Sunday, June 30, 2013

Master of the Dominican Order on the joy and challenge of new vocations

 Master of the Dominican Order - fr Bruno Cadore OP

The Dominican friars throughout the world will send delegates from the various provinces to a General Chapter in Trogir (Croatia) from July 22nd to August 8th next. It is a General Chapter of diffinitors which will spend three weeks looking at and reviewing the legislation of the Order as well as planning for the future. As part of the preparation for the General Chapter, the Master of the Order, fr Bruno Cadore OP presents to the chapter and each brother in the Order a document outlining the state of the Order at the present moment - Relatio de statu Ordinis.

It is a wide ranging document covering all aspects of Dominican life - particularly the four pillars of Dominican life - prayer, study, community and preaching. In his 'relatio', the Master writes about they joys and challenges associated with new vocations and new members of the Order. It is worth sharing with readers of this blog:

"Initial formation is a major task for the great majority of the provinces and for the Order as a whole. It is really an immense grace that we are receiving new brothers, their generosity, what it is they dream of achieving as Preachers in a world of profound change, the 'worlds' and the 'cultures' which they bring with them to the Order, as well as their calls to witness to the friendship of God with humanity and the announcing of the Gospel. All of this ought to stimulate our apostolic creativity. How are we to open with them ways for this generosity to find its full realisation, without the long but necessary years of initial formation and institutional study stifling the flame? What ought to be the specificity of formation and studies for this? What is the specific service of the Church for which we think the Order has a duty to prepare them? How can we propose to them studies which are not just those that meet the requirements for priestly ministry? How are we to deploy well the promotion of vocations (some provinces really neglect this aspect too much), without forgetting the promotion of the cooperator brother at a time in the Church when there is a call to strengthen the lay ministry of evangelisation? All of these questions occupy the many superiors and masters of formation in the Order but they ought to be carried by the friars as a whole. It is important, for example, that everyone shares a common attachment to the life in which the young are being formed. In certain places, the development of collaborations seems indispensable in order not to exhaust the energies of some brothers."

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