The General Chapter of the Dominican Order takes place in Rome from September 1st to 21st 2010. One of the tasks of this Chapter will be to elect the 87th Master of the Order. This will be the 290th General Chapter in the history of the Order since the Chapters of 1468, 1642 and 1952 were annulled or did not meet.
The members of the Chapter, or capitulars, include priors provincial, vice-provincials and vicars general, who are the superiors of the provincial or regional entities in the Order, and elected delegates of the provinces and vicariates throughout the world, as well as the Master of the Order, Carlos Azpiroz Costa, and the former Master, Timothy Radcliffe. There will be 130 delegates to the Chapter. In addition there will be six guests from the Dominican Family and six members of the Master’s curia or council: the syndic or bursar of the Order; the socii, or general councillors who have responsibility for the Intellectual Life and the Apostolic Life; and three socii, or general councillors, responsible for the regions of Latin America and the Caribbean, Central and Eastern Europe, and North-West Europe and Canada.
The General Chapter, which is the highest authority in the Dominican Order, is an assembly of friars representing the Provinces of the Order, coming together to discuss and define matters pertaining to the good of the entire Order. When necessary it elects the Master of the Order. From the very beginnings of the Dominican Order, one can distinguish two types of General Chapter: Chapters of Provincials and Chapters of Diffinitors. To these is added the General Chapter, comprised both of Provincials and Diffinitors.
The General Chapter is above all a legislative assembly. In preparation for the General Chapter, a series of videos on various aspects of the life of the Dominican Order have been prepared as you will see below. They give a good insight into the life, works and concerns of the Order worldwide and should be of interest to those interested in the Dominican vocation.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
The Monastery church at Prouilhe
Warm greetings to regular readers of this blog from Prouilhe in the south of France. I am accompanying the novice master and the novices of our province on a trip through France and Spain to the various sites of interest associated with beginnings of the Dominican Order. We began the pilgrimage in Toulouse, arrived in Prouilhe and Fanjeaux today and we will proceed to Calaruega in the next few days. It has been a long time since I was last in these parts, but am enjoying the days of prayer and pilgrimage very much.
Pictures and updates will follow in the coming days.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Archbishop DiNoia OP
Vocations to the Dominican Order across the world remain quite steady, but there has been a significantly large increase in new vocations to one province of the Order in the United States, namely the Saint Joseph Province. That province recently held a provincial chapter to reflect on their life and mission but also to plan for the future. As part of their reflections on their new circumstances (namely, the upsurge in vocations to the province in recent years) they invited one of their brothers to shed some insight on the matter from a historical, ecclesial and cultural perspective. The reflection was given by Archbishop Augustine DiNoia OP of the Saint Joseph Province, who is also secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the discipline of the Sacraments at the Vatican. This is by far the best analysis of vocational interest in the Dominican Order that I have come across - and it is essential reading not just for those interested in the Dominican way of life, but essential reading for all Dominicans!
Here are some quotes from his excellent presentation:
From an ecclesial perspective:
"In the end, God is sending us these vocations because the Dominican charism is urgently needed in the Church today..........Our tradition is constituted by a unique convergence of qualities: optimism about the rationality and fundamental goodness of the natural order; an abiding certitude that divine grace and mercy are sheer gifts, unmerited and otherwise unattainable; a healthy realism about the peril of the human condition apart from this grace and mercy; a determination to maintain a God's-eye-view of everything that exists and everything that happens; an appreciation of the inner intelligibility of everything that God has revealed about himself and us; a wholly admirable resistance to all purely moralistic accounts of the Catholic faith; an unfailing devotion to the Eucharist and the Passion, combined with an unshakable confidence in the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary; a zealous willingness to preach and teach about all this, in season and out, because we are convinced that the world is dying to hear it and dying from not hearing it; and, internally, a commitment to liturgical prayer, to study for the sake of the salvation of souls, and to a capitular mode of governance in a common life consecrated to God by poverty, chastity and obedience. This is a powerful combination, and the Church really does need us to be true to it now more than ever."
From an historical perspective:
"I wish that I could speak more expertly about the significance of these developments when they are considered in the light of current conditions in the Order.......In the first decade of the twenty-first century-which brought a worldwide upswing in vocations to the priesthood and religious life-the province has emerged with a clear sense of its historic Dominican identity and a remarkable degree of institutional and apostolic energy that cannot fail to attract prospective members.......We might also note that the new vocations whom God is drawing to our province have already prompted us to think in new ways about our institutions and commitments."
From a cultural perspective:
"There is something new afoot among the young men being who are today being drawn to the priesthood and religious life, and thus to the Dominican Order. I have noticed it over the past few years, but it seems more pronounced or at least more evident to me in the people born in the mid- to late 80s and early 90s. My sense is that these 20- and 30-somethings have been radicalized by their experience before entering the Order in a way that we were not. I am not certain how they would articulate their experience for themselves. It is as if they had gone to the edge of an abyss and pulled back from it. Whereas we tended to experience modernity (and then post-modernity) as a kind of adventure that never or rarely touched the core of our faith, these 20- to 30- somethings have experienced the moral relativism and eclectic religiosity of the ambient culture-and possibly of their own personal experience- and recognized it as a chaotic but radical alternative to Christianity with which no compromise is possible.
The young men who are being drawn to the Dominican Order today-from God-knows-what kinds of personal and social experiences-know that the post-modern culture of authenticity leads to moral chaos, personally and socially, and they want no part of it. They see-probably by a pure grace of the Holy Spirit, for their family backgrounds and catechetical training surely cannot explain it!-that human authenticity is possible only by living in conformity to Christ, and, in this particular case, to Christ as the Dominicans know and preach him."
The full text of Archbishop DiNoia's talk can be accessed here. To take a look at the Dominican Province of Saint Joseph USA, click here.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Father David Rocks OP, a Dominican of the Irish Province, was ordained priest by Bishop George Stack, auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Westminster at the priory church of Our Lady of the Rosary and Saint Dominic, Southampton Road in London - today July 3rd, the feast of Saint Thomas the Apostle. David was joined by the Provincials of the Irish and English provinces, his community, many brothers of the Irish and English provinces along with his family and friends. Irish Dominican Vocations wishes our brother David every blessing in his priestly ministry. Father David will celebrate Mass in the Dominican church of Saint Catherine of Siena, Newry, Co. Down on Monday next. Below are some images of the presbyteral ordination today:
The entrance procession
The Gospel about to be proclaimed
Bishop George lays hands on the ordinand
Anointing with chrism
Receiving the Chalice and Paten
Father David is vested in his priestly vestements by fr Declan Corish OP
Fr David with Bishop Stack
Thursday, July 1, 2010
David Rocks OP
The friars of the Irish Dominican province are joyfully anticipating the priestly ordination of our brother, David Rocks OP. The ordination will take place on this coming Saturday, July 3rd, 2010 (the feast of Saint Thomas the Apostle) in Saint Dominic's Priory Church, London. The ordaining prelate is Bishop George Stack, auxiliary bishop of the diocese of Westminster.
Brother David, a native of Newry, Co. Down joined the novitiate of the Irish Dominicans in September 2002, and made profession the following year. He completed initial studies at the NUI Maynooth, Co. Kildare and also at Blackfriars, Oxford and was assigned to the Dominican communities of Dublin and Oxford. In recent times, Brother David has been assigned to the Dominican community in London to minister as a deacon in the parish under the care of the friars there.
Irish Dominican Vocations wishes David every blessing as he prepares for ordination and I look forward to attending the ordination ceremony this weekend. Images of the ordiantion will be posted on this blog as soon as they are to hand.