During the weekend of 10 -12 July 2015, the second Provincial Chapter for Lay Dominican Fraternities in the Province of St. Albert the Great of Southern Germany and Austria convened for its constituent meeting in in Augsburg. A report from Gabriele Neu-Yilik and Arnaud Kientz.
The Province of St. Albert the Great of Southern Germany and Austria is by Dominican standards a still young Province. Founded in 1939, it celebrated its 75th anniversary last year. After the Province of Austria and Hungary broke apart in 1938, the Master General Martin Stanislaus Gillet decided, instead of joining Austria to the German Province of Teutonia, to separate the Southern German friaries from Teutonia and form a new province with Austria, originally named Provincia Germaniae superioris.
At the General Chapter in Toulouse in 1962 this name was extended to Provincia Germaniae superioris et Austriae. Third Order Fraternities on the territory of the new Province already existed at the time of the foundation, and new ones were founded and sometimes vanished. The oldest still persisting Fraternity dates back to before 1938 and is based in Graz, Austria.
However, this situation lasted until 2012 before the first Provincial Chapter of Lay Dominican Fraternities convened for its constituent assembly and for the first time in the history of the Province elected a Provincial Council whose members used the past three years to establish Provincial structures, reform the directory, formulate a formation plan, establish a website (www.dominikanische-laien.de), hold study days and retreats, support the Fraternities and intensify the relationships with the friars, sisters and nuns of the Province.
Saint Ulrich and Afra Church in Augsburg
During the weekend of 10 -12 July 2015, the second Provincial Chapter for Lay Dominican Fraternities in the Province of St. Albert the Great of Southern Germany and Austria convened for its constituent meeting in the Dominican Priory of the Holy Cross (Heilig-Kreuz-Kloster) in Augsburg. The Fraternities of Bamberg, Graz, Freiburg, and Landsberg each sent two delegates. In addition, two members of groups in (re-)formation (Regensburg and Vienna), three members of the previous Council and Arnaud Kientz from the ECLDF as an invited guest attended the convention and provided their advice.
All participants were welcomed by the Provincial Promotor Fr. Paul Schäfersküpper, who also took part in the first session. After hearing and discussing the reports on the work of the former Council and approving its actions, the assembly deliberated extensively upon the urgent tasks of the upcoming election period.
On Saturday evening after the tractatus, the new executive committee was elected. Melanie Delpech was re-elected President. The other members are Horst Waibel (vice-president) Elisabeth Fritzl (secretary), Ludwig Gauderer (treasurer), Tobias Schmich (formation) Gabriele Neu-Yilik (public relations and communication with the other branches of the Order, ECLDF, and ICLDF), and Ralph Berger (communication among the Lay Dominicans of the Province).
May God bless the work of the new Council and the executive committee in all their pursuits.