The Council of Lay Dominican Fraternities meets at Rome to prepare this assembly. I remember the words, Bruno Cadoré, our Master, said, when he saw the icon of St. Dominic first while we had our meeting: “A colourful picture! It fits not only to Lay Dominicans, it fits the whole of the Order. It expresses our colourful variety.”
On the second day of the Assembly the participants discussed the Youth Movement and the laity as branches of the Order. Guest speakers were José Alberto de Blas, the secretary of the International Dominican Youth Movement (IDYM), and Francesco Andriulli, a former member of the Youth Movement and a Lay Dominican.
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.
On Wednesday the 21th of May all the delegates arrived at the Collogio San Tommaso. It’s a friendly and warm welcome and it is wonderful to meet unknown people as your brother and sister. The last preparations are made before the start of the Assembly tomorrow.
The Council of the ECLDF has send the revised copy of the Statutes of the European Council to all the delegates with the urgent request to discuss this proposal within their provinces and vicarates in anticipation of the Assemblee.
During the Assembly of the European lay dominicans there will be daily three celebrations: a morning prayer, a holy mass and a vesper. Some of the delegates already received the music partitions for the liturgies so they can prepare themselves to support the singing with mixed voices.
The Order of Preachers is preparing for the Jubilee celebration in 2016 on the occasion of the 800 years of its approval. Prayer is essential to enter into the dynamics of renewal and conversion to which the Jubilee celebration calls us. For this reason, as Lay Dominicans we join in the praying of the Jubilee prayer together with all the Dominican family.
The lay Dominicans from Warsaw invited representatives of the Dominican Family for the common celebration. The occasion for the meeting was the peregrination of the image of St. Dominic through the European provinces of the Order of Preachers, as part of the year dedicated to lay Dominicans.
The ECLDF Assembly 2011 in Caleruega gave to the new council the assignment to give attention to the urgent question of how to organize and improve the formation of Dominican Lay Fraternities in Europe. The final Formation Report for the ECLDF Assembly 2014 in Bologna gives an overview of the various contents, forms and methods of initial and ongoing formation, together with references to some literature.
‘We are on a pilgrimage and in this pilgrimage we join in common prayer with all the Lay Dominicans in Europe’: This is what the Dutch Lay Dominican Fraternity say to their brothers and sisters. A Dutch Lay Dominican tells his experience.