General Councillor, Albertus Herwanta, and I recently spent a few days visiting a group of friars in Kerala in the south of India.
There are 10 friars residing in 3 houses working with young people, giving retreats and running a small high school/community college. The photos here are of the main community residence in Paravur, near the city of Cochin.
Here there are 10 young men who are beginning their experience of Carmelite life with a view to entering the novitiate in a few years’ time. There are also two students who are further along the road and are studying philosophy at a local seminary.
The community in Paravur is responsible for a small high school and community college, where around 70 students are completing their secondary education and another 27 who are in the first year of a BA programme validated by an Indian university.
Much of the building work was financed by donors to the Society of the Little Flower in the UK and Ireland, which is the General Curia’s fundaraising operation.
Fathers Albertus and I met individually with each friar as well as conducting a meeting of the whole group to discuss plans for the future. They also met with the local bishop and the metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of Verapoly, both of whom have been very supportive to the Carmelites in this part of India.