Pope sends anniversary letter to Carmelites

 On 7th October 2002 Pope John Paul II wrote to Fr Joseph Chalmers, O.Carm, Prior General of the Carmelite Order to commemorate the 550th anniversary of the issuing of the papal bull Cum Nulla in 1452. At the time of Cum Nulla the Order consisted simply of the friars. There were no Carmelite nuns and no way in which other people could belong to the Order. However, in various parts of the Europe there were groups of men and women who had come to know the Order through the communities of friars and who wished to live according to the Carmelite spirit, some in the context of a religious community and some within their own homes and in the context of family life. With this background the Order asked the Pope to allow it to admit these groups and individuals. Under the leadership of Blessed John Soreth, Prior General at the time and following the granting of Cum Nulla we find the establishment of cloistered Carmelite life for women, the Third Order Carmelites and other forms of affiliation to the Order. The text of the Pope's letter can be found on the website of the Carmelite Order in Britain (www.carmelite.org) at: www.carmelite.org/jpcumnulla.htm The Dean and Chapter of York Minster have graciously allowed the Carmelites in Britain to celebrate Cum Nulla with a celebration of Mass in the Minster on 16th May 2003 - the preacher will be Fr. Joseph Chalmers, O.Carm. - Prior General. Admission will be open to all but by free ticket. Anyone who wishes to receive information on the Mass nearer the time should email cumnulla@carmelite.org.

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