A Muslim’s kiss

Brussels in May: a bright sun was blazing down on the Southern, Red, Moroccan neighbourhood of Saint Gilles. I was looking forward to summer as I sat outside a café in the Avenue Dejaer. On my green sweater, a black-and-white Dominican cross caught the sunlight like a new coin. I was wearing my cross proudly as…

State of the Laity within the Dominican Family today – 2009

(concise summary)

DEVELOPMENTS

Increasing awareness of the apostolic aspect of vocation:

The friars discern that the laity are not only the object of their preaching, but they are considered more and more as companions in preaching, especially in places where the friars are not so skilled: in family life, the neighborhood, in the professions, in society, the economy and politics. The laity, too, discern more and more that they are protagonists of preaching in their typical environment, where they are specialists. There is an increasing esteem and mutual respect. In the spirit of the Church, understood as Mystery of Communion, the secular branch is respected no longer like a “third Order” of Dominicans, but as  integrated members of a religious family, called by the development of their own charism to respond to the same universal vocation.

At the supermarket

I was queuing at the supermarket checkout one day with my nephew John and his friend Tommy, both aged 7, when Tommy pointed to my Dominican badge and asked “What’s that?” I quickly tried to find an answer suitable for a 7-year-old: “That’s to tell people that I try to tell the truth at all…

A new family

We’ve never had any children of our own, so we opened our home over the years to young people with family problems: we talked to them, listened to them and prayed with them, and over a period of many years we found many “sons and daughters” in this way. Now we are elderly and our “children”…

Ongoing Formation for Lay Dominicans

Most chapters/fraternities of Lay Dominicans have elderly or disabled members who are unable to attend the meetings.  As part of our ongoing formation we have a responsibility for those members in this category who wish to remain connected with the Order and with their chapter/fraternity.  Our concern for and kindness to these members is a very important part of our life of preaching, prayer and community.  Our community life is tenuous in comparison to the Friars or Sisters but it is still a valid part of our Dominican commitment. Others will see how we care for our elderly/disabled members and this is preaching in action.