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The Chapter's Chronicle

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July 14th

Te Deum laudamus. Election of the Master of the Order.

The awaited day began with a solemnn Mass of the Holy Spirit with songs and readings in the three official languages. Fr. Norman Haddad, the Provincial of Saint Joseph province presided. With him at the altar, clothed in liturgical vestments were representatives from each continent. The American representative was an Argentinean; the first reading was read in Spanish by an Argentinean layperson…. It was as if everything predicted the nationality of the new Master of the Order. The homily spoke of the Dominican as a preacher and also as an elector, that we are here because we have heard the Word, we have incarnated it and we have been sealed by the Spirit. Most moving were the final words of the Mass thanking Timothy for all that he has done throughout these past nine years: for discovering new fields of mission, for his championing the development of the Dominican Family, for his compassion. He has taught us to put our hands in his hands and those of the Order, and he, in those nine years, put his hands in ours. This expression of thanks ended in an unforgettable moment of great and thunderous applause which seemed to have no end. The photographs of Timothy's face have recorded how moved he really was.

The election was held according to the norms of "ordo servandus in electione Magistri Ordinis" and our Constitutions. In the second scrutiny Friar Carlos Alfonso Azpiroz Costa, until now the procurator general of the Order, was elected Master. Although he was present at the Chapter, he had no voice and was not participating in the election. Called into the assembly, he was received with great applause in the chapter room. It was the third applause he had received. Carlos was not present for the first two which happened at the recounting of the votes which gave him the absolute majority and at the final moment with Timothy's announcement that he had been elected. Carlos accepted immediately. His first words were, "I hope that the Order will not enter into a crisis after this election."

Accompanied by the joyous ringing of the bells, he followed in procession to the chapel for the ritual and singing of the Te Deum. The provincial of the first historical province, that of Spain, prayed for God's help for Friar Carlos. After a reading which invited one to understand the responsibilities of government as service, "I am in the midst of you as one who serves", came a profession of faith and his oath to complete his responsibility according to the teachings of the Church's magisterium. It was done in Latin and the new Master proceeded without a moment's hesitation.

The afternoon was free for a trip around the campus or the city to talk about all that had happened. The telephone and e-mail lines were abuzz.

Later in the afternoon we had a solemn celebration of Vespers in English. It was a festival of light. We began with the Paschal Vigil and the procession of the Pascal Candle from the back of the chapel to the chancel, offering on the way the light of the participants' candles. The provincial of Chicago presided. After the chanting of Vespers we processed, first around the Paschal candle to relight the our candles and later to a sculpture outside the chapel which represents Mary bestowing the rosary to St. Dominic. The Salve was sung and the O Spem Miram was said, as the new Master made a beautiful "dedication of the Order to Mary".

The day ended happily for those who arranged it and we admired the rapidity and good taste of Fr. Yves Bériault, of the Canadian province, who is responsible for the communications, for enriching the Chapter's web page with many memorable photographs.

A Short Biography of the New Master

Fr. Carlos Azpiroz Costa was born in Buenos Aires (Argentina) on October 30, 1956. He entered the Friars Preachers (Dominicans) in 1980, was professed in 1981, and was ordained a priest on August 14, 1987.

He attended elementary and secondary school at the Marist Brothers' Champagnat School in Buenos Aires. He studied in the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina, "Santa Maria de Buenos Aires", in the School of Law and Political Science. He studied philosophy in the St. Thomas Aquinas University of the North (School of Philosophy) and theology in the Order's Center of Institutional Studies, "Santo Domingo", which is affiliated with the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina. He obtained a degree in canon law in 1991 at the Angelicum (St.Thomas Aquinas Pontifical University) in Rome, School of Canon Law. In 1992 he became a Doctor in canon law with the thesis: The Provincial Chapter in the Constitutions of the Dominican Order (a study of comparison with the 1932 Constitutions). It was published in Rome at the Angelicum in 1992.

Teaching experience: Teacher at Our Lady of the Rosary of the Miracle School(Dominican Sisters of the Rosary, Argentina); professor of Theological and Christological Anthropology in the school of Economic and Social Sciences at the Pontifical U.C.A.(Buenos Aires); assistant professor of the Social Doctrine of the Church and Dogmatic Theology in the school of Law and Political Science of the Pontifical U.C.A.; professor of social Philosophy and Moral Theology in the school of Philosophy at the St. Thomas Aquinas University of the North.

Professor of Canon Law: Introduction to the Law at the University F.A.S.T.A.; Canon Law at the Order's Center of Institutional Studies in Buenos Aires; Canon Law on the Consecrated Life and the Government of Religious Institutions at the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina of Buenos Aires; at the Máximo San José School (Jesuits), affiliated with the University of the Saviour; at the St. Thomas Aquinas Center of Studies(Buenos Aires), belonging to the Aragon province of Dominicans.

In the School of Canon Law at the Angelicum, he was professor of the Canon Law on the Consecrated Life, The Government of Religious Institutions, Comparative Studies and the Canon Law on the Consecrated Life from 1997 to 2001.

Responsibilities in the Order: In the St. Augustine province of Argentina: province secretary; prior of St. Martin de Porres Convent (Novitiate) en Mar del Plata; prior of St. Dominic Convent (Center of Studies) en Buenos Aires; member of the Governing Board of St. Thomas Aquinas University of the North.

In Rome: Rector of Santa Sabina basilica; Procurator General of the Order from 1997 until 2001.

[Translated from Spanish] puce

 

Design & management : Fr. Yves Bériault, o.p.