Behold the joyful Master!

Timothy Radcliffe e Gerard Timoner opThe General Chapter of our brothers in Biên Hòa (Vietnam) which started on the 8th of July with is really a communion of brothers who strive to live with one heart and one soul the Legacy left for us by our Blessed Father Dominic.

Fr. Bruno  Cadore, the immediate past Master of the Order, in his homily during the Openig Mass, stressed the importance of our Dominican identity, fraternal Communion and forgiveness, Mission and Service. He explained the significance of the General Chapter and its vital role in the Order. He warmly welcomed his brothers and exhorted them to live well this moment of grace in the big task given to them especially in the election of the new Master General.

A one time Master of the Order, Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, in his homily during the Mass of the Holy Spirit in preparation for the election of the New Master of the Order, said:  “We are also praying for the Spirit to guide us in the election of a new Master of the Order. He needs not to be the bravest person who will liberate us. It is the Holy Spirit who will do that and not the Master of the Order! His main role is to support the Provinces and the brethren to whom the Spirit calls to some courageous mission. There will always be people who will try to squash some new initiative because it is risky; it might not work; we are already doing too much; it might be misunderstood. It’s not safe. The Master’s role is to resist that fear. We have hundreds of wonderful young friars who want to do something a little crazy. We must be realistic but never discourage them. The first thing that the angels said to the women after the resurrection was: ‘Do not be afraid.”

He then continued  saying: “Jesus says,  ‘Peace be with you.’ Our preaching springs from this peace. Thanks be to God, the Order is largely at peace. We may have tensions, even sometimes conflicts, but we remain one. The first duty of the Master is to care for the peace of the Order. This Bruno has done wonderfully. The gospels said that disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. All of our preaching springs from that joy. Without joy, we are wasting our time. May the Lord give us a joyful Master”.

Saturday,  July 13, met us with the news of the election of a Joyful Master, the 87th successor of St. Dominic de Guzman, in the person of Fr. Gerard Francisco Parco Timoner III, O.P ., from the Dominican Province of the Philippines and first Asian Master of the Order. Young and vibrant with experience of service in the Order. The Holy Spirit was truly present and in charge. We thank the Lord for His faithfulness and firmly believe that through him, the face of the Order will be renewed.
Fr. Gerald addressing his brothers for the first time  affirmed: We are preachers [said St. Dominic].’ It is not what we do. It is who we are. Mission is not what we do. It is who we are. And if that is clear, everything will just follow. We are preachers even when we are not preaching. We are preachers even if in our old age, we can no longer speak. We are preachers even if we are not ordained. We are preachers even if we are sick. We are preachers even if we are doing serious research alone in our rooms. We are preachers when we are helping the less privileged. We are preachers. That is our identity”.

His words  of courage, consolation and peace illuminates that of the prophet Isaiah 52:7: “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who  proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, Your God reigns!”.

The new Master of the Order called on the Dominican family to be in communion and to talk with one another, to overcome differences, and agree, “and once we have agreed, I think that is my job, to be the first among brothers to say “We should do what we have set to do”.

May God bless and reward Fr. Bruno Cadore for all the years of selfless service to the Order as we congratulate and pray for the illumination of the Holy Spirit on Fr. Gerald throughout his tenure of office. May the Spirit of Our Blessed Father Dominic remain with him in his mission of true Communion as one family in Saint Dominic.

Sr Ebele Okoye o.p. (Rome - via degli Artisti)
July 16, 2019

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