I have spent the last couple of days in Huissen (the Netherlands) with the community of Dominican friars there. The vocations team of the Dutch province extended an invitation to the vocations directors of the North European region to meet with them and to reflect on how we as Dominican friars promote vocations and assist people to join the Order. Along with other Dominican vocations directors from the region, we were joined by the assistant of the Master of the Order for this area - Irish Dominican fr Vivian Boland OP (see previous blog post).
The fraternal exchanges of information, the openess of the Dutch Dominicans to the reality of having very few vocations in the last number of decades, the reflections on the cultural, religious and social contexts in which vocations ministry takes place in Europe, the challenges to promoting the Dominican vocation in a post-modern world were among the highlights of these days together.
However, it was the appreciation of our common Dominican vocation as preachers and brothers in a European setting that allowed for frank discussion and exchanges and with optimism for the future. Some of the outcomes of the meeting will be shared with the whole Order in the coming weeks with the hope that there will be a wider meeting of vocations directors for all the Dominican provinces in Europe in the not too distant furure.