Welcome to the first news since my appointment around one month ago.

As agreed at the Provincial Chapter in 2016, my role is to help develop opportunities for further formation and integration into the Carmelite Family – a big but exciting task to tackle in small chunks!

Since taking up the role I have been doing some reading, talking to others and reflecting on the concept of the Carmelite Family. It appears this notion of Carmel as family has grown somewhat since the 1980s when the then Prior General, Fr John Malley developed the idea.  However, we are still grappling with the concept and trying to understand it. But it does remain a powerful metaphor for the ways in which our different vocations and ministries are linked together in Carmel.

At this early stage I feel the need to have some wise and experienced people around me as a reference point and sounding board for discussing and thinking through the planning and steps to be taken.  I have asked four people to form an informal reference network group for this purpose. Thank you to David Hofman, Michael Brundell, Chris Wade and Adrian Jones for agreeing to help – it is much appreciated.

You might recall one of the ideas discussed at the Chapter was to identify key liaison people in different geographical areas to be a link with the broader Carmelite Family in those areas. This is one of the first things I will be looking at and the first step is to formulate some ideas of a role for those people. Once we have broadly articulated this we will be relying on local Carmelites to help in identifying people to take on this role. To this end I have begun making email contact with Carmelites who I am hoping can assist and I look forward to following up again soon.

I have also begun exploring what other religious congregations are doing with similar roles to that of the Carmelite family delegate.Please contact me with any ideas and thoughts you have about the role at any time. My email is family@carmelites.org.au or call 0419 503 421.

Monthly Musing

‘What we call “Carmel” is really a way of life in which we try to be aware of the Presence of God in the most ordinary, everyday things.  We’re contemplative, but we live out our service in the world.  We’re prayerful, but we’re also practical.  We were founded over 800 years ago on a mountaintop, But we have our feet firmly planted in today’s problems and concerns.’

Damien Peile