From Damien Peile

Spring is here and another cycle of seasonal change is upon us. The seasons offer us much as a metaphor for our own journeys in Carmel. Spring – a time for new beginnings!
I recently attended a retreat-conference at the Carmelite Spirituality Centre at Darien, Chicago.  What struck me about this gathering was the quality of the speakers and enthusiasm of the participants –  a mix of young and old, Friars, Sisters, Third Order Carmelites (TOC), members of the lay Carmelite Spirituality Groups (CSG’s). I came away renewed and uplifted.
It is not long since our recent Provincial Chapter in June which was a timely reminder to take time out, to stop, be still and to listen to the ‘still small voice’.  On the second day of the chapter there was a session on the Carmelite Family which was mainly conducted in groups. It was an energetic session and the groups provided written feedback on ideas for future building of the Carmelite family.  Thanks to David Hofman and Matthew Tonini for their work in collating this feedback which I am including below as I’m keen to get your thoughts and responses. The feedback is grouped around 3 key areas: SPACES, STRATEGIES and PEOPLE.

While it is wonderful to receive these thoughts and ideas we are going to need people to help make them happen in various locations in the province.


I am hoping there may be some readers of this news who are inspired to help implement some ideas in your local area. For example:

  • you might like to gather some people for a Carmelite Family retreat
  • lead a regular Lectio Divina prayer group
  • Invite people to talk about Carmelite Spirituality in the broader community and its relevance for today.

If anything inspires you it would be good to talk so please contact me if needed – 0419503421 or

There is a Provincial Council meeting in early November and I need to prepare options based on your feedback to this meeting.

There is much to take from the various talks from Michael Casey, and our new Prior General, Miceal O’Neill, and Pope Francis that could inspire further gatherings.

During vespers in St Peter’s Basilica recently, Francis says the Church needs to become a community of believers which is “on the go” rather than a static institution. “If it is not on the go, it is not Church,” Francis stressed. “A Church on the go, a missionary Church is a Church that does not waste time lamenting things that go wrong, the loss of faithful, the values of the time now in the past.”  He added that the Church should not “seek safe oases to dwell in peace”, but instead look to become “salt of the earth and a leaven in the world”.

Thank you again and look forward to our further discussions.


2019 Chapter Carmelite Family Discussion

Summary of discussion

A summary of the main ideas arising from the Carmelite family discussions.

The notes from each discussion group are transcribed following this summary.

Ideas from group discussion have been group around three key areas: SPACES, STRATEGIES and PEOPLE.

  1. SPACES for connecting with Carmelite family and promoting Carmelite Spirituality:
  • Parishes
  • Colleges/Schools
  • Timor-Leste
  • Internet/Social Media
  1. STRATEGIES for connecting with Carmelite family and promoting Carmelite Spirituality:
  • Day Retreats
  • Talks/Lectures: in parishes and other places of ministry
  • Webinars
  • Publication in parish bulletins
  • Social media posts/email
  • Conversation and interaction
  • Music
  • Open forums
  • Lectio Divina
  1. PEOPLE for connecting with Carmelite family and promoting Carmelite Spirituality:
  • Carmelite Family delegates: Australia and Timor-Leste
  • Carmelite Centre and Carmelite Library
  • Liaison people in Carmelite ministries
  • Ex-Carmelite members
  • Carmelite friars: local and international
  • Carmelite sisters
  • Lay Carmelites

Discussion group notes


  • Little postcards
  • Snippets for the parish bulletin
  • Contemporary language = spiritual journey
  • Listening
  • Music is a universal language.


  • Open forums in different places: Australia, New Zealand and Timor-Leste.
  • Identify different resources
  • Better communication between Carmelite groups
  • Let all people know about Carmelite Spirituality
  • Other ways of belonging apart from O.Carm and T.O.Carm
  • Communications: newsletter, email, lay Carmelite page on website


  • Lectio Divina
  • Sancta Sophia (connectedness)
  • life style
  • welcome
  • open door


  • Carmelite Centre
  • Carmelite Library
  • Formation
  • Retreats Seminar – share history
  • Online Carmelite reflection
  • Online interview


  • Paul Gurr to offer four sessions of Carmelite spirituality in Wentworthville parish- anybody who is interested- welcome.
  • Everyone welcome to celebrate Carmelite family mass, with sharing meals, exploration of icons in Coorparoo, parish in Timor-Leste ways – All welcome.
  • Is it possible to have Carmelite delegate for Timor-Leste Carmelite family? Lay Carmelites?
  • Damian in consultation with provincial and council continue to make clear the role of provincial delegates and Carmelite family!
  • Contact ex-Carmelite members in Timor-Leste and Australia.
  • Carmelite family members share their stories of being Carmelite family via internet/social media.


  • Link Carmelite family site on the provincial website: link to ministries/parishes/organisations
  • Talk to people face-to-face – a conversation
  • Let people know what Carmel is through website.
  • Organise “information” evenings and invite people who want to know about growing and reflecting on Carmel.
  • Use Sue Stuckey’s resources as material to learn about Carmel and Lay Carmelites.
  • Circulate Carmelite Centre link.
  • How hospitable are we? How often do we go out and support people in their formation? For the brothers to go out to parishes (Wenty, Coorparoo)
  • When talking about history, relate it to real life.
  • Accompany others with our story of who we are through hospitality: using technology, using conversation, by interaction.


  • “Come & See” Day retreat with a friar, lay person BUT needs organisation and support. Help others understand the Carmelite Way. Program for whole of Australia.
  • Offer events less dependent on friars at the end. Bring in/ involve lay people -Formal and informally.
  • Work with parishes with Carmelite names (Albion, Sunbury, Essendon, Avila College) in Archdioc. of Melbourne.
  • Visit original Carmelite Churches (with foundation stone) to promote Carmelite Way.
  • Offer retreat days in parishes.
  • Include “Carmelite brothers and sisters” in references to the Carm Way (Education)
  • Link to Colleges (eg Avila College) to speak to students – raise awareness.
  • Need to make contact with range of people in a parish.
  • Small pieces of information offered
  • Take care with info overload thru tech.
  • Joint O.Carm/OCD working together eg joint webinars
  • Timor-Leste – presence is strong
  • Connection with Carm. Friars from other countries.