From the site of the Dominican Order: www.op.org)
Dominican Month for Peace: Letter of the Master of the Order to all the members of the Dominican Family
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Warm greetings from Rome!
After the hectic activity of our Jubilee Year, we are now trying to follow up on the many new commitments we have made!
One of the recurrent themes from our Jubilee was the importance of us renewing our preaching to be advocates of peace (like Dominic) in a world torn apart by many forms of violence and war. There is hardly a country anywhere that is spared from this harsh reality that breeds fear, insecurity, and the assertion of narrow ethnic and religious identities, that result in enormous suffering, death and displacement of entire communities.
While many Dominicans are already involved in forms of preaching that are bringing hope to such situations, we would now like to promote a global Dominican solidarity for all such efforts. We therefore propose to identify a period each year when Dominicans everywhere will pray for peace, and will offer solidarity for a particular project for peace.
The period we propose is Advent, when we are all waiting for the incarnation of the Prince of Peace. Our focus on Peace will then start on the First Sunday of Advent and culminate on the Church’s World Day of Peace on 1 January. Each December will therefore be our Month for Peace.
Our focus of solidarity this year (2017) will be on Colombia. There are several Dominican brothers and sisters who have been very engaged during the most difficult periods of the war there. Now, with all the more reason, they are supporting the implementation of the Peace Accord that was signed in 2016. It is their appeal for solidarity that has inspired us to institute this Dominican Month for Peace. We therefore invite all members of the Dominican Family to join this solidarity effort.
In order to identify our focuses in future years, we have invited our sisters of DSI to join us to elaborate its direction. We call on our Dominican entities everywhere to reflect on their own efforts for peace that would benefit from a global Dominican solidarity. We then invite any entity which has developed a concrete project to make a request to be the focus of our Dominican Month for Peace in the years to come. This request can be made through the Order’s General Promoter for Justice and Peace or the DSI International Promoter for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation.
2017 Focus on Colombia
You may have heard about the historic Peace Accord that was signed in Colombia in November 2016 between the government and the oldest and largest guerrilla group in the region, the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). After more than 50 years of confrontation, the parties to the armed conflict have decided to end one of the most tragic and devastating cycles of violence in this country and in Latin America. In a world where the threat of war is the growing tendency, this effort to build peace needs to be strongly encouraged.
For several decades, Dominican brothers and sisters have been involved in the accompaniment of communities affected by the conflict in various parts of the country, one of the areas most affected being Catatumbo. This year’s campaign will encourage the whole Order during the Month of Peace (December) to support them in their efforts to forge peace and reconciliation in Colombia through:
o Each entity is asked to organise at least one Prayer Vigil and Solemn Eucharist for Peace and Reconciliation in Colombia.
o This can be done creatively to raise awareness about the peace process in Colombia and how it relates to the local reality.
o Our monasteries of nuns are especially requested to strengthen the project through their prayers throughout the month.
o We are all asked to incorporate this focus on peace in Colombia into our ordinary Advent preaching.
3. Collection of Works of Art:
o All artists within the Order are invited to contribute towards the process of peace and reconciliation in three possible ways:
o Produce a work of art to be sent to Colombia to be placed in a space of solidarity;
o Produce a work of art to be placed in local symbolic spaces in the home country to raise local and global awareness of the need for peace and reconciliation; or
o Offer a training course in Colombia to stimulate and train local Dominicans and other local people to develop their artistic skills that can contribute towards peace and reconciliation.
4. A Collection or Financial Contribution:
o In order to support the establishment of a network of peacemakers, “Pacificultores”, made up of people who promote a culture of peace in Catatumbo, we are asked for a contribution that will be used to:
o develop an Institute of Research and Formation in the Diocese of Tibú to train local church and community members in skills to become peacemakers in the region.
o produce educational resources and other materials that can assist the development of a culture of peace.
o Inspire effective peace-building actions.
5. Contact with the local Colombian Embassy:
o Ensure that the local embassy of Colombia is informed about the Order’s focus on solidarity with Colombia’s Peace Process.
o Invite the ambassador and other embassy officials to participate in any activities organised.
o The embassy is encouraged to address the concerns raised by Dominicans in Colombia.
How to send contributions?
Financial Donations: via the Provincial Curia
Banco de Bogotá, checking account 052034055, SWIFT BBOGCOBB.
Through the Intennediary Bank Citibank, New York Swift CITIUS33.
BB account 10922'754 ABA 021000089
Works of Art: Write to the General Curia: Promoter for Justice and Peace firstname.lastname@example.org
General Information: via the Provincial Curia San Luis Beltrán Province of Colombia (Bogotá)
Diocese of Tibú: Carrera 7 n.º 4-40 Barrio El Carmen. Tel: 0057 5663289 email@example.com
Attached please find a pamphlet with information about Colombia and about the Month of Peace this year. We also attach some testimonies of local people that can be useful in the organisation of the month.
1. We request each entity to identify a coordinator and a team of people to promote and coordinate this project.
2. Please inform our promoters of Justice and Peace, fr Mike Deeb firstname.lastname@example.org and Sr Cecilia Espenilla email@example.com of the name of the coordinator appointed for your entity.
Thank you very much for your cooperation! We pray that, through this small action, solidarity amongst us all can grow and, in turn, enable our preaching mission to have a greater impact in bringing Good News to our world.
In St Dominic,
Fr Bruno Cadoré
Master of the Order
Fr Mike Deeb
General Promoter for Justice and Peace
Sr Cecilia Espenilla
DSI International Promoter for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation
Rome, the 1st October 2017