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.