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Convocation to the General Chapter of Providence

Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, o.p. Master of the Order 

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of the Entire Order of Preachers


and to each and every one of the Friars, Nuns and Sisters
together with all the members of the Family of St Dominic


The General Chapter which was held in the Priory of our Father St Dominic, Bologna, Italy, in 1998 decreed (n° 295) that "the next Elective General Chapter shall be held in the Priory of St Thomas Aquinas, in Providence, Rhode Island, in the Province of St Joseph in the United States of America, on days between the beginning of July and the Solemn Feast of our Holy Father Dominic in the year 2001 - precise dates to be determined later."

Therefore, since it pertains to me to convoke the General Chapter (cf LCO 413, II), I declare it convoked, by means of this letter.

And so, by the authority of my office, I determine that the General Chapter of Priors Provincial and Diffinitors will begin on the 10th day of July, at the Priory of St Thomas Aquinas (Providence, Rhode Island), in the Province of St Joseph, United States of America.

1. All the capitular friars should be present at this priory from the 9th day of July. They should advise the Secretary General of the Chapter of the time of their arrival.

2. The Chapter will begin on the 10th day of July with the celebration of Mass of the Holy Spirit. Then, once the procedural method will have been voted (cf LCO 417, II, 1), the capitular friars will decide issues of calendar (specifically the time to be devoted to informal sessions) and the daily timetable, and will elect the members of the steering commission of the Chapter (cf Procedural Norms for the General Chapter, art. 2). Then the work of the commissions will begin.

3. I very gladly hereby dispense the Socii of Provincials who do not have a vote in the election of the Master of the Order from attending the Chapter.

4. I recall n° 407 of the Constitutions, for the sake of greater clarity in relation to the identity of those who are voting member of the next Elective General Chapter:

"The following gather and have a vote in the General Chapter:

I. In the election of the Master of the Order:

1° ex-Masters of the Order;
2° each Prior Provincial;
3° from all provinces, the diffinitor to the General Chapter;
4° the vice-provincials and vicars general who are mentioned in LCO, 257, II;
5° for provinces which have at least one hundred professed friars, excluding those who are in vicariates, the socius of the diffinitor to the General Chapter;
6° for provinces which have at least four hundred professed friars, excluding those assigned to the vicariates, the socius to the Prior Provincial who attends the General Chapter;
7° for a province which has at least ten but not more than one hundred friars assigned to its vicariates or in the houses of the province situated outside its territory, one delegate, elected from among them, in accordance with the Province's Statute; for those provinces, however, who have between 101 and 200 friars assigned to the vicariates, they elect one further delegate; and so on.
8° for the friars who are assigned directly to one of the houses under the immediate jurisdiction of the Master of the Order, two delegates, if the total number of friars is less than one hundred, and three if they are one hundred or more, elected in accordance with LCO 407 bis.

II. In matters to be dealt with after the election of the Master:

1° The Master of the Order just elected;
2° ex-Masters of the Order;
3° all those mentioned above in 1, 2°-8°."

5. I shall also announce at the opportune moment the names of the Assistants of the Master of the Order (cf LCO 410, 1).

6. In accordance with LCO 414, fr George SCHOMMER of the Province of St Joseph in the United States of America, has been nominated Secretary General of the Chapter. Frs John LANGLOIS and Carlos QUIJANO, of the same Province, will be his assistants.

7. Latin, English, French and Spanish are the languages the capitular friars may use.

8. Access to the Priory of St Thomas Aquinas (Providence, Rhode Island), in the Province of St Joseph in the United States of America, is prohibited to all other friars while the Chapter is being held, unless by express permission granted, in writing, by the Master of the Order.

9. The friars who have the right and the opportunity to make petitions or propose questions to be treated at the Chapter (cf LCO 415, II - III and ACG 1980, n° 264), are to send them to the Curia Generalitia before the end of January 2001, in the form as set out in LCO 415, IV, 2, in order that they may be communicated as soon as possible to the capitular friars and in order that the Master of the Order can institute apposite commissions, according to the different themes (LCO 415, V, 1).

10. The capitular friars, once they will have received this dossier of petitions and of questions, and a list of the commissions, ought immediately to notify the Curia their choice of three commissions to which they would be willing to belong, in order of preference.

11. Priors Provincial ought to send to the General Curia, two months before the beginning of the Chapter, a copy of their triennial report, in accordance with LCO 416: this report ought to deal with questions including the formation of the friars, common life, the four priorities of the Order in the life and apostolic activity of the Province; a futher copy then also be sent to the General Chapter so that it can be further copied for the use of the capitulars.

12. I recommend that all our friars, nuns, sisters and laity pray to God for the happy outcome of the Chapter, and avail especially of the opportunities offered by the liturgy, namely

· at the conventual Mass: Mass for various intentions (for a Council or Synod, Mass on the occasion of a spiritual or pastoral congress, for the evangelisation of peoples); also votive Masses (of the Holy Spirit, of our Holy Father St Dominic); prayers of the faithful.

· in the course of the Divine Office: special intentions during the intercessions at Lauds and Vespers.

· and in other gatherings for prayer.

Farewell in the Lord! I gladly impart the blessing of our Father St Dominic, and I ask you to pray for me, for my assistants and the other members of the Curia.

Given in Rome, at the Curia Generalitia, on the 7th day of October, in the Year of Our Lord 2000.

fr Timothy Radcliffe, OP
Master of the Order

fr Thomas McCarthy OP
Secretary General of the Order
Prot. 50/00/1542


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