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OCDS are “called to love and to serve”

SIBU – Fifty-one members of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCDS) from the four communities of Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching and Miri convened from 29 Apr-2 May 2016 for the 6th OCDS Malaysia National Congress at the Sibu Diocesan Pastoral Center here.

The congress, themed “Called to love and to serve,”  was organised by OCDS Malaysia National Council with Fr Thomas Lim, OCD General Delegate of Taiwan-Singapore and Fr Kenneth Gopal of the Cross, OCD Taiwan-Singapore Provincial Delegate to Malaysia OCDS in attendance.

Sixteen members from the KK community of Our Lady of Mt Carmel and St Therese of the Child Jesus participated.

This National Congress, which is held triennially, serves as the forum for the fraternity of the Secular Carmelites to come together in fellowship and prayer with their General and Provincial Delegates; to present their activities, experiences and insights of the past three years through their respective general and formation reports by their Presidents and Formation Directors; to discuss and plan in group workshops the life and service for the common mission ahead; as well as to elect the new National Council for the term 2016-2019.

In his written message, Fr Aloysius Deeney, OCD General Delegate for the OCDS of Asia-Oceania who directed the growth and formation of OCDS in Malaysia and journeyed with them since 2001 until recently, reminded the Secular Carmelites of the central importance of prayer. “What kept the OCDS growing in Malaysia was the desire to understand prayer, according to the spirituality of Sts Teresa and John, in the life of a person living in the world” and to “keep focus on our dedication to prayer and let everything else fall into place.”

Bishop Joseph Hii of Sibu Diocese celebrated morning Mass with the Carmelite community on the second day.

Fr Thomas Lim, in his keynote address, exhorted the OCDS communities to live up to their calling by engaging in the realities and struggles of the people and the Church as a whole.   He urged Secular Carmelites as people of prayer, to be prominent in the life of the parish communities and be in the forefront to meet the needs, struggles and solutions of the local dioceses.

Fr Kenneth Gopal, in wrapping up the Congress, congratulated the OCDS communities in Malaysia as being very vibrant communities in the local dioceses and reminded everyone that their first apostolate is to be witnesses of their Carmelite identity and spirituality by their way of life and prayer as individuals and as communities. – Mary Lee OCDS KK

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