October 14: Advisory Council Meeting
On the eve of the official launch, the Advisory Council of the new Center for Carmelite Studies met face-to-face for the first time at Whitefriars Hall in northeast Washington. Members discussed plans for the future direction and activities of the Center. They also had an opportunity to view the library’s Carmelitana Collection, and to share recreation and supper with the Carmelite community at Whitefriars.
October 15: Inauguration and Installation
The Center for Carmelite Studies was officially inaugurated on October 15, 2019. A series of events to mark the occasion began with a lecture by Rev. Prof. Fernando Millán Romeral, O.Carm., on “Blessed Titus Brandsma: Carmelite Scholar for Our Times.” Fr. Fernando has served as professor of Sacramental Theology at the Pontifical Faculty “Comillas” in Madrid, and as an invited professor at the Gregorianum in 1998, 2000, and 2002. He has recently completed two terms as Prior General of the Order of Carmelites.
After the talk, a Mass was celebrated in the Caldwell Hall chapel for the feast of the Carmelite saint and Doctor of the Church, Teresa of Avila. Very Rev. William J. Harry, O.Carm. (Prior Provincial of the Carmelite Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary) presided, assisted by Rev. Prof. Mark Morozowich (Dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies), Rev. Prof. Fernando Millán, O.Carm., Rev. Steven Payne, OCD (incoming Chair of Carmelite Studies), and Rev. Quinn Conners, O.Carm. (local Carmelite superior and CUA lecturer) as concelebrants.
Following the Mass, everyone moved to the McMahon Hall foyer for the official inauguration of the new Center for Carmelite Studies and the installation of Prof. Payne as its first chair. Speakers included CUA President John Garvey and Provost Aaron Dominguez, in addition to TRS Dean Mark Morozowich, Carmelite Provincial William J. Harry, and Fr. Payne himself. Doctoral candidate Mariela Courtois welcomed the guests, and Fr. Fernando Millán gave the invocation. The ceremony ended with a reception for all those attending, followed by a special dinner for the Carmelites, university dignitaries, and the Center’s Advisory Council members. See the news article and watch the video.
November 18: Talk on St. Teresa of Avila
On Monday, November 18, 2019, at 4 pm in the Great Room of the Pryzbyla Center, Very Rev. Saverio Cannistrà, OCD, presented a talk on “Friendship and Love of God in Saint Teresa of Avila.” Fr. Saverio has served as a professor of Christology and theological anthropology in the Faculty of Theology of Central Italy, near Florence. Since 2009 he has served as Superior General of the Discalced Carmelite Order. In his talk, Fr. Saverio explored St. Teresa’s understanding of friendship as model for our relationship with God and an aid in the spiritual life, comparing her views with those of other theologians such as Thomas Aquinas and Pavel Florensky. The speaker was introduced by Prof. Steven Payne, OCD, Chair of Carmelite Studies.