I am delighted to accept the appointment of Provincial Delegate for the Carmelite Family.  Some of you will know me through my work with the Carmelite Centre in Melbourne and to those I am yet to meet, I look forward to meeting you.

My first contact with the Carmelites was at a Marian Festival at Whitefriars Monastery Donvale in the early 1960’s. My mother had a very strong devotion to Our Lady and though Donvale seemed a long way from our home town of Bonbeach, the thought of making a pilgrimage to Donvale would have inspired my mother.  Little did I know that years later my journey of faith would lead me to being part of the Carmelite Family in Middle Park and beyond. I need to thank my mother’s role in bringing me to Carmel!

After some years in ministry as a priest in Melbourne, I have worked mainly in hospitals in a counselling role. This challenging work brought me into many situations with people managing ill-health and life-threatening diseases.  What intrigued me over time was how people managed to not only survive these traumas and catastrophes but to find hope and meaning – three things stood out: faith, family and friends.  This seems to me to sum up what the Carmelite Family is about.

As agreed at the Provincial Chapter in 2016, the role of the Carmelite Family Delegate will be to work with others to develop opportunities for further formation and integration into the Carmelite Charism.

One of the first steps will be to identify Liaison people in various parts of the Province to act as contacts in promoting Carmelite Life and spirituality in their local area of sphere of influence. Together we will form something like a Carmelite Family leadership team. This will be my focus for most of this year and I look forward to keeping you all up to date on how we are progressing.

Our Carmelite history is a rich one of forging new paths in a changing world and I look forward to building on those foundations and getting to know more of you and listening to your experience as a member of the Carmelite Family including your hopes and dreams.

Together we are part of creating the future. Let us pray we will strengthen even more,  the positive relationships with all the various Carmelite Family ministries and members.

Damien Peile