ACTS OF THE 7TH EUROPEAN ASSEMBLY

OF LAY DOMINICAN FRATERNITIES

TRENCIANSKE TEPLICE, SLOVAKIA


List of participants:

General Vicariate of South BELGIUM

Fr. Eugenio BOLEO O.P. – Vicarial Promoter

Mrs. Dominique LEFEBVRE-OLIVIER O.P. – Delegate

Mrs. Bénédicte JEREBZOFF-VAN DAMME O.P. – Delegate

Mr. Guido VAN DAMME O.P. – Guest

Province of Bohemia (CZECH REPUBLIC)

Mr. Martin KLAPETEK O.P. – Delegate

Mr. Tomas Jan MACHULA O.P. – ECLDF member

Province of CROATIA

Fr. Jozo CIRKO O.P. – Provincial Promoter

Vicariate of Dacia (DENMARK, SWEDEN, FINLAND and NORWAY) (under the Province of France)

Ms. Kaarina KOHO O.P. – Delegate for FINLAND

Ms. Ylva-Kristina SJÖBLOM O.P. – Delegate for SWEDEN

Province of France (north FRANCE)

Ms. Christelle BRUN O.P. – Delegate

Mr. Jean-Michel SOLENTE O.P. – Delegate

Province of Toulouse (south FRANCE)

Mrs. Genevieve BOUGNERES O.P. – Delegate

Ms. Chantal SOLIGNY O.P. – ECLDF member

Province of Teutonia (north GERMANY)

Ms. Anja ANDERSEN O.P. – Delegate

Mr. Klaus BORNEWASSER  O.P. – Delegate

General Vicariate of HUNGARY

Mr. László HUNYADI O.P. – Organization team

Mrs. Nikolett MURÁNYI O.P. – ECLDF member

Mr. Ferenc PARKANY O.P. – Delegate

Mrs. Mariya STOYANOVA MLADENOVA O.P. – Delegate for BULGARIA

Fr. Bertalan SZABÓ O.P. – Vicarial Promoter

Province of IRELAND

Ms. Geraldine FLANAGAN O.P. – Delegate

Mr. John O’BRIEN O.P. – Delegate

Mrs. Anne-Marie LEE O.P. – Guest

Mrs. Patricia Kelly O.P. – ICLDF member

Province of San Domenico (north ITALY)

Mr. Giacomo BERTOLINI O.P. – Delegate

Province of San Tommaso d’Aquino (south ITALY)

Mrs. Prosperina VITALE O.P. – Delegate

Province of the NETHERLANDS

Ms. Karin BORNHIJM O.P. – Delegate

Province of POLAND

Mrs. Małgorzata MAZUR O.P. – Delegate

Mr. Jacek WIERZBICKI O.P. – Delegate

Province of PORTUGAL

Fr. Joao LEITE O.P. – Provincial Promoter

Mr. Gabriel SILVA O.P. – ECLDF member

Province of SLOVAKIA

Fr. Jordán BLAHO O.P. – Organization team

Ms. Eva KAMENIAROVA O.P. – ECLDF member

Fr. Manes Stanislav MARUŠÁK O.P. – Provincial Promoter

Mr. Peter SUCHOVSKY O.P. – Organization team

Fr. Angelik ZNÁŠIK O.P. – Organization team

Mrs. Eva ZÚDOROVÁ O.P. – Delegate

Ms. Maria ZÚDOROVÁ O.P. – Organization team

Province of Aragón, Province of Bética, Province of Spain and Vicariate of San Rosario (under the missionary Province of the Holy Rosary) (SPAIN)

Mrs. Maria Luisa de LLAGUNO LÓPEZ O.P. – Delegate

Province of SWITZERLAND

Fr. Jean-Bernard DOUSSE O.P. – Provincial Promoter

Ms. Gillian LENOIR O.P. – Delegate

General Vicariate of St Michael Archangel (RUSSIA and the UKRAINE)

