It is called the Definitory General and it is the top brass operating council of our Order. It is made up of eight Fathers, chosen by the members of the Order and they reside in Rome but they travel all over the world to sustain and encourage the Fathers and Sisters. Every three months they gather together to discuss the issues of our Order.
Their last meeting was between the 5th to the 14th of March. There was Father General and the seven Definitors. They discussed a whole range of topics.
The first part of the meeting was occupied with the pastoral and fraternal visits that the Definitors had just made.
Father General visited India that is one of the fastest growing areas of the Order. Specifically he visited the Andhra Pradesh Province (India) from the 7th of January to the 1st of February. Andhra Pradesh is situated on the southeastern coast of the country and is the eight largest state in India with a staggering population of over 49 million inhabitants! The largest city in the state is Visakhapatnam.
Our Carmelite presence in this area is quite recent. It only began in 1971, thanks to the missionary activity of the Manjummel Province. But it already has 53 solemnly professed members and 63 in formation! Only 8 religious are older than 50, and vocations continue to be copious. At present the Province has 16 monasteries of nuns. The Fathers take care of 16 parishes, 5 schools, a professional technical institute and 7 boarding houses for teenagers with family difficulties.
“The feeling remains that God is on the journey, too” as our Holy Mother Saint Teresa used to say. And more, “to have courage for whatever comes in life – everything lies in that.” This is what our Indian brothers are showing us.