Wednesday, June 25, 2008

10th National Convention of Lay Carmelites of the Philippines

From the 21st to the 25th of April, Lay Carmelites from all over the Philippines converged to the "Bukal ng Buhay" (Springs of Life) Retreat House, in Bustos, Bulacan, Philippines for the 10th TOC National Convention. The event was attended by 86 TOCs composed of priors, prioresses, formation directors, and regional coordinators of the different local communities and of the different regions. The theme of the convention was "Buhay Karmelita: Bokasyon, Pagpapatotoo, Pag-aalay Buhay" (Carmelite Life: Vocation, Witnessing, and Oblation).

The convention was opened with a Eucharistic celebration presided by Fr. Pete Manilag, OCarm., provincial delegate. On the succeeding days, different speakers were invited to give a recollection and talks to the convention delegates and observers. Fr. Ver Rhoniel Cristobal, TOCarm gave a recollection based on Chapter 21 and 22 of the Rule of St. Albert; Fr. Domingo Salonga (NDV) gave a talk on Formation and Stewardship; and Fr. Bernard Roosendahl, OCarm gave a talk on Carmelite Community Leadership. It was also during this convention that the Local Statutes of the Philippine TOC was aligned to the 2003 TOC Rule and a new set of officers were elected at the TOC National Council. These new set of officers are Rosalie Castro (National Coordinator); Cynthia Penalosa (1st Councilor); Ruel Santos (2nd Councilor); Flor A' Jose (3rd Councilor); and Mila Exconde (4th Councilor).

The delegates made a pilgrimage to the old churches in the province of Bulacan en route to the site of the closing rites of the convention. A Eucharistic concelebration at the Parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Pulong Buhangin was presided by Bishop Jose F. Oliveros (Diocese of Malolos) together with Fr. Artemio Jusayan, OCarm (Commissary General), Fr. Pete Manilag, OCarm (Provincial Delegate), Fr. Aris Escobal, OCarm., Fr. Elmer Ignacio (Parish Priest), and Fr. John Paul Avila, TOCarm.

The Prior General, Fr. Fernando Millan Romeral, sent a letter to the Convention delegates. Copies of this letter were given to the participants of the convention. Pictures taken at the convention can be accessed at the Friendster website.

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