The Maltese Carmelite Province gathered on Monday 15th November 2021, to celebrate its Provincial Chapter. The Prior General of the Order, Fr Míċéal O’Neill, has delegated Fr Conrad Mutizamhepo to preside at the Chapter. Fr Richard Byrne, General Councillor for Europe, is assisting the General Delegate. The Provincial Chapter, held every three years, is the highest governing body of the Province. Besides electing the Prior Provincial and his council, the Chapter evaluates the previous triennium, and discerns and plans the way ahead for the following triennium.

On Monday morning, the Delegate of the Prior General confirmed the election of Fr Joseph Saliba as Prior Provincial for the coming triennium. He also confirmed the election of Fr Maurice Abela, Fr Renald Lofreda, Fr Jurgen Cucciardi, and Bro. Vincent Rotin as Provincial Councillors. Fr Ivan Scicluna was appointed Provincial Secretary.

The preparations for the Chapter began six months ago, mainly in the form of meetings consisting of dialogue, discussion and reflection organised by a commission formed of three friars: Fr Anthony Cilia, Fr Ivan Scicluna, and Fr Kurt Mizzi, aided by Fr Fabio Attard SDB, Mgr Frans Abdilla and Dr Ernest Azzopardi. During these last months, apart from discerning the signs of the times in our present-day world, in the local church and in Carmel, three themes to be discussed at the Chapter were identified:

  • ‘Vocational and Youth Ministry’
  • ‘Fraternity’
  • ‘The Restructuring of Our Presences and Ministries’

The Provincial Chapter ends tomorrow Friday, 19th November with the Delegate of the Prior General meeting various representatives of lay people who are associated, or collaborate closely, with the Maltese Carmelites at 7.15pm, in Sta Venera Parish Church. On Wednesday, 17th November, the Delegate presided the Annual Congress of the Carmelite Third Order.

Like all religious in Europe, the Carmelites are facing great challenges, in particular that of dwindling vocations. While praying that the proceedings of their Chapter may yield fruit, it would also be appropriate to pray for the Maltese Carmelites, so that, aided by their Patroness, Our Lady of Mt Carmel, they may discern and follow the way ahead shown to them by the Holy Spirit.