enhance our leadership skills and help us become Effective leaders of the Thrid Order.

Bro. Joe, NFC Director, gave us a short review on previous leadership programs from year 2000-2004 before introducing to us Fr. Christian “Toots” Buenafe, O Carm, our resource person. Fr. Toots, at the inception of his talk, gave us three (3) ground rules: a) we have to relax; b) we can sleep c) but we shouldn’t snore.

In his talk, Fr. Toots gave us the core or the meat of this year’s training which focused on Christian Leadership. The inputs he gave allowed us to gain new insights as well us an awareness of the common situations happening in each TOC Community. It is a revealing experience how each participant reacts to the “Truths” and “Realities” of each community as expressed by the laughter and signs of affirmations from the participants indicating that all of us experience these situations in our own communities.

Candidly but with emphasis and conviction, Fr Toots gave us a comprehensive and enjoyable lecture on the Who, What, Where and How we become the Christian Leaders in a Carmelite setting particularly the Lay Carmelites.

The group was made to reflect on Who is a leader? What are the qualities of a Christian leader? Looking at ourselves as future and possible leaders of our community what capacities and capabilities do we have? As leaders we need to know our strengths, gifts and talents because these are the assets that we can contribute to our community. As individuals we have our own preferences and areas of interests since these may affect the kind of leadership we will use in leading our community. It is dangerous to have a leader whose area of interest centers on money because he/she might mislead the community in the proper conduct of the community’s ministry. As humans, we also must know and accept our limitations. It is thru such acceptance that we become indispensable with the rest of the members of the community. If a leader does not accept his/her limitations, then the community may not become a source of support for the leader. “A Leader’s unique legacy is the creation of valued institutions that survive over time”, this is the Leadership Challenge, that is, whatever we have accomplished should be acclaimed as something valuable and will be remembered for all times because it has done good for others. “Leadership is the art of mobilizing others to WANT to struggle for shared aspirations” according to Kouzer Posner and that means leadership is shared responsibility; leaders then should become the animators of the community moving members toward what the community aspires to accomplish.

Leaders to be admired must have the following characteristics:

Foremost in the list is HONESTY for it is hard to admire a dishonest leader, one who is not true and one who cheat others. A leader should be FORWARD-LOOKING, looks straight ahead towards the goal or one who has foresight. He must be a source of inspiration or INSPIRING to the members, moving them to work because they find their leader full of charisma and inspiration to obey. A leader is placed before a group by God because he is deemed COMPETENT and therefore he can command obedience because he knows what he is doing. He likewise should be FAIR-MINDED and common sense tells us that it means he is fair in all his decisions and in dealing with every member and does not show partiality in relating with people and situations. He is the first among others in terms of becoming SUPPORTIVE towards individual goals as well as community endeavours. He must be BROAD-MINDED enough to be able to understand individual differences as well as in times of community difficulties and struggles. A leader who is INTELLIGENT always find the respect and admiration of his peers as well as subordinates. Being STRAIGHTFORWARD is an attitude a leader must also possess in order to be credible and speaks his mind clearly and not ambiguously. He/she is someone we can depend on because he/she is COURAGEOUS enough to defend his/her convictions and knows when to say no without duplicity nor human respect. Leadership is collaborative thus, a leader is COOPERATIVE and can be IMAGINATIVE in his/her ideas so as to bring his/her community to a wider perspective in performing its ministries. He/she understands the uniqueness of each member and can afford to be CARING and show tender loving care according to their needs. St Teresa was a great leader because she was a DETERMINED leader which requires a lot of MATURITY in dealing with others and is FAITHFUL to the tasks and obligations due of her. He/she is LOYAL to the ideals which he/she embodies especially to the Order which he/she has to defend by being LOGICAL in his decisions and not easily affected by subjectivity. In other words, he/she has a lot of SELF-CONTROL and can handle his/her temper and sudden bursts of emotions. He/she can stand on his/her decisions thus he/she is supposed to be INDEPENDENT not only from outside factors but also from personal preferences. A leader is so HOPEFUL that he/she can wait with PATIENCE the outcomes of all his/her plans which he/she can do because first and foremost a leader is a LOVING person.

All these characteristics are supposed to be present in each one of us although in varying degrees. It is also the leaders’ role to harness these potentials in the community. There are ways to enhance the leadership capacities and capabilities not only for oneself, because no leader assumes into office equipped with all these characteristics of a good leader, but also because there are future leaders in each community who will be needed to do the governance some day and they have to be developed for the benefit of the community. A leader continuously search out challenging opportunities to change, grow, innovate and improve; can experiment, take risks and learn from the mistakes resulting from such risks; envisions an uplifting and ennobling future for himself and for the people for whom he comes close; encourages and enlists others in a common vision by appealing to their set values, interests, sharing their hopes and dreams; fosters collaboration by promoting cooperative goals and building trust; become a source of strength to the people by power sharing, allowing freedom of choice, developing the competence of others in assigning critical tasks and offering visible support; can become good examples by consistency in behaviour and values acquired; can achieve small wins that promote consistent progress and build commitment from members even if such wins may be in the form of parish contributions or to the YCPF and the like; recognizes and affirms individual contributions no mater how small and do not make post mortem announcements of the wrong doings to ensure the success of every project; and finally, allows the community to celebrate team accomplishments regularly to boost the moral and be energized to continuously work for team ministry.

Team ministry can only happen when we can show in our exterior and interior behaviour the presence of God in each of us. How far deep has this presence been working in us and how deep the roots have sank into our being is manifested in the way we solve and handle problems in team work. Problems arise when there is lack of motivation and creativity for real teamwork to happen. This may result in complacency and become too comfortable since there are no disturbances. Teamwork becomes a mediocrity when this happens; when a team tries to do much too soon, the team might end up as a task oriented group and tension may arise; differences in work styles may become a source of conflict as there are leaders who plan ahead of time while there are leaders who wait and delay their action until the eleventh hour; it is also a problem when there’s too much emphasis on results since there is a tendency to become task oriented and neglect team processes and group dynamics; as a result obstacles are overlooked and if they are not anticipated may cause the team to give what has been started; some may be too attached to their own way of doing things and that a difference in styles may face resistance and finally poor interpersonal skills is a common source of problems in team work since every member brings to the community his/her own baggage of personality and idiosyncrasies.

Leadership in order to be perfect must center on Jesus as the model. This is seen in His life, His work and His deeds. If we focus on Jesus’ way of listening, who is merciful, a healer, teacher, preacher, full of hope, then we can be the kind of leader God wants us to be. The Carmelite leader is typified in the Transfiguration of Jesus (Mark 9:2-10). Jesus is the Charismatic leader with a powerful vision, great deal of confidence, with a strong conviction for being right, assertive even dominant personality to be effective in crisis situation. A Carmelite leader uses the democratic style of leadership emphasizing group participation and majority rule. They are transactional leaders who guide and motivate towards the attainment of goals while being transformational leaders at the same time inspiring followers to transcend or go beyond their own self-interests for the good of the organization. A leadership style that brings out others’ potential by liberating them from selfishness so that they could achieve their best is a call to servant hood, to serve and not to dominate.

We are all called to be spiritual leaders by moving people on to God’s agenda which is wholeness and holiness. Our motivations in assuming leadership must be a reflection of how much in touch are we with the Divine.
After much has been said about Christian Leadership, the whole group of participants underwent group dynamics through case study analysis. All participants were given copies of situations for them to identify the problem in each situation and decide if their own community experiences problems of the same nature. This activity allowed us to diagnose our community about the possibilities of problems arising from within and be given the necessary solutions. Also the case studies gave us opportunities to examine ourselves: our strengths and weaknesses as leaders, our capabilities to identify problems besetting our communities and to bring about the solutions to them.

Meanwhile, the open forums that were held after the workshops gave the National leadership the opportunity to clarify national directives and their stand on various issues still needing clarifications and further explanations for some communities. The affair was an opportunity for open dialogue and interactive discussions on current problems some local communities are presently experiencing.

Monday, September 12, 2005

By Violy Veneracion , TOCarm
Regional Coordinator - Central Luzon

August 27, 2005 was a red letter day for the Cabanatuan TOC Community. It was the annual fraternal visit of the National Council officers led by Fr. Toto Jaranilla, O Carm, National Spiritual Director together with the National Prioress and NFC Director.

Fr. Toto Jaranilla, using the mid-morning Liturgy of the Hour, led the opening prayer. He opened his talk by stating that the objective of the fraternal visit was to lovingly correct any indiscretions and failings in the governance and formation aspects of the community.

Violy Veneracion, TOCarm, local Prioress, reported on the program of activities that the community had undertaken the past year. It was also noted that two other communities were started during the year – the TOC Community of St. Bartholomew Parish, San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija with 17 aspirants and St. Nepomucene Parish, Cabiao, Nueva Ecija with 18 aspirants – governance and formation of which are being presently being undertaken by Sis. Violy herself and Lulu Aquino, TOCarm as formator.

Cely Baldedara, TOCarm, local Formation Directress also gave a report on the status of the members’ formation studies.

The community’s attitude was noticeably quiet, more friendly, and receptive to the presence of the National Officers, unlike previous fraternal visits when various unresolved issues were causing tensions and negativity in the air. Difficult members have since resigned from the community hence, the prevalence of a peaceful atmosphere this time.