Fr. Svorad DUDA O.P. – Vicarial Promoter

Mr. Boris KOVALENKO O.P. – Delegate for RUSSIA

Mr. Mihail SOROKIN O.P. – Delegate for the UKRAINE

CURIA GENERALIZIA

Fr. Chrys McVEY O.P. – General Promoter for the Dominican Family

Fr. Rajmund KLEPANEC O.P. – Socius for Central and Eastern Europe

Fr. David KAMMLER O.P. – General Promoter for the Dominican Laity

Fr. Prakash Anthony LOHALE O.P. – General Promoter for Justice & Peace

INTERPRETERS

Sr Barbara BEAUMONT O.P.

Fr. Irenej FINTOR O.P.

Ms. Ruth Anne HENDERSON O.P.

Fr. Manuel Angel MARTINEZ O.P.

Fr. Paul-Dominique MASICLAT O.P.

Fr. Philip McSHANE O.P.

Statistics

Provinces

Vicariates General

Vicariates

Countries

Total

16

3

2

19

Total votes

24

Participants

Friars

ECLDF

ICLDF

Delegates

Guests

Organization team

Curia

Promoters

5

1

24

2

Interpreters

Others

4

7

6

5

11

32

11

Total

54

Absents:

Province of Flanders (north BELGIUM)

Province of England (UNITED KINGDOM)

Province of Germania (south GERMANY and AUSTRIA)

Province of San Catarina (central ITALY)

Province of MALTA

Vicariate General of the Saint Guardian Angels (LITHUANIALATVIA and ESTONIA)

*  *  *

1.  Friday 30 May

1.1. Introduction

After welcome speeches by Fr. Benedict Hajas, Provincial of the Slovak Dominican Province, and Mrs Eva Zudorova, Provincial President of the Slovak Lay Dominicans, as well as a presentation of the dynamic Slovak Province, the President of the outgoing ECLDF, Gabriel Silva, presented his report (see Annex Ia). After reviewing the activities of the Council during the past four years, he concluded that the main job of the ECLDF was to collect information about lay Dominican activities in the different European countries and establish a network while circulating information about the role of the ECLDF and the European Assembly.

1.2. Presentation of the European Provinces and Vicariates

The rest of the first day, 30 May, was devoted to a series of presentations from the various Provinces and Vicariates represented at the Assembly (see Annexes II). When a Vicariate covered several countries, as in the case of Dacia, the various countries made separate presentations. The following presentations were made, with most of them in PowerPoint format: South Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France (Province of France and Province of Toulouse), Germany (Province of Teutonia), Hungary, Bulgaria, Ireland, Italy (Province of St Thomas Aquinas and Province of St Dominic), the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain (joint presentation of the Provinces of Aragón, Bética, and Spain and the San Rosario Vicariate), Sweden, Switzerland, and the Ukraine.

It was the first time that such presentations were made and they were all greatly appreciated.

1.3 Fr. Chrys McVey’s address

Fr. Chrys McVey, Promoter General for the Dominican Family and socius for Apostolic Life, also took the floor on 30 May and emphasized the “vitality of the Dominican charisma of preaching, a gift of the Spirit to the Church”, “which the brothers have come to realize they cannot claim as theirs alone” (see his full address in Annex IIIa).

2. Saturday 31 May

2.1. Tomas Machula’s presentation

In the morning, a member of the outgoing ECLDF, Tomas Machula, made a presentation on the theme: “Preaching in the world is the common mission of the whole community of the Church”. He laid emphasis on the fact that “preaching is the work of the whole community of God’s people”, adding that “this community must somehow critically test the preacher. If a prophet or preacher or theologian comes with something new, surprising, suspicious or strange, it is not reasonable to accept it without careful investigation. But it is not reasonable to refuse it without such investigation either, because we know that God’s wisdom sometimes looks like folly (cf. 1 Cor 1, 25)”. The full presentation can be found in Annex IVa.

