Carmelites to Mark 50 Years in Congo

ROME, OCT. 2, 2008 ( Fifty years after the first Discalced Carmelite friars arrived in Congo — their first destination in Africa — the order has called a jubilee to celebrate five decades of ministry.

The jubilee of the Discalced Carmelites from the Congolese General Delegation will be formally celebrated Oct. 15, though some events have been underway since April.

The first two Carmelite friars arrived April 15, 1958. The presence of a group of Carmelite nuns in Kabwe, now Zambia, since nearly 15 years before was a factor in the success of their new foundation, a statement from the religious explained.

Italian Carmelites took over from the Flemish founders in 1968. After some years the Italians passed on the responsibility for the delegation to Congolese Discalced Carmelites.

The region today has more than 60 members in nine houses.