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2001-07-05

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Thank you !

Fr. Timothy Radcliffe OP 

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Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, o.p.My dear brothers and sisters,

      My books are packed, which is a sure sign that a Dominican is about to move. There is only one last thing that I must do before I go to the airport to fly to the General Chapter, and that is to say a brief word of thanks to the Order and the whole Dominican Family. Everywhere, during these nine years, I have been welcomed as your brother, with immense kindness, love and generosity. When I was elected I asked again for God's mercy and yours and it has always been given.

      My heart and mind have been stretched in ways that I could never have anticipated, and for this I give thanks too. There has been the immense joy of discovering the vibrancy and the diversity of the Order. This is a time that is full of promise for us in most parts of the world. In so many places I have had the extraordinary joy of meeting young friars and sisters, at the beginning of their Dominican life, who have filled me with hope for the future. Do not be discouraged ever! Above all I give thanks to God for all the thousands of Dominicans who give themselves to the mission of the Order in ways that are sometimes undramatic and unnoticed, faithful to their commitment to preach the gospel 'until death'. You are truly a sign of God's fidelity in Christ.

      I have also been confronted with the sorrow and the violence of this world. I never knew before what this meant. Nothing has touched me so much as my trips to Rwanda, Burundi, the Congo, Algeria, Iraq, Chiappas, the barrios in many cities in Latin America and so many other places of war and poverty. I give thanks to God for the extraordinary witness to hope that our brethren and sisters are giving in such places. I pray that the whole Dominican Family will remember and support them. My only regret is that often my visits have been so rapid, because of the immense demands of the programme.

      I give thanks that I have had the privilege of serving the Order in this way, and I give thanks that I have now arrived at the end of my mandate. Now I will take a sabbatical break. I have not had the time to think about where or how, but I would like to have moments of rest, contemplation, solitude and study. Many people now ask what I will do then. It is marvellous that I do not know. That is our freedom. I will see what my superiors will wish me to do.

      May my successor receive the same wonderful support as me, and may St Dominic bless us all with his courage and joy.

Your brother in St Dominic

fr. Timothy Radcliffe OP puce

 

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