pater praedicatorum et pater electorum
was a beautiful morning, like an invitation to silence and reconciliation.
Morning Prayer was in French and Fr. Guy Rivard (Canadian) preached.
At the end of the prayer the more than 200 participants left in
rigorous silence which was observed until it was time for the reconciliation
service. The capitulars strolled in the precious and well cared-for
campus. They talked only with God and themselves; they did not even
disturb the agile squirrels of the campus somewhat surprised and
incredulous amongst so many white habits.
mid-morning we were invited to the reconciliation service. The English-language
group made great efforts to prepare a serious penitential celebration.
The liturgy here is wonderful every day. Fr. Henry Parol of the
Solomon Islands preached. There was individual confession (since
there would obviously be no shortage of priests here). Some official
confessors were named for each language group and they were given
places in the church. One could also administer and receive the
sacrament strolling around the campus. It seemed that the official
confessors had enough clients as it was. But there were also many
confessors and penitents other than those officials.
afternoon was dedicated to the tractatus (the common dialogue and
reflection on the candidates). First, the most eligible friars were
invited to introduce themselves briefly and give a presentation
of the Order from their point of view. They then responded to questions
from the capitulars. The session was absolutely confidential and
only the vocals, the secretary and the translators were present.
The only thing that came out of the room was silence.
mass was in Spanish. It was joyful and warm. Fr. Manuel Uña
(the provincial of Andalucía) presided. The homily was warm,
ardent and magnificently proclaimed. His heart spoke of his beloved
Cuba. There were beautiful thoughts such as how he had received
from his parents faith, from the brothers in the Order the wisdom
to share and preach that faith in community and from Cuba he learned
to trust those who do not have that faith and who seek it ... all
around a presentation of our life like the life Jesus led - a pilgrim
life, and God walking always with his people, in the midst of difficulties
that same Jesus proclaimed with the Gospel. During the offertory,
Fr. Miguel de Burgos, from the same province, showed his singing
qualities with a beautiful song that spoke of a troubadour who also
travelled light of baggage, with his song as his weapon and seeking
nothing but friends. Everything was very well done.
have already mentioned that the church, which we almost inaugurated,
is beautiful and functional. There are no images, but there are
stained glass windows. The overall theme for the windows (apart
from a few Gospel windows) is the life of Saint Dominic. Many personalities
of the Order appear in a window: Saint Martin de Porres, Saint Juan
Macias, Bartolomé de las Casas, the nun Chikaba, Saint Rose
of Lima, Saint Catherine of Siena, Saint Thomas Aquinas ... none
of these spoke English, but here they pray mostly in English. Surely
these saints hear and understand the prayers in the globalized liturgy.
choir in Spanish is accompanied by the discovery of the chapter:
Fr. Fausto Sbaffoni, provincial of the Roman province, as percussionist;
the guitar of the provincial of Ireland and the clarinet of the
liturgist Fr. Marchionda. Today, the Spanish-speaking saints and
venerables who abound in this temple would be very contented.