Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI)
I have been burning with zeal for the Lord God of Hosts
CMI Fathers is the first indigenous religious congregation in the Catholic Church of India. From the very beginning, the religious life in the congregation was rooted in the Indian, Oriental and Carmelite spiritual traditions.Get in touch
A Life in communion with the Triune God and life dedicated to the service of fellow men
The Congregation of Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI) is the first indigenous religious congregation in the Catholic Church of India. Fr. Thomas Palackal, Fr. Thomas Porukara and Fr. Kuriakose Elias Chavara of the Syro-Malabar Church, a Church of apostolic origin, felt that “a lot of good had not been done due to the absence of a Thapasu Bhavanam (House of Discipline) and a Darsana Veedu (House of Vision)”, had the challenging vision of providing spiritual leadership and fostering unity and growth in the Kerala Church. With the permission of Bishop Maurelius Stabilini, the then Vicar Apostolic of Verapoly, they founded a religious house at Mannanam on 11 May 1831. Jacob Kanianthara who later became the first professed brother in the Congregation, cooperated with the founding fathers from the beginning. The name of the Congregation was ‘Servants of Mary Immaculate’.Soon, some more priests and clerics joined the founding fathers and thus a small religious community took shape.
On 8 December 1855, the religious Congregation was canonically approved and the first eleven fathers made their religious profession. Blessed Chavara, the only surviving founder, was appointed the first superior of the Congregation.From the very beginning, the religious life in the congregation was rooted in the Indian, Oriental and Carmelite spiritual traditions. The Prior General, assisted by four Councillors, is at the head of the administration; the Prior General’s House at Chavara Hills in Kochi is the headquarters of the Congregation. For the sake of administration, the Congregation is divided into 15 provinces, 1 Region and 7 sub-regions. At present the Congregation has about 3000 members including 5 bishops, 1763 priests, 1 permanent deacons, 26 brothers and 1121 brothers in formation. More than half of the priests are working outside Kerala, of whom about 300 are doing pastoral services in 27 countries around the world.
Evangelization and Pastoral Ministry
In our mission of evangelization, we are conscious of the reality of religious pluralism in the world and especially in our country and recognize the providential role the world religions have played and are still playing in the life of peoples. Establishing fellowship with all men who sincerely seek God, we shall deepen our own faith-experience and co-operate with them in doing good to the people.
We are convinced that the aim of all education is the formation of the human person for the fulfillment of his individual and social responsibilities. Christian education further aims at his growth into manhood according to the mature measure of Christ.We concentrate more on quality than on quantity and foster good inter-personal relations.In building the Kingdom community, we give special consideration to the education of the poor and the marginalized. In the present scenario of education becoming a service to be purchased, we give special care to provide quality education, both basic and advanced, also to the poor who do not have the purchasing power and hence access to such education.
The Media of Communication
It is quite obvious that the modern media of mass communication – the press, cinema, radio, television and the like – have an extraordinary bearing on the human spirit, since they open up new and highly effective avenues for communicating information, ideas and values. Today, the modern communication media, both print and electronic, educate the people, create public opinion and influence personal and collective life. Our Congregation is actively involved in the apostolate of the print media through several journals and magazines and especially the daily newspaper, Deepika.
Social apostolate is the continuation of the ministry of Jesus; his reaching out to the poor, the sick and the marginalized through miracles, assuring presence and challenging actions were the sign as well as the reality of the imminent Kingdom of God as revealed in the Gospels.As a welcoming community, we begin our social apostolate among our neighbours; for, we are called to look into the concrete life situations of our fellowmen for a deeper personal God-experience. So, we begin with an intensive and affectionate involvement in the problem-ridden life of our neighbours. Our involvement in these communities also become catalysts of wider social development.
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