Fr. Toto opened his talk by expounding on the four TOC ministries which every TOC member is expected to uphold since Carmel Philippines is now on its own and independent from the Dutch Province.

In answer to the question "What is the identity of a TOC", Fr. Toto gave qualifications lifted from the Rule of Carmel and Canon Law and discussed point by point the Criteria for Discernment of Vocation that the National Council sent out earlier to all Priors/Prioresses for discussion in their respective communities.

A mild reaction came from some aspirants of the newly established community in Cabiao when the issue on the age limit was brought up since at least four of them are already in the late 70s and early 80s. Since what attracted them was the TOC formation program Fr. Toto assured them that even if they will be integrated in the Confraternity, they may continue to attend formation studies for as long as they are able to though the RDS will not be required of them.
Meanwhile, Bro. Joe suggested a better way for them to hold their formation meeting and gave the following format with the corresponding time allotment.

I Opening Prayer – 15 minutes
II Life of Saints – 15 minutes
III Rules and Statutes – 15 minutes
IV Introductory Exercise – 15 minutes
V Main Theme RDS – 2 hours

For her part, the National Prioress explained that in the area of governance, authority is vested in the National Council. Our promise of obedience compels us to say "yes" when assigned by our Superiors to do certain tasks for the good of the Order and community. First and foremost, we are Final Professed TOC, hence, we are at the disposal of the Order.

Sis. Nimfa gave us the following gems for reflection:

1. Journeying in the dark nights is journeying in faith and walking in faith is like walking like a blind man with God as his only guide.

2. The LORD always manifests HIS will for us through our leaders and superiors in the Order.

3. A real contemplative does not refuse assigned task because he/she attributes the assignment as coming from God.

4. Final Profession in the TOC means total commitment for life. Hindi pwede ang isang paa ay in at ang isang paa ay out.

5. Many of us are being asked to choose. We need to put our trust in the LORD. GOD is the Master of all Creations. Our time, talent, treasures all come from Him. Why can’t we entrust our life and everything to Him?

6. The LORD does not call the qualified but HE qualifies whom HE calls.

7. Do not use and say the word "Busy" because busy with other things beside the things of God means "Being Under Satan’s Yoke"

8. Just offer your goodwill to the LORD and the LORD who sees your heart will arrange things for you. We are only an instrument. What we do is not by our own strength. As Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta used to say: "I am only the pencil; it is the LORD who does the writing." So, let us allow God to use us as His instrument.

9. The LORD promised that HE will provide for all the needs of HIS disciples but there is a condition: first, you must truly become his disciple.

Finally, Fr. Toto administered the Rite of Admission to aspirants who were present – 9 (Cabiao), 2 (San Leonardo), and 1 (Cabanatuan). The meeting ended about 4 pm. Everybody had been truly enlightened and recharged in knowing their roles and responsibilities as TOC. It is greatly hoped that with this fraternal visit members would be inspired to become better Lay Carmelites.

Delivered by the National Prioress
At the 9th TOC National Convention
APRIL 19-22, 2005

Health in the Lord and blessings of the Holy Spirit!

In compliance with my function and responsibility as National Prioress, please allow me now to make a full report about the National Council’s activities and significant developments since the 8th National Convention in year 2002.


If you still remember, our national convention’s theme last April, 2002 was “Towards A Deeper Commitment”. This was the main reason why all our efforts in the national office have been geared towards that objective since May, 2002. We decided that the only way to achieve that was through a continual or on-going process of renewal and transformation via formation studies and Formators’ training seminars for how can one develop his/her commitment to the Third Order if one lacks sufficient knowledge about the TOC, or one cannot fully identify oneself with it?



· Initially we experienced resistance when we launched the ‘Back to Basic Study Module’ or better referred to as Study Module 1 for Postulants and introduced the RDS Method of Formation. The resistance initially came from some communities especially the old ones, which have been used to the old ‘lecture-type’ of formation. Much resistance was especially felt from the old Monastery-based communities (Cabanatuan, Sibulan and Roxas) whose members had been so dependent on the Nuns giving them formation with the exception of Guiguinto Community who, from the start of the NFC initiatives, has made it known that they (Guiguinto Nuns) have never taken an active role in the formation of the TOC. They only handled the formation of the Seminarians.

· Today however, after more than three years of ceaseless and painstaking struggle trying to consistently and patiently initiate the reforms that we started, we are most happy to report that all the local communities, probably with the exception of Roxas Community, are doing the new approach to formation that we have introduced and feedback coming from them have been very positive.

· There is now a renewed interest and enthusiasm with regards to formation among the great majority of TOC members in these communities. This renewed interest has given way to a better understanding and appreciation of their Carmelite vocation as a TOC and it is our hope that this better understanding and appreciation of their vocation would give way or result to a deeper commitment to the charism of the Order and a deeper involvement in Carmelite Ministries.

· In January, 2003, we introduced the Study Module 2 for Novices and as a “Back to Basic” course for all Professed members. We directed that only those communities who have finished with the Study Module 1 would be allowed to proceed to Study Module 2 and that attendance records should be maintained to make sure this was strictly implemented.

We are not yet however finished with Study Module 2 reference materials. We continue to undertake research in order to complete it. Please understand that we do not have a staff at the National Secretariat or the NFC to help us gather reading materials and type them. [I am actually doing it personally.]

· In Feb. 2004, we came up with the Aspirancy Module for Aspirants. This Aspirancy Module was prepared courtesy of Bro. Ruel Santos, Regional Formation Commission Coordinator of Bulacan.

· With the introduction of these Study Modules, formation studies have become more structured and more streamlined making it easier for formators assigned in a particular formation level to guide and mentor candidates undergoing formation.


· In February, 2004 we conceptualized the annual Thematic Retreats in collaboration with the National Spiritual Director and some Carmelite Friars.

· The Thematic Retreat scheme is “truly another step towards a deeper commitment to the charism and spirit of the Order. It is one process that runs parallel with the Council’s “back to basic” battle cry to steer the TOC members towards genuine transformation in Carmel.”[1]

· The National Council created a Technical Support Group for Retreats and Seminars (TSGRS) headed by Sally Castro, TOCarm tasked to organize these retreats in NCR/Luzon. I hope that the Regional Council in the Visayas/Mindanao Region would create the same body to coordinate the thematic retreats in those areas.

· The principle of the Thematic Retreat is properly working in NCR/Luzon. We still need to hear reports from the Visayas and Mindanao however as to its feasibility.


· Prior to Year 2002, fraternal visits to local communities were done on a “Per Need” basis.

· Starting Year, 2002 we decided to pre-schedule the annual visits to local communities andset a common agenda for such activity.

· Fraternal visits were undertaken by the National Spiritual Director, National Prioress and National Formation Director plus the Regional Coordinator of the particular TOC Community.

· Agenda include comprehensive reports from the Local Heads and Formators. National and Local concerns are discussed. Open Forum is encouraged where areas of difficulties are openly discussed and settled for the good of all. Members are encouraged to openly air their gripes, complaints, doubts, problems and various community concerns and the National Officers try to resolve them to the best of their abilities with God’s help.


· In 2001 and prior years members are received and professed only on the basis of the number of years that they have spent in the TOC Community. Decision whether to be received or professed primarily depended on the candidate’s willingness to undergo the rites. There was no proper evaluation being done.

· Starting year 2002, however, candidates for Reception/Profession are evaluated based on two criteria: a) Completion of the “academics” and b) completion of the minimum time requirement for each level of formation during which time each member is supposed to attend not only the business meetings but also other required activities of the community.

· In September, 2004 the National Council came up with the new criteria for preliminary evaluation giving more importance and emphasis on the attendance rating in Community, Formation and Thematic Retreats.


· After the 2002 National Convention we continued in our efforts to systematize the Central File via a Database Membership list. In the absence of a National Secretary, I endeavored to undertake the responsibility of maintaining this file personally. I should find it not much of a hassle if all Regional Coordinators are doing their jobs and local Priors/Prioresses are regular in submitting reports that the National Secretariat needs. But what actually is happening is that it is becoming so difficult getting records, documents and reports that are needed at the national office. I cannot seem to understand why it takes so long to submit reports. If the local communities have a good records system, I don’t see any reason why they cannot send these same records to the National Office ASAP.

· To facilitate recording of data, different TOC Forms were designed courtesy of Bro. Joe Generoso III. [He decided it is his duty to design FORMS being the National FORMation Director. :-)]

· Not all communities however have been truly complying with the guidelines regarding reporting of new movements in the local community using these forms. There are still few communities that need to be followed up before submission of these forms can be submitted. Hopefully after this convention all Regional Coordinators and Priors/Prioresses will find it in their hearts to be more cognizant of their responsibilities relative to the submission of documents and necessary forms to facilitate systematization of our Central File.


· After the 2002 National Convention we started emphasizing the need for a deeper commitment to the Order. It was understood that a “deeper commitment” naturally meant regular attendance in community and formation meetings and a more serious following of the Rule of Life and the Statutes.

· In March 2003 we sent out a directive or guidelines on what to do with members who do not want to comply with community and formation requirements. Despite this directive, there are still communities, which continue to have absentee members until now because the Priors/Prioresses concerned have not tried to implement the guidelines set up by the National Council either because they continue to tolerate absenteeism or refuse to act on the failure of their members to follow the rules on attendance.

