Apostolic Carmel Associates (ACA) And Carmel Blossom
Unity and communion in love, fellowship and service are deepest yearnings of our world today and the greatest need of our countries at the present moment in history. One of the fruits of the Church's teachings on Communion has been the growing awareness that her members can and must unite their efforts with a view to co-operation and exchange of gifts in order to participate more effectively in her mission. Our holy Father, Pope John Paul II made this desire of the Church very clear and specific in his post Synodal Apostolic Exhortation of 1996, 'VITA CONSECRATA' No. 56, when he said,
"A significant expression of lay people's sharing the richness of consecrated life is their participation in various Institutes under the new form of so-called associate members or ... as people who share fully for a certain period of time the Institute's community life and in particular dedication to contemplation or apostolate."
To make this a reality, the General Chapter of 1996 came out with the following recommmendations:
"We zealously seek to bring to life in others this special gift of our Charism sharing it specially with the Apostolic Carmel Associates."
With this mandate, we ventured out to spread the A.C. spirituality beyond the frontiers of our Congregation through the institution of 'Apostolic Carmel Associates' on three levels, namely
The Associations were well received by adults and children and within a period of 5 years the number of associates has risen to 2350 ACAs and 5700 Carmel Blossoms all over India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Kuwait and Kenya.
The first International Congress of the ACA was held and organised by Sisters Vincent and Mirabelle at the Apostolic Carmel Generalate, Jayanagar, Bangalore from Oct. 23rd - 28th, 2001 and that of the Carmel Blossoms from Oct. 31st - Nov. 5th, 2001.
The spirit of the A.C. Charism is deepened in its members through a joyful experience of togetherness and a deeper awareness as sons and daughters of our foundress, Mother Veronica.