July 7th, 8th, and 9th, more than 200 Dominican friars, nuns, religious
and lay people arrived at Providence, RI (USA) to participate in
the General Elective Chapter. The Providence College community graciously
organized an effective transport system which brought the Chapter
members from the different airports to the Chapter site.
seat of the Chapter is the Providence College Campus, a truly
splendid place! Providence College is a university that consists
of several faculties as well as approximately fifty buildings in
a well kept green area, with beautiful flowers and large trees.
Ten percent of the professors are Dominicans (the ratio of professor/student
is 1/14). In this privilege place the vocals representing more than
a hundred countries of the world will reflect on the mission of
the Order in the world today.
five o'clock in the afternoon, testimonial letters or credential
were presented. This event was followed by the chanting of solemn
vespers in the magnificent church - very beautiful, functional,
and almost brand new; in the three official languages of the Chapter
including Latin. At the beginning of vespers, the General Secretary
read the message of His Holiness John Paul II to the General Chapter.
Announcements and recommendations of every kind were made after
dinner so that everything may run smoothly.
July 10th, the Chapter will begin. It will end on August 8th, the
Solemnity of our Holy Father and founder Saint Dominic of Guzman.
previous days have been lived in a climate of intense fraternity,
with emotional scenes of friars: meeting one another for the first
time and of friars that had not seen each other for a long time,
but all were united by the same Dominican ideal and charism. Conversation
flowed spontaneously, memories were recalled, and greetings and
fraternal embraces did not allow us to voice the question that is
in the mind of all of us: "who will be the next Master of the
Order?". We shall see