· Our early move to strictly implement the rules on attendance was fully supported later by a new provision in our New Rule of Life, promulgated last July 16, 2003 which states in part: “Third Order Carmelites should meet periodically, according to the frequency and way laid down by the statutes so that they may form community in the midst of which Christ dwells.” (Item 91). As we all know our Statutes require TOC communities to meet once a month for Community and Formation meetings.

· We also emphasized the need to re-discern our Carmelite Vocation and directed all Priors/Prioresses to help their members undergo this process of discernment. We emphasized that being a TOC is a vocation and that not everyone is called to be a TOC. We need to always remember that when one joins the Third Order, one has to adapt to the way of life, culture and tradition of the Order. It is not the Order that will have to adapt to the members’ way of life.

· There was a decrease in the total membership of the Third Order from year 2000 to the present time by approximately 40% due to resignations, dismissals or simply dropping from formation of members based on the following reasons:

· Inability to comply with formation and community requirements
· Inability to cope up with formation studies
· Refusal to recognize the authority of the National Council and the Local Council
· No genuine vocation to the TOC
· Purpose for joining was purely for the devotional aspect of the Brown Scapular and not for the Rule of Life of a TOC.

· Contrary to what some of our honorable critics consisting of former TOC members are saying, we do welcome and expect the membership purging because it is our genuine desire to maintain quality members who have real vocation to be TOCs and are willing to abide with the Rules of the Order. We do not need uncommitted members in the TOC because how can we expect them to be truly committed to the works or ministries of the Order if they cannot be expected to be committed to their primary obligation of attending community and formation meetings? And how can we expect them to be committed to the Order if they continue to defy the authority or refuse to recognize the authority of the National Council, which is the governing body of the TOC Philippines?

As of todate we have about 836 official members including aspirants and those on Hermitage and sick members who are Final Professed. Hopefully all these members have a renewed commitment to the Order at this point in their lives.


a. In December, 2002, we came up with the guidelines regarding the Rite of Hermitage.

b. In the words of Fr. Toto Jaranilla, Hermitage is “a way of life for Philippine TOC members who are incapable of exercising their normal functions in the Order due to old age and sickness. A member who takes on hermitage should develop also a prayerful attitude. He/she should also do his/her basic duties and obligations to the Order though her/she will do this in the confines of his/her home.”


· A strategy has been undertaken to split the Guiguinto Community into three (3) separate TOC Communities, namely: a) St. John the Baptist TOCC in Calumpit, b) Immaculate Conception TOCC in Malolos and c) Holy Family TOCC in Guiguinto (Mother Community).

· Request for the Canonical Approval of the two new parish-based TOC Communities is now being prepared.


· Previous to the National Council’s move to re-orient the TOC members of parish-based communities regarding their role in parishes, majority of TOC members of these parish-based local communities were of the belief that the TOC community is under the Parish Pastoral Council and that it is one of the Parish mandated organizations.

· We really took time to explain to them that the TOC community is a separate entity from the PPC but that we are called to be a willing collaborator of the Parish Priest in the mission of the Church. Members may join parish ministries in their individual capacity as TOCs but local communities are enjoined and encouraged to undertake a ministry as a TOC Community in the parish that will identify them as Carmelites.

· Suggested TOC Ministries are: Carmelite Vocation Promotion, YCPF, Confraternity of the Brown Scapular and JPIC.

· At present some parish-based TOC Communities are now known in their respective parishes as the Prayer Warrior group of the parish. One TOC community has been given the task to take care of the Perpetual Adoration Chapel in their parish. Some have organized the Confraternity of the Brown Scapular. Again, some communities have been responsible for the increase in Carmelite vocations to the 1st Order by looking and introducing prospective applicants to the Order. All TOC Communities have a YCPF Coordinator who handles solicitation of pledges to the YCPF fund but unfortunately it has not been organized as a ministry yet. The JPIC Ministry however has still to be organized in all TOC Communities.


· Sometime in February of this year I presented to the Carmelite Friars thru Fr. Tony de la Cruz, Fr. Aris Escobal and Fr. Toto Jaranilla a position paper relative to the YCPF Ministry which received positive approval rating from the Commissariat.

· The objectives presented were as follows:

1. To provide for a practical and systematic approach in promoting the YCPF ministry among the TOC Local Communities.

2. To make the YCPF Ministry as a means of creating a sound-economic base for Carmel
Philippines and the National Council of the Lay Carmelites of the Philippines.

3. To provide an incentive and motivational factor to all local TOC communities in order for them to give the YCPF Ministry priority and 100% focus over and above other income generating projects in the TOC.

· Background data:

1. As of April 9, 2005, there are 836 members (Aspirants to Final Professed) in the TOC. This figure includes those on Hermitage and sick members.

2. Excluding those on hermitage and sick, there are 699 ACTIVE members including Aspirants as of todate. The figure does not include new aspirants from Pulong Buhangin, Bulacan.

3. There are members, though on Hermitage who could still be actively involved in the YCPF Ministry.

4. When I was YCPF Coordinator in 1996 up to 1998, I was personally maintaining 119 pledgors in my records consisting of TOCs from Proj 4 and mostly homeowners from my village who were not even TOCs. These pledgors generated a total amount of P131,815 yearly pledges.

5. Thus, if each TOC member could do what I had done (which is not impossible) – generate at least a P100,000 yearly pledges it would mean a yearly P60M Cash inflow for YCPF from the TOC communities alone (600 members x P100K)

6. Or if only 10% of the 600 TOC would be able to generate 100,000 yearly pledges it would still mean a P6 M yearly income for YCPF and that is not so bad.

· My Proposal:

1. The TOC National Council shall set up a YCPF Commission in the Council under the National Prioress and appoint a TOC to head this commission.

2. The YCPF Commission shall help organize all the YCPF Ministry in the TOC local Communities.

3. The TOC National Council gets a 10% commission on all pledges generated from the local communities. This 10% commission will form part of the National Fund. By ensuring a regular source of income for the National Fund, the National Council does not have to bother looking for ways and means on how to raise funds thus we could give focus and priority to the YCPF.

4. From the 10% commission the National Council shall give 25% to the Regional Fund and another 25% to the local community fund of the different communities to be distributed in proportion to the pledges they are able to generate. Out of the total 10% commission, the National Council only gets to keep 50%.

5. This scheme will motivate the local communities to seek more pledges inasmuch as they
would not have to bother about their own sourcing for their local funds. They would not have to bother looking for ways and means to raise funds for their local community. And if there are fund raising projects in their parish, the community can get from their local funds to support them while the members continue to give priority to YCPF.

6. This scheme would be like hitting four (4) birds with one stone. Why? By soliciting pledges for the YCPF, a TOC member would be complying with his/her obligation to give financial support (1) to the Carmelite Order (2) to the Third Order thru the National Council (3) to the Regional Council and (4) to the Local Community to which he/she belongs.

7. The National Council has come up with the Mechanics on the proper control and recording of remittances to the YCPF for presentation later during the convention.


a. Tarlac (Monastery-based): There are at present 10 Novices. Though we have appointed an acting local Prioress the local council is under the direct supervision of the National Prioress.

b. Tanay (Monastery-based): There used to be 14 Novices in this community. Five dropped out from formation, six joined the group that the Nuns in Tanay formed while one passed away soon after reception. The two members remaining: Rosmel Chavez and Rosanna Garcia (Prioress and FD respectively) have temporarily joined as Staff volunteers of the National Council while waiting for the right moment to start TOC Communities in the Diocese of Antipolo.

c. Makati (Parish-based): There are 12 members at present where four are professed. The community have been under the direct supervision of the National Council since its foundation.

d. Caloocan (Parish-based): There were initially 5 Aspirants who were undergoing formation under the direction of the Sikatuna TOC Community but said undertaking did not prosper and the group simply disintigrated.

e. Bacoor (Parish-based): There are 6 members at present under the supervision of the Pilar,
Las Piñas Community. Five Novices were received last November, 2004 and one passed away in January of this year. They have two postulants waiting to be received.

f. Cabiao, Nueva Ecija (Parish-based) – there are 17 aspirants under the supervision of the Cabanatuan TOC Community. Sis. Remigia Duque, a Final Professed member from Cabanatuan heads this community at present.

g. San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija (Parish-based) –There are 16 Aspirants undergoing formation
under the direct supervision of Sis. Violy Veneracion, local Prioress of Cabanatuan.

h. Pulong Buhangin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan (parish-based) – There is already an existing Confraternity of the Brown Scapular since the parish is in the name of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. This is the newest addition to the growing communities in Bulacan. The rite of Admission to the new ten (10) TOC aspirants was held on March 19, 2005.

i. Malilipot, Albay (Parish-based) – Three weeks ago, Sis. Paring Palacio, Prioress of Guinobatan, Albay informed me that an orientation will be given to around 40 interested TOC Aspirants at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish of this town on May 7. They hoped to be imposed of the Brown Scapular on July 16, in time for the town fiesta.

We shall be applying for the Canonical Approval of these communities as soon as the members have undergone their Profession.