The discussion that followed among the participants gave the opportunity to specify the differences between the different kinds of preaching: homilies, testimonies, dialogue. Several participants laid the emphasis on the importance of example, stating that preaching through words alone was not enough.

2.2. Motion from the Vicariate of Dacia

The Vicariate of Dacia proposed an amendment to the ECLDF Statutes, as follows:

Part II, The Assembly, Section D2: “The Electoral Body is composed of

a) One Lay Dominican representative mandated by each Province and Vicariate

ought to be altered into:

“The Electoral Body is composed of

a) All Dominican delegates from each country in a Province or Vicariate”.

The idea was to allow all the lay Dominicans taking part in the European Assembly to influence the Assembly with their votes, as the ECLDF is a meeting place for mutual inspiration and fraternal exchanges.

A lively discussion took place about this proposal. In the end, it was decided by 17 votes against 7 to postpone the decision to the next European Assembly and allow for more time to examine all the issues involved.

2.3. Address by Fr. David Kammler, Promoter General for the Dominican Laity

In the afternoon, Fr. David Kammler presented his reflections on the theme of the Assembly, on the basis of the Gospel of the Disciples of Emmaus (see Annex IVb). “Basic preaching starts with listening to our contemporaries in their real situation”, as Jesus did. “Compassionate questioning and attentive listening are the main prerequisites for qualifying as a Dominican preacher in our day also”. Fr David continued with the analogy to the end of the Emmaus story, stressing that we must “continue – like the two disciples – to tell our stories of what happened to us on our road in a secular world having Jesus as an anonymous companion walking with us by our side”.  He hoped that the Assembly in Slovakia would “help us in our common Dominican mis sion, becoming more and more a preaching team of men and women, of friars, nuns, sisters and lay people, of elderly and younger ones, of those with an academic degree and those with a highly developed education of the heart. There is still much to be done on our way to Emmaus!”

2.4. Patricia Kelly’s report (ICLDF)

Patricia Kelly, from Ireland, who was elected to the International Council of Lay Dominican Fraternities (ICDLF) at the Walberberg European Assembly in 2004, only took office in March 2007. She presented a report on the activities of the ICLDF over the past year, starting with the Buenos Aires International Congress. She thanked the ECLDF for its support and announced that the next International Congress would take place in 10 years’ time. You can read her full report in Annex Id.

2.5. Fr. Prakash Lohale’s address

Fr. Prakash Lohale, co-Promoter General for Justice & Peace, made a short address about his task and the importance of justice & peace issues (see Annex IIIb). He concluded with saying: “It is now more than 30 years since Justice & Peace was declared a priority in the Order. As the World Synod of Bishops underlined, “action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel” (Justice in the World, 1971). We can perhaps ask ourselves whether justice and peace is an essential dimension of our preaching. It is in any case a Dominican ideal”.

2.6. Presentation of two motions

a) From the Vicariate of South-Belgium:

The assembly, having heard from numerous witnesses the difficulties faced by some fraternities because of the advanced age of their members, proposes that the problems linked to age and their corollaries, as well as the means of alleviating their effects, should be part programmes of continuous formation”.

b) From the Province of Netherlands:

The Province of Netherlands presented the follow proposal in accordance with section IIC-3 of the Statutes:

The Dominican Lay Fraternity of the Netherlands proposes a yearly contribution per capita of €1.50.

on the basis of the following argument:

The brothers and sisters of the Lay Dominican Fraternities/Chapters of Europe, following the spirit of unity of our Father Saint Dominic within the Church, support an annual contribution to be approved by the European Assembly for the expenditures of organizing the Assembly and to fulfil the responsibilities of the Council as described in the Regulations and Recommendations.

After some clarifications, it was decided to examine the Dutch proposal and vote on it on Monday 2 June, following the treasurer’s report.

