The Malta Independent 5 March 2024, Tuesday
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Carmelites decide to remain in Valletta, Fgura and Santa Venera

Sunday, 11 February 2024, 09:42 Last update: about 22 days ago

During the 2024 Provincial Chapter of the Maltese Province of the Carmelite Order, it was decided that the Carmelite friars would continue to sustain their presence and service in three out of six communities. This decision aimed to maintain the Carmelite presence in the parish of Fgura, at the national shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Valletta, and in the parish of St Venera.  

The Order said that it will also continue to care for St Elias College. Consideration will be given to exploring new arrangements for houses where a continued presence is no longer viable. These decision have been taken due to decreased numbers in vocations.

Regrettably, the Chapter, with a heavy heart, also acknowledged the impracticality of maintaining a Carmelite community of friars in Mdina and Balluta. Collaborating closely with Archbishop Charles Scicluna and the laity who identify with the Carmelite Order, plans for the future ministry of pastoral care in Balluta will be formulated. Moreover, efforts will be made, in collaboration with the laity, to ensure the continuity of the Carmelite priory of Mdina as a centre for Carmelite spirituality.

Recognizing the long tradition of the Carmelite Order in Malta since the fifteenth century and the generous support from local communities over the decades, the Carmelites express understanding of the disappointment that this decision may bring to many. "These changes are undertaken to fortify community life, strengthen Catholic witness, and promote vocations to continue enriching the Church in Malta with the Carmelite charism," the Order said.

In the course of the Provincial Chapter, the new government of the Maltese Province was also elected, set to serve until 2027: Fr Charles Mallia as prior provincial, with Fr Maurice Abela, Fr Martin Schembri, Fr Alex Scerri, and Fr Ivan Scicluna as councillors.

"As the Maltese Province of the Carmelite Order navigates this challenging period, may the Holy Spirit provide guidance and support to all those involved, while Our Lady of Mount Carmel extends her protective care over each person," the Order said.

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