[Confidential - Exclusively for TOC Philippines Consumption]


Since 2003 and recent months there has been talk of real estate donation to the Lay Carmelites of the Philippines. As soon as a Deed of Donation in favor of the TOC Philippines has been issued, the National Council shall undertake fund raising activities for the construction of a Prayer House or Tertiary House or a Retreat House. I believe that if it is God’s will that we build our own Retreat House, we will have one in God’s own time.


In 2003 in anticipation with the possibility of building our own Tertiary House, I decided to come up with the policy on the use of the national fund to be able to properly regulate its use and protect the interest of the national treasury. In my mind I began to reflect how God will give us the Millions to build the Retreat House if we cannot be good stewards of the few hundred thousands that He sends us now. I wish to assure you that the National Fund is in good hands and I am very hopeful that the Lord will grant us the grace to be able to build our own Tertiary House someday.

The Retreat House will become an income-generating project of the Lay Carmelites Philippines. We plan to establish in the future a TOC Foundation, apart from the National Council, if that is possible, which will be tasked to run and manage it. For those members who disapprove of and do not agree with my business-like manner in performing my function as National Prioress, I beg them to reflect on what a good administrator or good steward should be. I will not be your National Prioress forever. I need to establish a system that will ensure that the structures and foundation we have laid out will not be put to waste when the next set of officers start coming and we, the present set of officers, are not around anymore. The TOC is a lifetime commitment for me and it should be a lifetime commitment for you, as well. I pray that you ponder that all in your hearts.


We have recently transferred to a new and larger office to accommodate the additional filing cabinets and shelves needed to file accumulated documents and records but we still do not have a regular staff to man the office on a day-to-day basis.

We still cannot afford to employ a regular staff to work 8-hours daily so we really rely on volunteers to do the filing and help in the operations of the National Secretariat Office. Since the last Convention in 2002 I have been asking for TOC volunteers who would be willing to render work at the Office at least one day a month but I guess there has been a lack of enthusiasm in that area among our members.

Elvie de Dios from Project 4 has volunteered to come to the office once a month to do the filing and some clerical work. Rosanna Garcia and Rosmel Chavez formerly from the dissolved Tanay Community have been attending the National Council meetings and have volunteered to do anything the National Office has asked them to do. Onnie Guevarra continues to do errands at the office and help Fe Buenaventura in the handling of finances by serving as Asst. Treasurer in charge of the Petty Cash fund. Tess Culili another TOC from Project 4 has offered to help in the bookkeeping requirements while Pat Holandez from Sikatuna Community very recently served as auditor and was responsible for the preparation of our Audited Financial Reports. I also wish to acknowledge the help of Ruel Santos who is the incumbent Regional Formation Coordinator of Bulacan in the preparation of the Aspirancy Module and very recently the Community Manual. Bro. Ruel also maintains the TOC web site in the internet. If you have email addresses you can join the Carmelite Reflection yahoo group in which he serves as the Moderator.

Again I would also like to acknowledge the help and support of Joe Generoso, Fe Buenaventura and Sally Castro. They have contributed so much to my job as National Prioress and have made it so much easier for me to tackle my responsibilities in the National Council.

Finally I wish to convey my gratitude to the outgoing Commissary Provincial Fr. Tony de la Cruz for having had the vision to grant the TOC complete autonomy during his term of office thus allowing me to discover my own potentials as a TOC leader.

Of course to Fr. Toto Jaranilla, O Carm., my sparring partner for better or for worse. Please accept my sincerest thanks in helping me govern the Third Order. I can say that God has always manifested His will for me thru you every time.

To all the Carmelite Friars who have all been very supportive of the TOC, thank you very much

To the Agusan Carmelites and TOCs for their generosity and hospitality in hosting this 9th TOC Convention, thank you.

And to all of you who have fully supported me through thick and thin and fully cooperated with the National Council, you have truly inspired me to be faithful to my calling and I wish to share the joys and fruits of Carmel with you .
May God bless each and every one of us today and the years to come. Thank you.

Nimfa C. Tangcuangco, TOCarm
April, 2005

[1] TOC News, Jan-Feb, 2004, page 1
HISTORY of PHIL. LAY CARMEL: 2001 and Beyond
Significant Development – Towards Autonomy

On January 9, 2001, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a Certificate of Incorporation to the Lay Carmelite Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Inc. This legalized the status of the Lay Carmelites of the Philippines as a Non Stock, Non-Profit Religious Corporation.

On March 13, 2001, the TOC National Council officers and the Philippine Commissariat represented by Fr. Tony de la Cruz, O Carm met to discuss the role of the Philippine Commissariat in the TOC and vice versa and the relationship between the 1st Order and the 3rd Order in the context of the Philippine setting. The following positions were agreed upon:

a. The 1st Order and the 3rd Order shall assume the role of co-workers in the life and fusion of Carmel and the Church through prophetic action and contemplation.
b. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Orders shall compose the Carmelite Family, inspired and nurtured by the Carmel life and mission.
c. Since the three orders have different yet complementing dynamics, they shall endeavor to work independently and interdependently of each other.
d. The 1st Order shall provide spiritual guidance and mentoring services to the TOC through the National Spiritual Director serving as the National Delegate while the TOC shall provide fraternal support to Formation thru the YCPF (Young Carmel Phil Foundation) and undertake search for vocation among young men within their family and community.

Part of the agreement was the complete autonomy given by the 1st Order to the Philippine TOC in the governance of its affairs. Fr. Tony de la Cruz emphasized that the National Spiritual director who will be assigned to the TOC will only give spiritual direction and not get involved in the administration of the TOC. Thus it was agreed by both parties that the TOC National Council under the headship of the National Prior/ess should handle the governance of the 3rd Order.

Meanwhile, the TOC National Secretariat presently maintains a business office at Room 9, No. 22 Kamias Road, Quezon City and has a Savings/Checking Account with Metrobank. It also has an email address – laycarm@yahoo.com and therefore has contact with other TOC Communities in other parts of the world.

On May 1-5, 2001, the National Council in the persons of Fr. Toto Jaranilla, O Carm and Nimfa C. Tangcuangco, TOCarm, represented the Philippines at the International Congress in Rome.

Reform initiatives in the Order

Right after the International Congress, the National Council realized the urgency to introduce and initiate reforms in the Formation Program/Policies of the Order or in the methodology or methods of giving formation. It was the belief of the National leadership that the Philippine TOC needed to undergo a re-orientation to erase or rectify so many misconceptions about the TOC as the lay branch of the Carmelite Order. At the time, many Lay Carmelites professed in the 1980’s and prior years had a different orientation and concept about their Carmelite vocation. Majority thought of the brown dress as their habit instead of the Brown Scapular, thus the attachment and focus being given so much on the brown dress and the externals. At that time too many TOC’s idea of a Carmelite vocation was being anchored on the wearing of the brown uniform and very few truly grasp the real essence of Carmelite Spirituality. In the previous years people joined the Third Order only for the devotional aspect on the wearing of the Brown Scapular.

In November 2001, the National Formation Commission launched the “Back to Basics” Leadership Training/Formation Seminar. The Seminar Objectives were: (a) To enhance the leadership skills of Lay Carmelites for effective formation and (b) To understand and appreciate the call of the Laity, more particularly, the call of the Lay Carmelites to holiness.

On January 26, 2002 the National Formation Commission introduced and presented a new and more effective approach to formation – the RDS (Reflection, Discussion and Sharing) Method. Two major points were highlighted which distinguish this program vis-à-vis the previous formation practice and they are:
1. All the reference materials are locally available. As a matter of fact, most members already have 1 or 2 of the 4 reference materials.
2. The subjects, after being individually reflected on, will be discussed and shared in groups and will not be taught.

The program is corollary to the Leadership Training and Formation Seminar held last Nov., 2001, adapting the same theme: “Back To Basics”. It consists of a series of Study Modules starting with Study Module I, the formation program for Postulants but was required as a “Back to Basics” study program for Novices and Professed members.

The National Council required everyone (no exception) to undertake the “Back-to-Basics” formation study – from Final Professed to Novices. Receptions and Professions were held in abeyance until such time candidates had finished with the “Back to Basics” Module. Completion of the Study Module 1 was required before one could be received and professed in the Order.

The National Council also started requiring Local Councils to undertake preliminary evaluation on Candidates for Reception and Profession and when necessary did interviews with these candidates to ensure that they are ready to be received into the Order and professed as TOCs.

In 2004, the Study Module 2, a program for Novices, was introduced and was required as a “Back to Basics” study module for all Professed members.

Simultaneous with the introductions of these Study Modules and requiring them as “Back to Basics” formation studies for professed members, the National Council also began strictly implementing the rule on attendance and absences. Members who could not cope up with formation studies and regular attendance in community meetings were advised to re-undergo proper discernment of their vocation. Most of the time these members eventually resigned or were dismissed.

As a result of these reform initiatives, TOC members who have decided to remain with the Order at this point have a much different perspective of what a TOC should be; have a much greater knowledge of Carmelite Spirituality and its implications in their lives; have a greater understanding of what a true contemplative means in the context of a Carmelite; are now more prepared to undertake Carmelite Ministries and other challenges brought about by the recent granting of independence to the Philippine Carmel as a separate Province.