3. Sunday 1 June

3.1. Anne-Marie Lee’s presentation

The ECLDF asked a member of an Irish fraternity, Anne-Marie Lee, to give a personal testimony on the subject of preaching in a secular world. She gave a moving account of her experience of preaching, showing through heartfelt, well-analyzed examples how much the personal commitment of preachers must be at the root of their preaching, which is nothing but the transmission of God’s word. She pointed to different types of preaching: preaching by instruction, creating space to preach, preaching through craft activities, preaching by simply being, preaching in writing, preaching in church, and preaching by listening. You will find her full presentation in Annex IVc.

Anne-Marie’s presentation gave rise to a discussion on the importance of having examples of preaching. Fr. David Kammler indicated that during his visits to the laity throughout the world, he was asked many times to provide short texts giving examples of preaching. He appealed to the Assembly for help in organizing the collection of such texts. Geraldine Flanagan, Ireland, nominated Ruth Henderson, San Domenico Province, who accepted. Guido Van Damme, a former journalist, and Bénédicte Jerebzoff-Van Damme, both from the General Vicariate of South-Belgium, volunteered to help. All three agreed to meet with Fr David as a project group in Rome in the autumn.

3.2. Nomination of candidates to the Council and tractatus

Assembly participants started nominating people they deemed to be suitable candidates to the ECLDF and ICLDF Councils the night before and the process continued until 11am on Sunday. The following people were nominated and asked whether they accepted their nomination:

To the ECLDF:                                                                  To the ICLDF:

Anja Andersen – accepted                                                      Geraldine Flanagan – accepted

Giacomo Bertolini – didn’t accept                                           Gabriel Silva – didn’t accept

Geraldine Flanagan – didn’t accept                                         Nikolett Murányi – didn’t accept

Bénédicte Jerebzoff-Van Damme – accepted                             Eva Kameniarova – accepted

Boris Kovalenko – didn’t accept                                             Karin Bornhijm – accepted

Dominique Olivier – accepted                                                 Anne-Marie Lee – didn’t accept

Eva Zúdorová – didn’t accept

Anne-Marie Lee – accepted

Chantal Soligny – didn’t accept

Małgorzata Mazur – accepted

Gabriel Silva – accepted

Tomas Machula – didn’t accept

Jean-Michel Solente – accepted

Karin Bornhijm – didn’t accept

Mikhail Sorokin – didn’t accept

The final list of candidates was therefore the following:

ECLDF

ICLDF

Anja Andersen

Geraldine Flanagan

Bénédicte Jerebzoff-Van Damme

Eva Kameniarova

Dominique Olivier

Karin Bornhijm

Anne-Marie Lee

Małgorzata Mazur

Gabriel Silva

Jean-Michel Solente

During the tractatus process, the candidates presented themselves.

4. Monday 2 June

4.1. Elections

Election officers: Patricia Kelly and Ruth Henderson, with the help of Giacomo Bertolini

Total number of votes: 24

Before the start of the voting procedure, Dominique Olivier, from the General Vicariate of South Belgium, explained she had to stand down for personal reasons.

Results of the ECLDF elections:

Anja Andersen: 22 votes

Bénédicte Jerebzoff-Van Damme: 19 votes

Anne-Marie Lee: 18 votes

Gabriel Silva: 19 votes

Jean-Michel Solente: 18 votes

Małgorzata Mazur: 17 votes

Composition of the new ECLDF: Anja Andersen (Province of Teutonia), Bénédicte Jerebzoff-Van Damme (General Vicariate of South Belgium), Anne-Marie Lee(Province of Ireland), Gabriel Silva(Province of Portugal) and Jean-Michel Solente (Province of France).

ICLDF: Election of the European representative to the ICLDF: Results:

Geraldine Flanagan: 4 votes

Eva Kameniarova: 20 votes

Karin Bornhijm: 0 vote

Eva Kameniarova was therefore elected as the new representative of Europe on the ICLDF. It was indicated she would take office as from 2010.

