Secular Carmelites move from formation to mission

Some seventy Secular Carmelites of the Secular Discalced Carmelite Order (OCDS) in Malaysia celebrated their seventh OCDS Malaysia National Congress at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre from April 25 to 28, attentively engaging with the theme Building a Better Learning-Living-Loving Community.

May 18, 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: Some seventy Secular Carmelites of the Secular Discalced Carmelite Order (OCDS) in Malaysia celebrated their seventh OCDS Malaysia National Congress at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre from April 25 to 28, attentively engaging with the theme Building a Better Learning-Living-Loving Community.

Discalced Carmelite (OCD) Friars of the General Delegation of Singapore-Taiwan- Thailand and La Salle Bro John d’ Cruz facilitated the three-day programme which followed a community-building thrust at its core and as its emphasis. The General Delegate to the OCDS, Fr Alzinir Debastiani, OCD, on his tour of OCDS East Asia, was the special guest at the opening night, sharing his insights of the learningliving- loving dynamics in community-building and his worldwide experience working with Secular Carmelites of different cultures and nationalities. Archbishop Julian Leow also came by, encouraging and supporting everyone with his jovial greetings and kind words, and extended his blessing for an enjoyable and fruitful Congress.

In unpacking the Congress Programme, Matthew Liow, OCDS, representing the National Council, presented an overview of the three-day programme, revealing a shift from Formation for Mission, to a better Communitybuilding response to the Baptismal-Carmelite vocation, as per the theme set forth.

Recalling thus the Baptismal - Carmelite vocation lived and nurtured during the immediate three years of the previous 6th National Congress’ theme Called to Love and to Serve, the four communities shared their respective communal experiences of service with love, using power-point presentations and well-prepared narratives.

As the Congress programme continued to unfold, Bro John d’ Cruz recapped the Learning- Living-Loving practicalities in community- building, a point of departure from which the congress programme was developed. An evening of person-to-person “reconciliation/ affirmation” in a candlelight setting, receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and spending personal quiet time at the Chapel, were included in the programme.

The OCD Friars, in the persons of Fr Kenneth Gopal, Fr Nicholas Hoh and Fr John Chua, were respectively tasked with speaking on OCDS Promise in Community-building, Carmelite Spirituality for the OCDS, Witnessing to our Carmelite Spirituality in a Learning- Living-Loving Community.

The overarching teaching of the three sessions was to share on the “Promise” taken by Secular Carmelites which was lived by them in the world, witnessing not in a vacuum, but in our contemporary Teresian Spirituality. In order to actualise those sessions, all participants then gathered in their respective communities for a communal workshop, discussing the set guide questions.

Their concerted communal efforts produced results which were presented to express both the community’s new realities and the community’s practical ways to build (and striving to be) a better learningliving- loving community. In summarising the Congress Programme, Fr John Chua, OCD mind-mapped the main points, and Matthew Liow, OCDS, briefly shared a preliminary take-home agenda taken from the workshop presentations. -- National Council of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelite (OCDS) in Malaysia

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