Also, the TOC Philippines is growing and continues to grow. As of January 2005, there are six (6) new TOC Communities (Tarlac, Calumpit, Malolos, Makati, Bacoor and Tanay) still without Canonical Approval. Five (5) more new communities (Sta. Maria, Bulacan, Cabiao in Nueva Ecija, San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija, Malilipot, Albay and Five Wounds Parish in Las Piñas City) are in the process of initial foundation.

Through the reforms introduced, the National Council and its leadership, hope to see a more vibrant and dynamic Philippine Third Order Carmelites fully committed to the values of Carmel in the years to come.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


Fr. Toto enjoying a boxful of freshly harvested "Rambutans".

A Souvenir Pose - a thousand feet above sea level....

Serious faces may very well signify serious commitment to the TOC
By: Rose T. Molina, TOCarm
Regional coordinator - NCR-SM

On August 06, 2005 amidst an impending storm and intermittent rains, Fr. Toto, Sis. Nimfa and Bro. Joe, National Council Officers came for the annual fraternal visit with the Immaculate Conception TOC Community in Laguna.

The meeting was held at the Adelina Peak Resort, located in San Antonio, Pagsanjan, Laguna courtesy of Mrs. Adelina Fernando who graciously offered the use of her lovely and quiet home overlooking beautiful Panoramic view of Laguna de Bay.

After some snacks of freshly harvested ‘rambutans’ Fr. Toto Jaranilla opened the meeting with a prayer at 10:30 in the morning. Rose Molina, Prioress and Regional Coordinator, welcomed the National officers. Afterwards she gave a status report on their on-going community life and their on going involvement with the four ministries of the TOC namely: YCPF, JPIC, Confraternity of the Brown Scapular and the Vocation Promotion. Mercy Rana, Formation Directress followed by reporting about the status of their formation.

Fr. Toto expounded on the importance of Fraternal Correction as found in the Albertine Rule. He stressed that as members of the Order, we are weak human beings who are prone to commit mistakes; but what is important is that we are willing to learn from those mistakes and be open to fraternal corrections by our brothers and sisters in a loving way.

Sis. Nimfa, touched on the issue of inactive members, Absenteeism and what to do about them. She also explained and clarified the previous guidelines she gave relative to those members leaving for abroad.

The TOC Ministries, Criteria for Discernment of Vocation, TOC forms were also tackled and other areas of concerns were discussed. The open forum encouraged everyone to clarify their doubts and be enlightened.

The visit ended at around 3:30 pm. after a hearty lunch prepared by all TOC members accompanied with lots of fresh and sweet rambutan courtesy of Mrs. Adelina Fernando.

By Sally Castro, TOCarm
Co-Chairperson, Carmelite Family Core Group

Last July 24, 2005, Third Order Carmelites from the Regions of Luzon made a beeline for the United Laboratories, Inc. gymnasium in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila, to join the various Carmelite Congregations in celebrating the 13th Carmelite Family Day. All roads led to Unilab that day as we were graciously granted the use of their spacious gym for free. Registration was fast and easy owing to the fact that many Carmelites pre-registered to avail of discounted fees and also because the CM Sisters were already practiced in the art of registration, this being the nth time that they manned the tables. In so doing, the general schedule of the day was followed almost to the letter and made the half-day celebration flow smoothly.
Because the theme was “Pyesta ng Pamilyang Karmelita,” everyone was enjoined to have fun and make merry in native attire. It was heartwarming to note that most of the attendees tried their best to conform to the dress code of the day, even by just putting on a salakot or a kimona or a handkerchief around the throat or a scarf thrown over a brown-clad shoulder to copy a Muslim dress. The effect was a play of variety and color that contributed to the native ambience that we wished to attain.

As always, we began the day with a Eucharistic celebration. Fr. Tim Jusayan, O. Carm., Commissary General, presided over the Holy Mass concelebrated with Fr. Toto Jaranilla, O.Carm, Fr. Peter Kramer, O.Carm and Fr. Ernie Montuerto, OCD. Fr. Joel Borreo, OCD, delivered the Homily. Fr. Joel stressed that “the Kingdom is precious because the human person is a precious treasure in God’s eyes.” Sr. Gertita Tacuyan, CM, threw in her inspirational message in the same vein: “Our great contribution to our confused society is our deep spirituality. Any member of the Carmelite family takes every situation, be it good or not so good, as a deepening of this treasure.”

Speaking of treasures, the highlight of the day was the search for the “Perlas ng Karmelo.” Mariecor Maglaya, OCDS, co-chairperson of the Carmelite Family Core Group (CFCG), hid a brooch on the underside of one of the chairs in the gym and the rule was that the one sitting on that chair during the time the search was called, would be the winner. Fittingly, Ruby Villarin, an 81-year old TOC from Cubao and a treasure no doubt according to her family, won the title. Fr. Toots Buenafe, O.Carm, adviser of CFCG, pinned her sash and Sally Castro, TOCarm, co-chairperson of CFCG, crowned the first-ever Perlas ng Karmelo.

The Fiesta would not have been complete without the Sayawit, a contest featuring a medley of Filipino songs and dances, participated in by eight Carmelite groups including the TOC, gamely represented by the Bulacan Region care of Ruel Santos, TOCarm, Regional Coordinator, who bravely accepted the responsibility. In my book the contestants were all winners considering the awesome performances of everyone. The judges’ consensus, however, adjudged the O.Carm Friars in third place, the O.Carm Youth in second place and the CM Sisters in first place. Congratulations are in order. Not to forget the Hawaiian dance intermission number gracefully rendered by Cherry Adriano, TOCarm of the Cabanatuan TOC community.

Undeniably, the most awaited part of the day was the salusalo. In fact, food was going around from the first hour with free chocolate drinks courtesy of Unilab. Those who were unable to take breakfast at home brought sandwiches. After the Mass, out came the midmorning snacks. Everyone brought packed lunch and a little extra for the buffet table. The TOC share, lechon, was consumed under ten minutes of its arrival so that some did not even get a glimpse of it anymore. Had there been a food popularity contest on that day, the lechon would have won hands down and the “dirty ice cream” doled out cone after cone by a sorbetero would have been a close second.

All in all, the day really lived up to its happy theme. The Pyesta ng Pamilyang Karmelita was full of fun, frolic and food, indeed.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Prayer for Discernment

As an addition to the article "Are we truly doing God's will or are we following our own will?", I would like to share this prayer that I obtained from the Mater Carmeli Monastery:

You have led me to desire your will
And often Your will is beyond me
But you O God are my friend
And I know that You are with me always.

In your Presence calm my fear
Grant me the desire to be still in Your presence,
to gaze on You and to feel your gaze.
Grant me the grace to see You in Your creation
And to recognize in humanity
the image and likeness of Your Son.

Grant me ears that are sensitive to Your Word.
May I respond with Love to You and your Call.
Grant me the desire to reach out and
embrace all people with love,
to be your hands in the world.

Grant me the courage to echo in my life
the "Yes" of Mary and the passionate fidelity
of Elijah your prophet.

May I seek your will in all things.
May I live my faith in You
And be a sign of hope for the world.
Grant this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Here’s something I got from one of my readings:
“On a clear, bright sunny day take a powerful magnifying glass and a stack of newspapers and go outside for an experiment. Hold the magnifying glass over a pile of crumpled pages. Even though you are magnifying the power of the sun’s rays through the glass lens, you will never start a fire – if you keep moving the glass.
But if you hold the magnifying glass still, allowing it to focus the rays in a concentrated beam of sun energy, you harness the power of the sun and multiply it through the lens – starting a fire.
Focusing also works with your power of thought! Try it and ignite your wandering ideas.”
(Author unknown)

I believe that in whatever we do, whether in God’s service or in the service of our family, there is a need for us to be focused on what we are doing. To be focused, we have to have commitment. To have real commitment, we need to have discipline. And as TOCs we need discipline to rule our lives. Discipleship after all comes from the same root word as discipline.

In doing God’s work, we need to know and discern God’s will for us. Once known, we need to ask for the grace and the courage to dutifully follow it. Only when we are doing something that is in accordance with God’s Will, will we bear much fruits. And how do we know we are truly doing God’s Will? When we faithfully do our assigned tasks whether in our family, in our TOC community or in our society as a whole.

This is the reason why I continue to exhort all Priors/Prioresses to give priority to the TOC over any other parish mandated organizations. I know for a fact that there are a few who are holding important positions in other mandated parish organizations besides being the heads of their TOC communities. As a result, their time and energy are not focused on the TOC. Most of the time they are not able to give their full attention to the responsibilities demanded of them. They are not able to attend seminars and meetings where their presence is most urgently needed.

We should remember that as elected heads of our communities, IT IS GOD’S WILL that we truly attend to our functions in the TOC with utmost dedication and diligence. We need to give the Order our FOCUS and PRIORITY if we are to do God’s will in our Communities. This giving of priority is most important at this time when we are in the process of re-forming and re-orienting our members; at this time when we are trying to intensify and implement our new Formation Programs. We need FOCUS if we are to bear fruits from all these endeavours.

