Last update : 2001-07-30

Chapter's e-mail


The Chapter's Chronicle

bleu line

July 26th

Feast of St. Anne, the patroness of Québec

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Joachim and St. Anne, but especially St. Anne who is the patroness of French Brittany and Québec. The Canadian provincial, who presided at the Eucharist, explained how the Bretons brought both their devotion and the patronage of St. Anne to Quebec. It is possible that they also brought their spirit of autonomy in the face of large nations. In his homily he underlined how important it is not to forget our origins, the tradition which has forged us. Today is the day of our grandparents, the day for recognizing what we have received from them, a day to reflect on how we enjoy the presence of our elders in community and to appreciate how much we owe them. Friar Yves Bériault, whom we never tire of congratulating for the magnificent Chapter web site, accompanied the provincial.

We worked in commissions. One of these set a record of 45 minutes spent on a discussion to select one word which all could accept to express their opinion. We hope that word doesn't come up for discussion again in the plenary session. The Commissions on Contemplation and the Nuns have maintained joint meetings. That's very interesting. The nuns commented on their experiences in contemplation and other things inseparable from it such as the common life, vocational discernment, and the healing value of prayer.

Three bishops from the United States came to greet the chapter members and the new and former Masters of the Order. Bishop Thomas (Cajetan) Kelly, OP was clear in telling us that the Dominicans have not always been fully appreciated in the Church of the United States. In 1808 a diocesan priest strongly influenced by Belgian Jansenism wrote to his bishop that the Dominicans had violent natures and were guilty of arrogance and continuous confrontations with the inhabitants of Kentucky. Dominicans continue to minister in Kentucky and today, he said, the Church still needs them as well as all the Dominican Family.

Bishop Bertrand Boland has known Timothy since he was prior at Oxford and the former passed a sabbatical year there with the brethren. He insisted that the necessity of dialogue is something proper to our preaching, and to the lives of our great heroes -- St. Dominic, St. Thomas and Bartolomé de las Casas.

Bishop Bernard O'Grady, bishop of the Solomon Islands, appreciated all that both Timothy and the St. Joseph province have done and are doing for his diocese. The province has even given another friar, Bishop Chris Cardone, to be his auxiliary. He insisted that the Order's theologians fearlessly investigate today's problems, such as all that refers to bioethics.

The Master thanked them for their visit: "Dear brother bishops, those of us here are not bishops, (alluding to the topic these days about whether the cooperator brothers ought to be called non-clerical or non-ordained friars). According to the Basic Constitutions we are cooperators of the order of bishops; surely in the hall there are vocations to be bishops. I have noticed that some caress the badge they wear on their breast as if it were a pectoral [cross]." Since one of the bishops had mentioned Bartolomé de las Casas, Carlos then announced that, incidentally, in November another Bartholomew would be beatified. Friar Bartholomew of the Martyrs was Portuguese, a great theologian of Trent, and advisor to St. Charles Borromeo, another bishop. The precise date of the beatification is November 4th, the Master's saint's day -and that of the Pope! In the same relaxed tone he said that the chapter had been discussing whether to give the bishops active or passive voice, and he finished by inviting them to lunch with their Dominican brethren [and sisters].

Afternoon liturgy began with an "entrance into prayer" which consisted of a beautiful song interpreted by the Canadian provincial. After the ringing of the bells, always played with white gloves, everyone entered and Vespers began. The president, Friar André Villenueve, on his knees, lit the candle and entoned a song to the light. With this original touch the Vespers proceeded with customary French solemnity.

After dinner there was a video. With the help of Spielberg, a good number of chapter members went in search of the lost Ark.


(Translated from Spanish)


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