Last update : 2001-08-01

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The Chapter's Chronicle

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July 29th

Dominican Family Day

One only needed enter into the church to tell that the celebration would be special. We were received by music made by new instruments with new rhythms and good volume, like those of the new generation. There were percussion and rhythm, electric guitars, piano and dance. The music from the US was beautiful, mostly from the South. Fr. Ángel Méndez, from the Province of Saint Martin de Porres, danced to the rhythm with great feeling and sensational physical preparation carrying the book of the Gospels to the ambo. That was the most original and lovely part of the celebration.

Fr. Alberto Rodríguez, Provincial of the Province of Saint Martin de Porres, presided. His assistants were from the same province. Among them was Fr. Brian Pierce (number 110, speaking in English), who preached a beautiful homily, alternating between English and Spanish, which he spoke perfectly. He invited us to knock at God's door and that of the other. God's door at times is somewhat slow to open, but always opens. The other's door …? Before we respond, it is advisable to know if we are willing to open our own door. Applied to the Dominican Family, whose feast we celebrate today, the monasteries and convents of friars and sisters could open their doors so that it would not be necessary to knock; it would be easy to listen, to hear, to love each other, to help one another. And to heat the voice of Christ, who is at our door and calls.

This Sunday we had a half-day excursion, because there was a gathering of the Dominican Family in the afternoon. Some went out in cars to see the most representative things of Providence. This beautiful and tranquil city does not offer much in the way of antiquities, because it is a young city. We were told that it was here that the Independence from England was first declared, in it was established the first American Baptist Church and we visited the campus of Brown University. More than a few of us stayed on the campus of Providence College to rest or to finish previous work, it seems that yesterday's sessions alerted the public to the fact that 127 Dominicans trying to redact the Acts can take more time than was planned.

In the afternoon there was a Solemn Vespers service with the Dominican Family. The group from the morning's celebration led the evening celebration as well. The Dominican Family in attendance was not very numerous, and was essentially feminine. These days, about 10 religious women come to our celebrations - all young, slender and very pious. They also came to this evening's celebration and formed the youngest part of the Dominican Family. In the presbytery there were three hangings, made by Sr. Mary Grace Tul, OP from the Monastery of Saint Dominic in Washington. They represent Dominican life in community, participation in the Dominican Family, enculturation and the evangelisation of the young and young adults.

Fr. Norman Haddad, Provincial of the Province of Saint Joseph, welcomed the assistants. He reminded us of his words on the day of the election: The Master is not alone; he can rely on a great family united in mission. Fr. Edward Ruane, from the Province of Saint Albert the Great, presided. At the end, the Master of the Order, demonstrating his humoristic talents in his first official discourse, said a few words in English and in Spanish. He said that he had seen a parable of the Dominican Family in the sister that, without saying a word, directed with her precious gestures five friars, who with bells and white gloves (like Mickey Mouse) accompanied some songs. They were friars who obeyed the gesture of a sister. Obedience comes from "ob-audire". It has to do, therefore, with "listen". In our Order, the superior must listen to the brothers.

After the Vespers service, there was a reception for all. In a familial atmosphere we shared the table and fraternity. We continued the evening with a concert by the group who played at the Mass and at Vespers. They came from Tennessee, West Virginia and Michigan. It was a complete success, with some very beautiful songs. Thank you, Fr. Marchionda. puce

(Translated from Spanish)


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