On the way to the 800th anniversary of the Dominican Order, for the year 2014 the chosen theme of the novena is: “Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions: The Dominican laity and preaching” (Joel 3:1). At the opening of this year the Master sends a letter to all the brothers and sisters of the Order.
In his letter the Master states that the Order of Preachers is particularly sent to preach the Gospel. “Today, perhaps more than ever, the theme of the Lay Dominicans should help us to discover more clearly that all of us, members of the Dominican Family, are sent together to favour the conversation of God with the world in proclaiming the Gospel of peace.”, Bro. Bruno Cadore O.P. writes. Since the start of the Order many things have changed and the Second Vatican Council was a particularly important moment in this sense – on the laity and their essential role in witnessing and proclaiming the Gospel.
The Master reminds all the brothers and sisters that the Church started as fraternities and recalls how it was in the beginning of the holy preaching of the Order, and of the unity of the Dominican family. He invites us to consider the novena theme of the Jubilee of the Order for this year: “Lay Dominicans and preaching”, and to make of it the inspiration for our reflection.
In the opinion of the Master the laity can be an integral part of Orders and Congregations, of new communities and of traditions of spiritual life. The commitment of the laity in the Dominican Family is crucial for the preaching mission of the Order.
The Master gives an outline of what the laity is doing and the vast and rich diversity herein: how they work on inspiration and how the fraternities come together. From their own social position and from their own experiences in life, the laity contribute in an unique way to the preaching of the Order. “We may say that Lay Dominicans enrich the way in which the Order day by day must learn to ‘love the world’ to which we are sent to preach, not only through subtle, pertinent analyses of the world, but by making ourselves vulnerable to the diverse experiences of the world that are the experiences of the members of the Dominican family.”
Today it is urgent for the Church – the message is repeated over and over again – to renew its zeal for evangelisation, which means at one and the same time to be strengthened, to reach out, through the power and the grace of evangelisation. The theme of “Lay Dominicans and Preaching” can help us to be more fully aware of the challenge of being “sent to preach the Gospel” in the Dominican family.
Read the full article in English: Letter of the Master of the Order – The dominican laity and preaching
Read the full article in French: Letter of the Master of the Order – Les laics dominicains et la predication
Read the full article in Spanish: Letter of the Master of the Order – El laicado dominicano y la predicacion