I am appealing to all local leaders to give this much thought and reflection. Our call to leadership in Lay Carmelite Communities is a call to service; a service which requires our full attention; a service directed to the welfare of our respective TOC communities and its members. Overseeing a TOC community and mentoring/shepherding its members is an awesome task by itself. It is a great disservice to the community if, instead of attending to its needs and its members, a prior/prioress is seen attending to other ministries which could very well be left to the others who have lesser responsibilities to attend to. How can we expect the members to give TOC activities priority when they see us not giving priority to our role and duties as their leaders? How can we demand faithfulness from them when we ourselves are not faithful to our responsibilities? As I have always reminded local leaders, please try to lead by example at all times and get focused on your role as overseers of your respective communities.

Lectio Divina
22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time (A)
First prophecy of the passion
The scandal of the cross
Matthew 16: 21-27

1. Opening prayer
Spirit of truth, sent by Jesus to guide us to the whole truth, enlighten our minds so that we may understand the Scriptures. You who overshadowed Mary and made her fruitful ground where the Word of God could germinate, purify our hearts from all obstacles to the Word. Help us to learn like her to listen with good and pure hearts to the Word that God speaks to us in life and in Scripture, so that we may observe the Word and produce good fruit through our perseverance.

2. Reading

a) The context: Mt 16: 21-27 is after Peter’s profession of faith (16: 13-20) and before the transfiguration (17: 1-8) and is strongly connected with these two events. Jesus asks the twelve to tell him who do people say he is and then wants to know who do the twelve say he is. Peter replies, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (16: 16). Jesus not only accepts this profession of faith, but also explicitly says that it is God who has revealed his true identity to Peter. Yet he insists that the disciples must not tell anyone that he is the messiah. Jesus knows well that this title can be misunderstood and he does not want to run the risk. "From that time" (16: 21) he gradually begins to explain to the twelve what it means to be the messiah; he is the suffering messiah who will enter into his glory through the cross. The text we are considering is divided into to parts. In the first part (vv. 21-23), Jesus foretells his death and resurrection and shows that he is completely determined to follow God’s plan for him in spite of Peter’s protestations. In the second part (vv. 24-27), Jesus shows the consequences of recognising him as the suffering messiah for his disciples. No one can be his disciple unless he/she walks the same road. But Jesus knows well that it is difficult for the twelve to accept his and their cross, and, to reassure them, he gives them a foretaste of his resurrection in his transfiguration (17: 1-8).

b) The text: 21-23: From then onwards Jesus began to make it clear to his disciples that he was destined to go to Jerusalem and suffer grievously at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes and to be put to death and to be raised up on the third day. Then, taking him aside, Peter started to rebuke him. 'Heaven preserve you, Lord,' he said, 'this must not happen to you.' But he turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle in my path, because you are thinking not as God thinks but as human beings do.' 24-27: Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it. What, then, will anyone gain by winning the whole world and forfeiting his life? Or what can anyone offer in exchange for his life? 'For the Son of man is going to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will reward each one according to his behaviour.

3. A moment of prayerful silence

so that the Word of God may enter into us and enlighten our life.

4. Some questions to help us in our personal reflection.

a) Why does Peter try to deter Jesus from facing the passion?
b) Why does Jesus call Peter Satan?
c) How do you confront life, with the logic of God and of Jesus or with human logic and that of Peter?
d) In your concrete everyday life, what does it mean to lose ones life for the sake of Jesus?
e) What are your crosses and who are your Peters?

5. A key to the reading for those who wish to go deeper into the text.

"Destined to go to Jerusalem…" The four verbs "go", "suffer", "be put to death" and "be raised" (v. 21) are governed by the word "destined" or "had to". This is a verb, which in the New Testament has a precise theological meaning. It denotes that it is the will of God that something happens because it is part of God’s plan of salvation. The death of Jesus may be seen as the consequence of the "logic" of the attitude he took towards the institutions of his people. Like every uncomfortable prophet he was removed. But the New Testament insists that his death (and resurrection) is part of God’s plan, which Jesus accepted freely.

"You are an obstacle in my path" Obstacle means hold-up or trap. To be an obstacle means to confront someone with impediments that would divert that person form the way to follow. Peter is an obstacle for Jesus because he tries to swerve from the way of obedience to the will of the Father in order to go an easier way. That is why Jesus compares him to Satan, who at the beginning of his ministry had sought to divert Jesus from the path of his mission, proposing an easy messianic mission (see Mt 4: 1-11).

"Anyone who loses his life… will find it" Anyone who understands well the mystery of Jesus and the nature of his mission also understands what it means to be his disciple. The two things are intimately linked. Jesus himself lays down three conditions for those who wish to be his disciples: renunciation of self, the taking up of one’s cross and following him (v.24). To renounce oneself means not to focus one’s life on one’s self but on God and on the plan of his Reign. This implies an acceptance of adversity and putting up with difficulties. Jesus himself left us his example of how to deal with such circumstances. It suffices to imitate him. He does not compromise his fidelity to the Father and to His Reign, and he remains faithful even to giving his life. It was precisely thus that he came to the fullness of life in the resurrection.

6. Psalm 40

The invocation for help of one who has remained faithful to God

I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord. Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after false gods! Thou hast multiplied, O Lord my God, thy wondrous deeds and thy thoughts toward us; none can compare with thee! Were I to proclaim and tell of them, they would be more than can be numbered.
Sacrifice and offering thou dost not desire; but thou hast given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering thou hast not required. Then I said, "Lo, I come; in the roll of the book it is written of me; I delight to do thy will, O my God; thy law is within my heart."

I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; lo, I have not restrained my lips, as thou knowest, O Lord. I have not hid thy saving help within my heart, I have spoken of thy faithfulness and thy salvation; I have not concealed thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness from the great congregation.

Do not thou, O Lord, withhold thy mercy from me, let thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness ever preserve me! For evils have encompassed me without number; my iniquities have overtaken me, till I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me.
Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me! O Lord, make haste to help me! Let them be put to shame and confusion altogether who seek to snatch away my life; let them be turned back and brought to dishonour who desire my hurt! Let them be appalled because of their shame who say to me, "Aha, Aha!"

But may all who seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee; may those who love thy salvation say continually, "Great is the Lord!" As for me, I am poor and needy; but the Lord takes thought for me. Thou art my help and my deliverer; do not tarry, O my God!

7. Closing prayer

O God, your ways are not our ways and your thoughts are not our thoughts. In your plan of salvation there is also room for the cross. Your Son, Jesus, did not retreat before the cross, but "endured the cross and disregarded the shamefulness of it" (Heb 12: 2). The hostility of his enemies could not distract him from his firm intent to fulfil your will and proclaim the Reign, cost what it may. Strengthen us, Father, with the gift of your Spirit. May he enable us to follow Jesus resolutely and faithfully. May he make us his imitators in deed and make your Reign the centre of our lives. May he give us strength to bear adversity and difficulties so that true life may blossom in us and in all humankind. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

History of Philippine Lay Carmel

1954: The 1st TOC Community was started in Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Parish, Cubao, Quezon City by Rev. Fr. Fidelis Limcaco, then a Carmelite Friar of St. Elias Province of USA.

1957: The O.Carm. Dutch Province accepted the invitation of Bishop Epifanio Surban, Diocese of Dumaguete to establish a Carmelite Mission in Negros.

1958: The Carmelite Friars started a Parish Community in Escalante, Negros Occidental. Mount Carmel College was established in Balintawak (now New Escalante), Negros Occidental.

O.Carm. Nuns from Maravillas, Spain started a Monastery in Dumaguete City and they organized a TOC Community (Dumaguete Cathedral) soon after.

Msgr. Fidelis Limcaco with some TOC members from Cubao started a TOC Community in the Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish, Sta. Ana, Manila.

1963: Mt. Carmel Seminary was established in New Escalante. Fr. Paul Medina O.Carm. was the first Filipino O.Carm. and a product of the Seminary. Thus, started our own local Carmelites.

1967: The O.Carm. Dutch Province opened a Mission in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur.

1968: O.Carm. Nuns established the Holy Family Monastery in Meycauayan then moved to Guiguinto, Bulacan.

1978: The Holy Family TOC Community in Guiguinto, Bulacan was organized by the Nuns.

1983: The Our Lady of Miraculous Medal TOC Community in Project 4, Quezon City was founded by Remedios Padilla, TOCarm, a member of Cubao TOC Community.

1984: The Our Lady of Nazareth TOC Community in Cabanatuan City was organized by the Nuns.

1985: The TOC Community of the Immaculate Conception Major Seminary was started. Male TOC members of Guiguinto were integrated into the community.

1986: The Our Lady of Maravillas TOC Community, Sibulan, Negros Oriental, a Monastery-based community was established by the Nuns when the convent was transferred to Sibulan.

1989: The 1st TOC National Consultation was convoked by Fr. Peter Kramer, O.Carm. for the purpose of coming up with “a Common Formation Program and to look into the possibilities of sharing our resources and respond to the demands of our Society and our Church today.” In his letter of invitation dated March 7, 1989 to all TOC Communities, he further wrote: “To realize this, we have to have a National Structure that shall facilitate the coordination of Tertiary activities. This is the reason why we call a National Consultation of Third Order of Carmel.”

Thus the 1st TOC National Consultation was held on April 21-23, 1989 at the Sacro Costato House of Prayer, 13 Scout Magbanua St., Q. C. with the following objectives:

a. To have a common TOC vision.
b. Towards a coordinated Third Order activities.
c. To have a cooperation among Third Order chapters in the Philippines for sharing of resources.

