Welcome to the Carmelite Regional Vicariate
Burundi - Rwanda
“Zelo zelatus sum pro Domino Deo exercituum”
(I Kings, 19,10)
Carmel is a religious family made up of the Religious Order of Discalced Carmelites (Priests and Sisters), numerous Religious and Lay Institutes, the Secular Order (OCDS), and organized groups such as the Scapular Movement and the Friends of Carmel.
The motto of the Carmelite Order is: “Zelo zelatus sum pro Domino Deo exercituum” (“With zeal I have been zealous for the Lord God of Hosts.”) This powerful quote comes from Elijah in the First Book of Kings, 19:10.
Carmelites are inspired by Jesus Christ, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and the prophet Elijah, who was related historically to Mount Carmel. In the 16th century, the Carmelite family was reformed by two eminent Spanish Mystics: St. Teresa of Jesus of Ávila and St. John of the Cross.
The Discalced Carmelite Fathers arrived in Poland in 1604. In 1617, the Polish Province of the Holy Spirit became the first six provinces in the Carmelite Discalced Order.
In 1971, the 11 Polish Carmelites began missionary work in Mpinga, Burundi. Today, Discalced Carme-lites are alive in Burundi and Rwanda through five communities of Brothers, three communities of Carmelite Sisters, numerous Carmelite Religious Institutes, and the Secular Order, among others.
According to our Carmelite Motto and our spiritual parents, St. Teresa of Ávila and St. John of the Cross, we seek to be contemplative friends of God, forming communities of prayer and service to the people of God. To this end, we are engaged in ministries of service and presence in those two countries: Retreats and spiritual development in our spirituality centers in Butare and Gitega; formation to the priesthood of the Carmelite Brothers; parish work in Musongati and Gahunga; spiritual accompaniment and teaching; and other apostolates such as the spiritual formation of local brothers and sisters in Butare, Bujumbura, and Gitega.
The 50 years
of the Carmelite Presence in Burundi and Rwanda