In October this year, the Church will once again commemorate two great figures of the Carmelite life, both of whom have been named as Doctors of the Church. On the 15th of the month, Saint Teresa of Avila, the foundress of order of the Discalced Carmelites will be remembered, and on October 1, Saint Therese of Lisieux, who was only 24 when she died, but whose ‘Little Way’ to this day inspires countless thousands of people all over the world to live in complete and loving trust in God.
It was only 30 years ago that the religious institute the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matarà was founded in Argentina. Since then, it has spread throughout the world, with 160 convents in 35 different countries on all five continents of the globe – such is the measure of its success to date.
In Northeast India, the Catholic Church is still relatively young. In 2016, she celebrated 120 years of ministry here, but in many parts of this region, Catholic missionaries were only able to enter during the second half of the 20th century. This is an isolated and underdeveloped area, marked by political unrest and conflicts, by deep poverty and many other problems. But the Church here is very much alive and vital; now there are almost 2 million Catholics in the region, while the number of vocations to the priesthood and religious life is growing.
The Catholic Church Africa is something of a record holder – one in every nine priests, one in every four seminarians and one in every six lay Catholics in the world are coming from this continent! Many of the seminaries are bursting at the seams, and – in contrast to other parts of the world – the number of priests is actually growing year by year.
This year, the Little Sisters of the Helpless Elderly (Hermanitas de los Ancianos Desamparados) are celebrating the 145th anniversary of their foundation. Ever since 1873, they have been caring for the poor, the lonely and the helpless elderly.