Yesterday was the first day of the Assembly of the European Lay Dominicans in Bologna. In the plenary room (a Faculty of Theology classroom in the priory) the president of the ECLDF welcomes all the delegates, observers and promoters. Of course the day starts with morning prayer.
- met regularly at six-month intervals
- collected the necessary material, prepared and published the Acts of Caleruega Assembly of 2011
- revised the Statutes of the ECLDF
- formulated a proposed formation programme for all European Provinces
- visited several other Provinces to meet and to talk with Lay Dominican in various parts of Europe
- had a meeting with the previous Secretary of IDYM, Sr. Ginevra Rossi, as a result of which we have the new Secretary, José Alberto, as one of our speakers
- sent a regular Newsletter about our activities to all Provinces and Vicariates
- discussed the ECLDF website, revise and renew it
- established a crowd funding initiative
- set up and maintained a Facebook page
- organization of St Dominic’s picture pilgrim across Europe.
And all this besides the organization of the Assembly in Bologna. This Council proves that a lot can be done in three years. The Council members came from five different countries and were five strong personalities; that sometimes caused tensions. Nevertheless the Council members had worked as a good team, and as brothers and sisters there was also attention for the family circumstances of every member. All the five members worked very hard and when you are working for the Kingdom of God it is possible to overcome every problem. Klaus Bornewasser, the member for the international Council, and Brother Rui, the promotor of the laity gave their reports and looked back with satisfaction. Indeed the Council may use a quote as a conclusion from Brother Bernard Dousse, one of the godfathers of the ECLDF: “We are progressing”.
In the afternoon there was a talk from Robert Mickens, a well knownVatican journalist, entitled “Taking the friendship of Christ to the margins of society:PopeFrancis and the call to dialogue with all humanity”. Mickensnoticed a new sense of urgency since the new pope was elected. The Holy Father Francis inspires many people. Mickenssaid some nice things in his talk about the pope but doesn’t idolize him. He analyses that the pope is challenging, is stating urgent questions and it is the challenge for all of us to answer them; whether you are in church or in society. Pope Francis calls us to live our baptism radically.
On the basis of Evangelii Gaudium Robert mention the three themes of the Holy Father.
1. The witness of God’s mercy. Mercy is the heart of everything: it saves us from our self, from sins and from a miserable life. The church is the place of mercy, freely given. Faith has to be made relevant to the people.
2. The dialogue of befriending to people and listening. The pope is reaching out to people and he doesn’t appreciate clericalism. Don’t invoke being a priest or a Lay Dominican. Make real contact with non- and other believers. Go to the periphery of society to seek the weak.
3. The gospel of fraternity and justice. The pope talks about brothers and sisters of the one God and indicates that we have a responsibility for oneanother. He calls us to look very carefully at the problems and issues we have to face together.
The Holy Father is living very modestly and is giving us an example. He is very good at making personal contact and that makes him a special personality.
The day was closed with working groups which worked on the question: Taking the friendship of Christ to the margins of society – Pope Francis and the call to dialogue with all humanity: how do we Lay Dominicans answer this call?
Until dinner there was free time and some went into town (cultural or shopping), rested a little bit or sat on the terrace of the Collegio where the sun was still shine brightly. The vespers we celebrated with the friars in the Basilica. The conclusion was very special for us because at the end of vespers the friars went first in procession to the Roasarychapel and afterwards they gathered around the tomb of St. Dominic while singing the beautiful, Dominican version of the ‘Salve Regina’ and the hymn to St Dominic ‘O Lumen’.
Click here for:
- the liturgy book 22 May 2014.
- the meditation of Leny Beemer.
- the President’s report
- the ECLDF Treasury Report, date 9/30/2014:
– Contributions and donations statement
– Summary ECLDF expenses statement
– Income and expenses statement
– Cash flow statement
– Balance sheet statement
– Bologna Assembly fees statement
– Bologna Assembly statement
- the report of Communication Officer
- the report of Brother Rui, the promotor of the laity.
- the presentation about the Jubilee by Brother Rui.
- the homily of Brother Henk.
- the text of Robert Mickens.