TIMOTHY RADCLIFFE, OP
OF SACRED THEOLOGY
HUMBLE MASTER AND SERVANT
of the Entire Order of Preachers
LETTER OF CONVOCATION TO THE NEXT GENERAL CHAPTER
THE PROVINCIALS AND CONVENTUAL PRIORS
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."
since it pertains to me to convoke the General Chapter (cf LCO 413,
II), I declare it convoked, by means of this letter.
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.
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.
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
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
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:
following gather and have a vote in the General Chapter:
In the election of the Master of the Order:
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.
In matters to be dealt with after the election of the Master:
The Master of the Order just elected;
2° ex-Masters of the Order;
3° all those mentioned above in 1, 2°-8°."
I shall also announce at the opportune moment the names of the Assistants
of the Master of the Order (cf LCO 410, 1).
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.
Latin, English, French and Spanish are the languages the capitular
friars may use.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
in Rome, at the Curia Generalitia, on the 7th day of October, in
the Year of Our Lord 2000.
Timothy Radcliffe, OP
Master of the Order
Thomas McCarthy OP
Secretary General of the Order