Last update : 2001-07-18

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The Chapter's Chronicle

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July 13th

Silentium pater praedicatorum et pater electorum

It 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.

About 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.

The 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.

The 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.

Miscellaneous.

We 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.

The 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.

[Translated from Spanish] puce

 

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