4.2. Treasurer’s report

Nikolett Murányi, the ECLDF treasurer, presented the financial report to the Assembly. Nikolett started her work as treasurer in 2005. A new bank account was opened with PAX Bank in 2006 and daily management done on the Web. Nikolett Murányi also organized an annual audit of accounts with the help of a professional, Mrs. Gitta Zillich Csutorane, from her fraternity in Hungary. As a result, the financial report presented to the Assembly in Trenčianske Teplice was sound and transparent and the Assembly unanimously approved it. Nikolett indicated that the contributions collected between 2005 and 2008 amounted in total to €4,528.90. If the Assembly was able to be organized, it was thanks in particular to a grant from the German Foundation Renovabis. The full financial report can be found in Annex Ib.

Apart from her work as treasurer, Nikolett Murányi has been the webmaster of the ECLDF website since her first term on the Council in 2001. In her activity report, she also explained about the activities she undertook on behalf of the ECLDF, visiting Bulgaria and the Ukraine in particular. She indicated that the members of the ECLDF had distributed “countries” among themselves in order to develop contacts more effectively with all the lay Dominican provinces and vicariates in Europe, including Russia and the Ukraine. Nikolett’s full activity report can be found in Annex Ic.

4.3. Discussion and votes on the motions proposed

4.3.1. General Vicariate of South Belgium

Number of votes: 20 out of 24.

The motion was approved by17 votes and 3 abstentions.

4.3.2. Province of Netherlands

This motion gave rise to a lot of discussions and clarifications. The idea from the Province of Netherlands was, on the basis of section II.C.3 of the Statutes, for the Assembly to make the commitment to pay a contribution of €1.50 per capita instead of the ECLDF requesting a voluntary contribution per capita from the provinces and vicariates on the basis of section I.B.6 of the Statutes. The Assembly would thus take on the responsibility for payment and the contribution would become compulsory instead of optional.

Number of votes: 22 out of 24.

The motion was approved by 12 votes against 10.

4.3.3. Province of Ireland

The Province of Ireland proposed an amendment to the Statutes in order for the names of provinces and vicariates to be included in the Appendix.

After discussion and legal explanations, the proposal was changed. The Assembly agreed by 23 votes to mandate the Council to revise the list of countries of the Appendix where appropriate.

4.4. Evaluation of the Trenčianske Teplice Assembly and proposals for the next European Assembly

A number of places were suggested for the next European Assembly: Fanjeaux and Sainte Baume in France, Dublin in Ireland, Caleruega and Ocana in Spain.

A number of themes were also suggested for the next Assembly: family issues, Dominican studies, preaching in community. Fr. David Kammler reminded the participants about the Novena Years commemorating the papal confirmation of the Order of Preachers and the themes chosen by the Order in this respect, so as to set the European Assembly within that framework.

Other themes were suggested: “How to preach the truth in a world of relativism?”, “How religious is the secularized man?”, “Is there a specific Dominican spirituality?”, study of psalms, “Preaching and social commitment in relation to Justice & Peace”, “Are we still a mendicant Order?”, “Christian truth and pluralism”.

An informal evaluation was also carried out about the Trenčianske Teplice Assembly and the lack of an evaluation grid was regretted by several participants.

Participants pointed out that the theme was known very late and that enough time should be provided to prepare the topic in advance. Others wished for more prayer in the schedule.

It was also suggested that the history of the ECLDF for the past two terms be drawn up and included in the Acts.

The importance of setting up a network of lay Dominicans who could send input to one another was stressed, as well as the need for a communication officer within the Council.

One participant underlined that these European Assemblies helped us grow in our Dominican identity and charisma.

4.5. Miscellaneous

4.5.1. Meeting between the old and the new Council

The two Councils met on Monday afternoon in order for the old Council to pass on relevant information and advice to the newly elected members.

A ceremony attended by all the participants then took place in the church, with the formal passing over of powers symbolized by candles. The Slovak Province also offered gifts to all the participants.

4.5.2. Liturgy

Daily mass was organized, with the language used on the first and third day being English while it was French on the second and fourth days. There were also vespers on the night of arrival and lauds on the Sunday morning.

