Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Message of the Prior General to the National Convention of the Third Order in the Philippines

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I write to greet all of you gathered for the TOC National Convention in the Philippines this April. I pray that your meeting will be a time of blessing for you all as you discuss the issues relating to formation, stewardship, leadership and your statutes.

Having just returned from a visit to Carmel in the Philippines, together with Fr. Albertus Herwanta, it was wonderful to get to know your part of our Carmelite world. Not alone did we have the opportunity to meet the members of the Province, but we were able to join in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the presence of Carmel in the Philippines. It was inspiring to see the result of years of hard work, dedication and examples of the growth that have taken place during these past fifty years. We must be grateful to many people during these past decades and all those associated with us in the Order, members of the Third Order, Nuns, Associates, Carmelite Youth and laity for the special place that has become the Carmelite Order in the Philippines.

Apart from the business of your TOC National Convention from 21st – 25th April, this gathering will a moment to give thanks to God for the many blessings received down through the years. I too, on behalf of the Order, wish to send you my best wishes for all your deliberations and I pray that you will continue to work together “to build the house of the Lord.” (Psalm 126)

Our General Chapter reminded us of our prophetic and contemplative role in this changing world of ours. The following of the Lord requires that we have courage and not be afraid. What we are called is to be ready listeners in the silence of our hearts, prompt to respond with zeal to the presence of the Almighty.

May these days be fruitful, may you find in each other’s company the courage to build anew, to face the future with hope, happiness and love. May the Lord bless you and keep you and may Our Lady of Mount Carmel be ever near with her gentle protection.

Yours in Carmel,

Fr. Fernando Millan Romeral, OCarm
Prior General

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