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The Year of Consecrated Life

Last fall when we learned that contemplatives were also invited to participate in a special program of activities organized by CIVCSVA for the conclusion of the Closing of the Year of Consecrated Life on the 2nd of February 2016, to the great surprise of contemplative nuns, we were invited to participate! In Rome! Each Federation or Association was invited to send their President and a companion from the Association. Sr. Mary Clare (Terre Haute Carmel) and I went from the Association of Mary, Queen of Carmel in the U.S. and we were joined by six other sisters from the U. S. Associations.

Carmelite Sisters representing the U.S. associations in Rome

We participated in a week of meetings for about 4,000 to 5,000 religious from around the world. Each consecrated life group had their own venue for conferences. The contemplative nuns’ was at the Urbaniana, the Pontifical Urban University. The celebration culminated with an audience with Pope Francis and the Papal Mass to close the Year of Consecrated Life. During all those days we were amazed that we were actually in Rome and were meeting Carmelite Nuns from all over the world! And we walked through the Holy Door during the Jubilee Year of Mercy!

Carmelite Sisters from the U.S. at the closing of the Year of Consecrated Life

After a very full week, we had a day with Fr. General to consider On-Going Formation, the area the nuns requested help with at the General Chapter, and a website for this purpose. Everyone was aware of how historic these meetings were and we were filled with gratitude that our associations were represented and we were able to participate.

Carmelite nun visiting St. Teresa's town of Avila in Spain

On our last day together the sisters from CCA, St. Teresa’s Association, and Mary, Queen of Carmel Association made a visit to Assisi with Fr. Rafal Wilkowski, OCD, who drove us and showed us around. On my way home, I spent three days in Spain visiting some of the Carmelite sites. The hospitality of our friars in CITeS and the nuns in Medina del Campo and Alba de Tormes was wonderful!

Written by Sister Angel Teresa, OCD 
Discalced Carmelite Monastery, New Caney, TX
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