Participants of this 1st national gathering of TOCs came from Sta. Ana, Cubao, Proj 7, Proj 4, Guiguinto, Cabanatuan, Dumaguete and Sibulan Communities.

Some pertinent matters taken during the consultation based on the Minutes prepared:

1. Sharing of TOC Chapter developments, i.e. membership, activities/apostolate, chaplain, meetings, spiritual guidance.

2. Input on Vatican II Document on the Laity given by Fr. Paul Medina, O.Carm.:

The question was raised: “How about those who have joined organizations and movements like the Charismatics and then later on they stopped attending our meetings? Shall we follow them up?

Answer: “Our group as Order and a branch of the Carmelite Family has to live the spirit of ‘koinonia’ the strong fraternal spirit of unity, fellowship and love and this should take a priority. Other groups are simple groupings but ours is an Order and a family and this should take the number one importance. We will not follow up those who do not want to be with us, who due to their lack of guidance, do not grasp the real essence of love that shall grow and prosper in our collective undertakings, in our coming together for meetings and prayers and in our adherence to our vision as Carmelite.”

3. Small group discussion on the following guide questions:

a. When you joined the Carmelite Third Order what was your motivation?

i. Special call and charism, which give strength and courage in our everyday life.
ii. Life of prayer, which enhances our other activities whether spiritual or temporal.
iii. Happy death. Wearing of the Scapular will free us from eternal fire.
iv. Closeness to the Nuns. Challenge to help the Nuns.
v. Love and devotion to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.
vi. Aspiration to have a better life – life of holiness.
vii. Inspired by the mother-in-law, a TOC.
viii. Attracted to participate in religious activities.
ix. An invitation, a call from Mother Mary.

b. Is being a Carmelite Third Order member an inspiration in your life as a layman/laywoman? Why?

i. Yes because miracles happen from day to day; unstoppable outpouring of graces from the Lord through the Virgin Mary.
ii. Yes because everything asked were granted; receive countless graces; unity in the family and harmony in the office; made things easy in life.
iii. Yes because it answers our aspirations.

4. Fr. Peter explained that the guidelines for the Third Order Carmelites are clearly stated in the manuals (Blue Manual from Aylesford, England and the brown covered Carmel’s Call of USA).There are three (3) parts in the Blue Manual:

a. Spirituality
b. General Statutes
c. Local Statutes (which corresponds to the constitutions in Carmel’s Call and based on local needs)

Comment: The local statutes vary from country to country depending on the needs of the locality. Several options, as long as they are agreed by this body are possible.

5. The 1959 manual for TOC is already outdated so it was suggested to follow the TOC Rule of 1977, which can be found in the Blue Manual. Some topics on spirituality in the 1959 book can be used for reference.

6. From the Local Chapter’s reports and suggestions the following were discussed:

a. Scapular and Brown Habit: Upon reception the member is given a 8” x 6” brown scapular, the traditional habit or any suitable sign. Upon profession, the habit is a brown dress, a white cape and a scapular over the cape. Options will be made in the local chapters regarding black belt, black shoes and white veil.

[This explains why the Filipino Tertiaries have the wrong notion on what should constitute the real HABIT of a TOC. It is not the brown dress but the Brown Scapular. We have rectified this wrong notion at the present time]

b. Educational Materials: This will be under the care of the National Secretariat who will prepare a common syllabus.

c. Format of Business meetings was agreed upon.

d. Spiritual Guidance: The National Secretariat should be informed who is chosen to be the Spiritual Director of a TOC Chapter. The Spiritual director should be consulted when the group invites a priest or another person to give a talk to the tertiaries.

e. Apostolate/Activities: This would depend so much on the needs of the community. Activities may be varied, according the needs of the group, including rallies as long as they are good.

f. Criteria for membership:

i. Baptized in the Catholic Church.
ii. Catholic marriage (if he/she is married).
iii. Edifying life (even if separated but it is not of her/his own fault and provided that he/she is living an edifying life at the time of entrance.)
iv. Practicing Catholic
v. Devoted to Mother Mary
vi. No vices
vii. With commitment
viii. Age 17 and above
ix. With consent from the spouse if married and with the parents or guardians, if single.

g. Financial matters:

Financial contribution, however little, is needed to keep the group going. What should be avoided are exorbitant contributions. The Body approved that each chapter will contribute to the National Body every year to support the TOC National Secretariat’s running expenses.

7. Target activities: a) Campaign for O.Carm. vocations plus financial support; b) Regular communications via newsletter and regular reports; c) Common Education Program

8. Proposed Structure:

a. TOC National Council shall be composed of Priors/Prioresses, Masters/Mistresses of Novices and National Director.

b. The National Body will be under the guidance of the National Director and the daily running will be taken cared of by the Executive Committee and its Secretariat composed of two volunteer Tertiaries who will be chosen for their availability and skills. Avelina Berba and Carmelita Javier were unanimously chosen to be in the Secretariat.

c. Under the Execom shall be the different TOC Local communities.


Out of the three (3) drafts the following was chosen as the TOC Vision garnering 12 votes out of 14 qualified voters:

a. Motivated by Carmel’s call to live a life of holiness through prayers, action and prophetic charism and moved by love and devotion to Our Lord through our Mother Mary of Mt. Carmel, we are challenged to gather strength and courage to face situations of our everyday life by establishing closeness among ourselves and to help one another as members of the Carmelite family.

b. Being a Carmelite Third Order member is an inspiration in our lives as laymen because of the innumerable miracles and graces received, aspirations realized, unity and harmony achieved, religious vocations increased and service to God and to others attained through apostolic work and commitment strengthen.

1990: The 2nd TOC National Convention with the theme “Carmel in the Philippines Towards the Year 2000” was convoked by Fr. Peter Kramer, O.Carm. and held on April 19-22, 1990 at the Immaculate Conception seminary, Guiguinto, Bulacan. Facilitator was Fr. Paul Medina, O.Carm.

Some vital and pertinent matters taken up as gathered from the Minutes prepared:

1. The participants came from the following communities: Cabanatuan, Guiguinto, Proj 7, Proj 4, Cubao, Sta. Ana and Dumaguete.

2. Total TOC membership consisted of:

Professed - 645
Novices - 76
Postulants - 52
Total - 773

3. It was agreed that TOC Communities adapt the Blue Manual.

4. The Topic on Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation was given by Fr. Crispin Offermanns, O Carm via his talk “Solidarity in the Midst of the People in their Struggle for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation”.

Fr. Crispin explained the integrity of creation and about how to work for the preservation of our Planet Earth. This means to work for life. Our main concerns for the present however are the threats to life such as:

a. Militarization or the Armament race: The threat to life is caused by us and not by God; we want life not death; the answer to this is apostolate of peace.

b. Present Economic World Order: How to earn money in the shortest possible time no matter what it cost; the wish for freedom; God is a just God and a defender of the truth.

c. Indiscriminate Industrialization and Technology: God gave us earth but we don’t own it. We have to develop it, for there is a limit to its capacity to support us.

The challenge of Carmel is for reflection and prayers to move our life to be real witnesses to peace and truth; to promote justice and peace and to live in solidarity; to fight oppression and exploitation; to develop fellowship and respect for one another.

5. Membership:

a. Recruitment/Screening/Pre-requisites (refer to last year’s consultation minutes).

b. Duties/Obligations/Consequences

i. We will not admit sick and disabled
ii. Those professed already but cannot attend meetings anymore because of their sickness should be briefed about the chapter’s meetings and recitation of the Little Office should be followed. (These are called Hermit membership)
iii. Three (3) consecutive absences – may be cancelled from the list.

6. Carmelite pins – may be worn but not compulsory.

7. Attendance/Absences:

a. If the member has no desire to continue, he/she may be dropped.

b. If he/she continues to be absent and does not heed the local officers, then they can be referred to the National Council for proper guidance and action.

c. If a member is in non-attendance of meetings and uses the scapular for healing, said member can be referred to the National Council for proper guidance and action.

8. Difference between Vows and Promises:

a. Promise – is what a person will or wishes to do in a lifetime.

b. Vow – is a religious commitment.

1991: The St. Rafael TOC Community, Balut, Tondo was started by members from the Sta. Ana Community.

1992: Fr. Paul Medina, O Carm, then the National Director of the Lay Carmelite of the Philippines initiated the printing of the Amended Blue Book Manual.

The 3rd TOC National Convention was convoked by Fr. Peter Kramer, O.Carm., National Director and scheduled for April 23-26, 1992 at the Maria Assumpta Seminary, Cabanatuan City. Facilitator of the Convention was Fr. Paul Medina, O Carm. The theme was: “Organizing TOC Towards the year 2000”. A draft of the Local Statutes was prepared by an ad hoc commission and same was ratified during the convention.

Some pertinent matters taken up as gathered from the Minutes prepared by Avelina Berba, TOCarm:

1. Official representatives came from Sta. Ana, Project 4, Tondo, Proj 7, Guiguinto and Cabanatuan. Delegation from Dumaguete was not able to attend.

2. Expectations gathered from the participants were: the improvement of the local statutes; finding solutions to problems; knowing the relevance of the statutes for the year 2000; for the improvement of interrelationships.

