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Thursday, March 23, 2017
Carmelite Family celebrates 800 years
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 Hundreds of members and friends of the Carmelite Order gathered in the northern English city of York on Saturday 5 May to mark the eight-hundredth anniversary of the document setting out their way of life, the Rule of Saint Albert. Saint Albert's successor as Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Michel Sabbah, was the principal celebrant at a Eucharist held in York Minster, by kind invitation of the Dean and Chapter. The Carmelite Family, an ancient religious institution of the Roman Catholic Church, originated on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land in the early thirteenth century. Carmelites came to Britain in 1242, and to York within a decade, a fact reflected in the words of welcome by the Lord Mayor of York, Councillor Janet Hopton, MBE, and the Dean of York Minster, the Very Reverend Keith Jones. Today the Carmelite and Discalced Carmelite Orders have communities of friars, nuns, active sisters, and lay people across Britain and the wider world. Carmelite saints such as John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Thérèse of Lisieux and Titus Brandsma have contributed significantly to the spirituality of the Church. The Eucharist, attended by various bishops and ecumenical guests, looked back with thanks for the development of the Carmelite Family, but also looked to the future and had a strong emphasis on prayer for peace in the Holy Land. During his homily Fr. Tony Lester, O.Carm., Prior Provincial of the British Province of Carmelites, reflected on the role of the Order within a Church whose structures are constantly changing and responding to the needs of society. After the Eucharist Patriarch Sabbah took part in a Justice and Peace Forum at York St John University, addressing the situation of Christians in modern-day Israel-Palestine. The topic was introduced by Anthony O'Mahony of Heythrop College, the specialist Philosophy and Theology College of the University of London. The Forum was chaired by Pat Gaffney, Secretary General of Pax Christi, and the event was supported by the Justice & Peace Network of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough. Source: Carmelites
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