The homilies can be found in Annexes V.

4.5.3. S.H.O.P. project

Sr Barbara Beaumont o.p. presented the S.H.O.P. project: Sisters Historians of the Order of Preachers, based in Fanjeaux (see Annex VIa).

4.5.4. Social programme

The Slovak Province organized four events in the evenings:

–         a social and cultural evening on the first night with all the provinces and vicariates having a stall where their activities were presented and specialities offered;

–         a Dominican Family evening on the second night with games and performances in a joyful atmosphere;

–         a visit to the nearby Castle of Trencin with entertainment and buffet on 1 June;

–         a performance in the local church on the last night by a Czech artist, Mr. Castek, on the basis of St John’s Gospel, entitled “God is Love” (see text of this performance in Annex VIb).

All these events were greatly appreciated. They helped the participants get to know one another better and cement their relations, creating a wonderful atmosphere.

Photos were taken by Fr. Philip McShane during the whole Assembly and later made available to all the participants (see Annex VIc).

TABLE OF ANNEXES[1]

Annexes I: ECLDF and ICLDF reports:

–         Annex Ia: President’s report

–         Annex Ib: Treasurer’s report + Treasurer’s report II

–         Annex Ic: Treasurer’s activity report

–         Annex Id: ICLDF report

Annexes II: Presentations from participant Provinces and Vicariates (by order of presentation at the Assembly):

–         Annex IIa: General Vicariate of South Belgium

–         Annex IIb: Province of Croatia (unavailable)

–         Annex IIc: Province of Bohemia – Czech Republic

–         Annex IId: Vicariate of Dacia – Finland

–         Annex IIe: Province of France

–         Annex IIf: Province of Toulouse

–         Annex IIg: Province of Teutonia – North Germany

–         Annex IIh: General Vicariate of Hungary I.

–         Annex IIh: General Vicariate of Hungary II

–         Annex IIi: General Vicariate of Hungary – Bulgaria I

–         Annex IIi: General Vicariate of Hungary – Bulgaria II

–         Annex IIj: Province of Ireland

–         Annex IIk: Province of San Tommaso d’Aquino – Italy I

–         Annex IIk: Province of San Tommaso d’Aquino – Italy II

–         Annex II l: Province of San Domenico – Italy

–         Annex IIm: Province of Netherlands

–         Annex IIn: Vicariate of Dacia – Norway I

–         Annex IIn: Vicariate of Dacia – Norway II

–         Annex IIo: Province of Poland

–         Annex IIp: Province of Portugal

–         Annex IIq: General Vicariate of St Michael Archangel – Russia

–         Annex IIr: Provinces of Aragón, Bética and Spain and San  Rosario Vicariate – Spain

–         Annex IIs: Vicariate of Dacia – Sweden

–         Annex IIt: Province of Switzerland

–         Annex IIu: General Vicariate of St Michael Archangel – the Ukraine

Annexes III: Other reports

–         Annex IIIa: Fr. Chrys McVey’s address

–         Annex IIIb: Fr. Prakash Lohale’s address

Annexes IV: Presentations on the theme of the Assembly

–         Annex IVa: Tomas Machula’s presentation

–         Annex IVb: Fr. David Kammler’s presentation

–         Annex IVc: Anne-Marie Lee’s presentation

Annexes V: Homilies

–         Annex Va : Fr. Rajmund Klepanec’s homily on 30 May

–         Annex Vb: Fr. Eugenio Boleo’s homily on 31 May

–         Annex Vc: Fr. David Kammler’s homily on 1 June

–         Annex Vd: Fr. Bertalan Szabó’s homily on 2 June

Annex VI: Miscellaneous

–         Annex VIa: Presentation of the S.H.O.P. project

–         Annex VIb: Mr. Castek’s performance: “God is Love”

–         Annex VIc: Links to Fr. Philip McShane’s photos: unavailable on this website

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