4. The assembly approved the use of such new terms as:

· Local community for the Local Chapter
· Spiritual Assistant in place of Spiritual Director
· Spiritual Assistant may be a parish priest, a religious sister, a priest or lay person
· National Delegate instead of National Director
· Formation Directress/Director for Novice Mistress
· Lay Carmelite Order for Third Order Carmelites.

5. Fr. Peter Kramer O.Carm. taught a short song to the group which goes like this: “Into the land of Carmel, I brought you to gather loads of charming fruits.”

6. The draft of the Local Statutes was ratified on April 26, 1992 to take effect on July 16, 1992.

1993: The Divine Mercy TOC Community of Sikatuna Village, Quezon City was started by Ester Pascua, TOCarm, a member of Project 4 TOC Community.

1994: Two TOC Communities was founded: a) Our Lady of the Assumption TOC Community in Guinobatan, Albay by Lourdes Nuyles, TOCarm, a member from Project 4, Quezon City b) Our Lady of Mount Carmel TOC Community of New Escalante, Negros Occidental.

1995: The foundation of the Sacred Heart TOC Community in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur. Also, the Immaculate Conception TOC Community, Sta. Cruz, Laguna was started.

Fr. Paul Medina, O.Carm., presided over the 1st National Formators Convention for the TOC.

1996: The 5th TOC National Convention was held at the St. Joseph Seminary, Sibulan, Negros Oriental on April 11-14, 1996 with the following theme: “Journeying in Carmel Towards AD 2000”

Some vital issues of the Agenda taken up and resolved during the Convention as gathered from the minutes prepared by Nenita Mananquil, Assistant Secretary of the 5th National Convention:
a. Approval of the TOC Curriculum – Phase 1 and Phase II Formation Curriculum prepared by Tom Zeitvogel, TOCarm.

b. Dress Code:

· Aspirants/Postulants – Ordinary dress with small scapular.
· Novices – prescribed brown dress with ceremonial scapular with white strap, white veil.
· Juniors – Prescribed brown dress & ceremonial scapulars with striped strap and short cape, white veil.
· Solemn Professed – prescribed brown dress & ceremonial scapular with striped strap, long cape and white veil.

c. Dues: Monthly dues for members of Local Communities. It was agreed that 10% of monthly dues and whatever resources the community can share will go to the National Council.

d. Trainor’s Training: It was agreed by a majority of 35 votes that a Trainor’s Training shall be done per Region. Transportation and stipend of resource persons shall be shouldered by Communities.

· Vision: It was hoped that in the year 2000 there would be more comprehensive and well trained TOC formators in all regions.
· Mission: To form desirable and effective methods to be applied.
· Goals: To attain general education foundation in the new Toc Curriculum for the year 2000.
· Objectives:
i. To develop skills needed by facilitators.
ii. To provide knowledge of the use of visual aids.
iii. To discover new teaching techniques.
iv. To ensure effective methods to be applied.
v. To be able to plan in achieving mastery on teaching the new curriculum.

e. Regional Coordinators: RC to become members of the National Council.
· Regional meetings must be led by Regional Coordinators.
· RC must inform the National Council of any problem in the Community.

f. Carmel Youth:
· Vision: To develop future Carmelites.
· Mission: They should truly understand and infuse Carmelite life.
· Goal: To be able to invite youth to be committed and remain Carmelite.
· Activities:

a. A film showing of Carmelite life.
b. Involve them in choirs.
c. To serve youth with food to fill them physically during gatherings.
d. Expose them to Carmelite meetings.
e. Involve High School and college students and young professional (12-25 years).

g. Policy on attendance:

· Three consecutive absences without excuse, a member must be visited by members of Local Council. If member still does not obey, a drastic action may be taken.
· Those who go abroad and return have to see the National Director who shall assess the situation; he decides if he/she can resume and start anew or re-enter.
· For those who transfer from one community to another, from the Philippines to abroad, from one Order to another, the National Director shall make evaluation.
· For those taking a vacation for a year or so, they have to inform the National Director.
· When a member is expelled or dropped thru the consensus of the Council it must be relayed to the National Director and he responds in an official letter to declare his/her expulsion.

h. YCPF (Young Carmel Philippine Foundation) was launched during the Convention c/o Rey Caigoy, O.Carm.

1998: The following TOC Communities were founded:

a. Our Lady of the Rosary TOC Community, Rosario, Agusan del Sur.
b. St. Michael TOC Community, Bahbah, Prosperidad, Agusan.
c. San Isidro Labrador TOC Community, Palawan
d. Our Lady of Fatima TOC Community, Las Piñas City.

The 6th TOC National Convention was held at the Maria Assusmpta Seminary, Cabanatuan City on April 24-26, 1998 with the following theme: “Deepening Commitment in Carmel Towards the Year 2000”. The objectives were:

a. To realize God’s love dispels all fears.
b. To revitalize local TOC communities through spiritual activities.
c. To systematize recruitment and formation program.

Some vital and pertinent matters taken up and resolved during the Convention based on Minutes prepared:

1. Dress Code:

Female: Type A: Official one-piece burnt brown dress with Scapular, white veil and black shoes. For the professed a mantle is included. Type B: Brown dress any cut with Scapular and veil.

Male: Type A: Brown pants, plain barong with long sleeves; Type B: Brown pants and polo-barong, white; Type C: Brown pants and white polo shirt.

2. Priority to TOC: As Lay Carmelites we are expected to remain faithful to the call and therefore has consecrated ourselves to the Carmelite Family. To affiliate self to other organizations if need arises must not take away the priority to Carmel.

3. Absenteeism of TOCs and Disciplinary Action: Three consecutive unexplained absences must be dealt with by the Council first by paying the member a visit to find a remedy to what ails him/her. Disciplinary action shall be undertaken for uncommitted members.

4. On Hermitage: When a Lay Carmelite should become incapacitated to attend meetings and other Community activities, a member may apply for Hermitage. Her presence may be dispensed with but her prayer life should remain committed for the nourishment of her Carmelite Family.

5. Persons who are no longer a member of the Third Order shall not be allowed to wear the Ceremonial Brown Scapular.

2000: Our Lady of Pilar TOC Community in Las Piñas City was established.

The 7th National TOC Convention was held in Titus Brandsma Center on April 28-30, 2000. The theme of the Convention was: “Witnessing in Carmel Towards the New Millenium”.

The objectives of the convention were:

a. Systematization of the Third Order structure and program in the local, regional and national level.
b. Formalization of Commissions and Committees in the Third Order.
c. Delineation of Roles, Tasks and Functions of the Third Order Officers and Heads of Commissions and Committees.

Formation program as approved by the General Assembly:

TOC Formation Program by Nimfa C. Tangcuangco, TOCarm

1. Aims and objectives: a.) To ensure that all TOC communities have a uniform Orientation and Formation; b) to ensure that the present Curriculum is strictly followed.

2. Proposed guidelines presented:

A. Reorganize and re-activate the National Formation commission (NFC)

· Only members who are really willing and able to contribute their time and effort should be appointed as members of this commission.
· The NFC shall handle the preparation of Study Modules to be given.
· The NFC shall make a one year plan of action for the Formation Series taking into consideration separate formation for Aspirants, Postulants, Novices and Professed.
· The NFC shall give training seminars to the members of the Formation Giving Body.

B. Create a Formation Giving Body (FGB) to be composed of all Formation Directors/resses, members of the Education Ministry of the local communities, Student Friars, Carmelite friars and other TOC members with teaching capabilities and qualifications willing and able to contribute their time and talents to such endeavor.

C. The FGB shall work directly under and in coordination with the NFC. This Body shall take charge of giving formation seminars to all TOC members as pre-requisite for admission and profession.

D. The FGB shall be further sub-divided into the following groups.

· Aspirancy/Postulancy group: To give formation talks to Aspirants and Postulants.
· Novitiate Group: To give formation talks to Novices
· Juniorate group: To give formation talks in preparation for Solemn Profession
· Professed group: To give on-going and growth talks for all professed members.

E. The FGB shall be tasked to give Certificate of Attendance to those who have finished a certain course. This certificate will thus be required before one can be admitted to the Order. Ex: Before one can be admitted as a Postulant, he or she has to present a Certificate of Attendance relative to IFA-01 and IFA-02.

F. The venue for the formation series to be given by the FGB shall be Titus Brandsma Center. This pertains to the NCR, Las Pinas, Laguna, Bulacan and Cabanatuan Communities.

G. Another Center will be established for the Visayas and mindano communities.

H) Deadline for the creation of the FGB: one month after the National Convention – May 31, 2000.

I) Effectivity date: Three (3) months after the creation of the FGB.

The highlight of the affair was the formation of the TOC National Leadership Body called the National Council and the election of the 1st batch of officers as follows:

National Prioress - Nimfa C. Tangcuangco
Nat’l Formation Directress - Nanette Mananquil
National Secretary - Mila Exconde
National Treasurer - Dolores Galicia
National Auditor - Lyn Garcia
Regional Coordinators:
NCR - Philip Escudero
Luzon - Flor A’Jose
Visayas - Tessie Villegas
Mindanao - Josefina Hibaya

NOTE: In October, 2000 Nanette Mananquil resigned as National Formation Directress and Jose S. Generoso III, TOCarm replaced her.