Our 1st year activity
Each of us has got e-mail access. We keep in touch by it and we also regularly meet. A meeting lasts for a weekend. Council meetings were held in Bratislava (Slovakia) in October 2001 (present: 2 members and fr. Jerry), in Budapest (Hungary) in March 2002 (present: 4 members and fr. Jerry) and in Walberberg (Germany) in June 2002 (present: 4 members, fr. Jerry, Klaus Bornewasser and fr. David Kammler).
We had a preparatory meeting in Bratislava, where we started to put together the Acts of the Fognano assembly, and we prepared proposals for our following meeting, e.g: to set up a website for ECLDF within www.op.org.
In Budapest we distributed the tasks among ourselves and elected the officers. We chose contact people for subregions, as:
Zaida is contact person for – United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands,
Eva for – Slovakia, Bohemia, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia,
Giovanna for – Italy, Malta, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Albania, Greece, Croatia,
Boris for – Russia, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark,
Nikolett for – Hungary, Slovenia, Austria, Romania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria.
In Walberberg Eva and Jerry gave a report on the European Domincan Family meeting that was held in Bergamo (Italy) in May 2002. Zaida and Giovanna are going to send out letters to the provinces. We arranged on the content. We started to work on setting up the following assembly that will take place in Walberberg (Germany) from 31st May till 6th June 2004. It is a suitable place for conferences. Klaus Bornewasser (lay president of the German Lay Dominican Fraternities) joined our meeting together with fr. David Kammler (promotor of the German Lay Dominicans and prior of friars in Walberberg) to give support for the planning. The German laity wants to play an active role in the preparation, e.g.: to find sponsors and providing help in transportation and cultural event.
We plan to have our next ECLDF meeting in January 2003. Our meetings are held in good atmosphere, having discussions, common prayers, Holy Mass in English (from 8 a.m. till midnight). We are an international fraternity. Our goals are also to develop a catalogue of all European Lay Dominican contacts, to strengthen the Lay Dominican mission in Europe, and to establish network between different parts of Europe.
If you would like to send donation to our account to support our work, we would be thankful.
Bank account No: 10 30 16 00 62 55 492 Swift Pascit MMM LL (Beneficiary:ECLDF) Banca Monte Dei Paschi di Siena via S. Margherita 11, 20121 Milano, Italy, phone: 00 39 026 97 01
ECLDF meeting in Bruxelles
We had our last meeting in Bruxelles on the weekend of 18th January 2003, on the feast of Saint Margaret of Hungary (the only canonised Hungarian Dominican saint). Present were the following ECLDF members: Zaida Rocha Ferreira, Eva Kameniarova, Boris Kovalenko, Nikolett Muranyi; and Patricia Robinson, ICLDF member. We elected her as an ICLDF member to become a co-opted member of ECLDF in order to establish direct communication and co-operation between ICLDF and ECLDF.
The meeting’s main subjects were:
Checking the bilingual texts of Fognano Acts before publishing them
Setting up detailed plans for the 2004 Walberberg Asembly
How can we find funds for poor Lay Dominicans?
Relationship between ICLDF and ECLDF (between councils on intercontinental and European level)
Patricia’s report on ICLDF
We had great council discussions on the above mentioned subjects in a friendly atmosphere. We are not only and elected council, but a real fraternity. It was very good to feel that we are sisters and brothers coming from different parts of Europe, and we can pray together and share our thoughts, and we could always find solutions in harmony, that each of us liked. We keep in touch via regular e-mails between meetings that are held twice a year.
We had our meeting in the friars’ international convent in Bruxelles. Fr. Timothy Radcliffe founded this community in the beginning of 2002 with the target of trying to lead a good community life on an international basis. Previously it was a traditional Belgian convent.
The 15 friars come from 8 countries: Alain Arnoul, Bernard Olivier, Emilio Platti, Ignace Berten, Mark Butaye (prior), Jean-Marie Van Cangh (Belgian), Bob Eccles (British), Hubert Cornudet (French), Marian Wojciechowski (Polish), René Dinklo and Theo Veerkamp (Dutch), Thomas Eggensperger and Diethard Zils (German), Roberto Giorgis (Italian) and Eugenio Boleo (Portugal).
It was really interesting to have the possibility to spend a weekend at their house. Fr. Eugenio hosted us. Fr. Diethard also attended our meeting, as he would support us in putting together the liturgy book for the Walberberg Assembly in 3 languages. The official languages of the house are English and French, but all of them speak some other languages as well. We took part in common prayers and the Eucharist with the community.
We experienced a very good, open and fraternal atmosphere there. Almost all the household work is done by the friars themselves. For instance: prior, student, journalist and professor all work together in the kitchen before and after meals. We had long discussions mixing at least 5 languages. They have different activities: e.g. ESPACES is published by them, they own a valuable library, some of them teach at Catholic universities, others deal with Lay Dominicans.
We are thankful for having our meeting in the international convent of Bruxelles. Next time we are going to meet in September in Rome.
ECLDF meeting in Rome in September 2003
We had a very fruitful meeting in Santa Sabina, in Rome. Each of the ECLDF members attended. We had a great time together and could fulfil all the tasks that were planned. We continued the preparations for the Walberberg Assembly. We also had the possibility to meet the friars living in Santa Sabina.
Thank you Fr. Jerry for your kind hospitality!
ECLDF meeting in Walberberg between 30 January and 2 February 2004
The members of the ECLDF spent a weekend together in order to set up all the requested details for our European Assembly that will take place between 31 May and 6 June 2004. Fr. David Kammler OP, prior of Walberberg and Promoter for German Lay Dominican Fraternities, and Klaus Bornewasser, Lay president of German Fraternities also participated in some discussions. We finalized the program schedule and a number of questions were replied.
We had our discussions, prayers and meals in a good atmosphere. We think that to meet regularly twice a year is very important, as between our meetings we are only in e-mail contact, and it can not replace the personal meeting. We feel the advantage of being members of an international fraternity. We regularly pray together and share our thoughts regarding Dominican life. And between our meetings we pray for each other and we try to discover new channels within the Dominican Order. We would like to build relationship between the fraternities inside Europe. We feel responsibility for setting up connection between members of the Dominican Order. We can’t stay isolated in the different parts of Europe. Friars and sisters have got many more channels for meetings and for discussions as they had set them up earlier. We are also adult members of the Order, who need to organize our lifes ourselves. We would like to encourage the Lay Dominicans to get to know each other better and to work together. Sometimes it is not easy as each of us has got a full time job and we also need to spend time with our family and certainly with our own fraternity. But we think it is worth to set up international platforms for ourselves, even if it takes a lot of time and energy.
Our European Assembly offers a good possibility to meet, to share, to pray and to discuss the questions of our Dominican vocations.
Zaida Rocha Ferreira, president of ECLDF sent out the invitation letter to each province and now she summarized the received registration forms. Those who would like to attend, still have the possiblity to send their registration form to Zaida’s address.
Thank you for your confidence.