The ECLDF came together in Fatima in May 2017 to make further preparations for the 10th ECLDF Assembly this October in Fatima. We did this with the wonderful help of the Portuguese Lay Dominicans Gabriel Silva and his wife Cristina Busto.
Fatima is really a place of grace. In these days the Church is celebrating the encounter of three children with the Virgin Mary, 100 years ago. Mary gave them several messages for the world and many people since then have come to Fatima on a pilgrimage, putting their trust in the Holy Mother. It is therefore very special, that we, European Lay Dominicans will have our 10th Assembly there.
Grace is also what we received and published on the ECLDF website as a contribution to the Chain of Preachers of Hope from the Laity of almost all European Provinces/Vicariates. These testimonies made our renewed ECLDF website very lively and inspiring
The theme, namely that as Lay Dominicans we are called and sent as preachers of hope, will be central when we are together at our 10th ECLDF Assembly. With joy we can announce three great speakers during this Assembly on the theme: Br Timothy Radcliffe, Br Bruno Cadoré and a religious sister from The Netherlands, totally involved and devoted to Dominican life: Yosé Höhne-Sparborth.
We are very honoured that our Master Br Bruno Cadoré will come to Fatima to talk with us about his view on the theme and also to meet us as European Lay Dominicans, sharing our questions, concerns and joy. And of course we are very happy about the participation of the famous former Master of the Order, Br Timothy Radcliffe, who has been inspiring us already for years with his speeches and books, and who this time will share his thoughts about our Assembly theme: Lay Dominicans, preachers of hope.
Yosé Höhne-Sparborth has worked for years with groups of traumatized Christians in Colombia as victims of violence. These days she does the same with groups of Christians of Iraq. She is deeply involved in the projects there of Br Yousif Thomas Mirkis, a Dominican who became the Chaldean Bishop of Kirkuk. Yosé will come to show us that it is really possible to be preachers of hope even in the most disturbed situations.
In workshops in several language groups we will discuss what we heard and what we can do ourselves as preachers of hope.
Well, and of course we need to hear from each other about our fraternities and our European connections as Lay Dominicans. Your present European Council will resign and we have to elect a new ECLDF in order for the activities to be continued.
We hope the 10th ECLDF Assembly will become an inspiration and feast of fraternal recognition. It would be marvellous if all Provinces/Vicariates were represented with at least one delegate, but two is better and of course we will be very glad to welcome all our Provincial Promoters.
You will soon hear more from us, when the organization is completed.
To you all, fraternal love. In St. Dominic and St. Catherine,
Leny Beemer, President ECLDF