PRESENTATION BY JERRY STOOKEY, OP, PROMOTER GENERAL OF THE DOMINICAN LAITY
1. Thank you. Let me begin by thanking you for inviting me to participate in this Assembly and for the privilege of working with the ECLDF during these past few years. It is truly an honor for me to be your Promoter General—and I would say, probably the best job you could get at Santa Sabina! In a special way everyone wants to thank the Dominican Laity of Germany for such a fantastic welcome and preparation of this Assembly.
Tharif Khalidi, Director of the Centre of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, and Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge, has collected stories of Jesus in his book The Muslim Jesus: Saying and Stories in Islamic Literature.
I will start by telling you one of them:
A man joined Jesus, saying ‘I want to be your companion‘. They started their journey and, when they arrived at the bank of a river, they sat down to eat. They had three pieces of bread. They ate two and left one. Jesus went to the river to drink some water. When he came back and did not find the third piece of bread, he asked the man: ‘Who has taken the bread?’ The man answered: ‘I do not know.’ They continued their journey and on their way, Jesus performed two miracles. He spoke to his companion and asked twice, ‘In the name of the One who has shown you this miracle, I ask you: who took the bread’? ‘I do not know’ answered the man once again. Then they arrived at the desert and sat on the sand. Jesus made a heap of earth and sand and told him, ‘With God’s permission, turn into gold and so it happened. Then Jesus divided the gold into 3 parts and said ‘A third for you, a third for me and a third for the person who took the piece of bread.’ Here the companion said ‘I took the bread’ Jesus said ‘The gold is all yours.
After conferring with Lay Dominicans this Council was formed in May 2002. It consists of 5 members representing 5 regions: (Asia Pacific, Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America). and the General Promoter for the Laity.
Let me begin by saying that you may not find anything very new in my presentation. It is my personal sharing, and I would like you to accept it as such. Given the relevancy of the topic, I do hope that it will be sufficiently stimulating so as to lead us into serious discussion.
I will speak about the Laity in general, about the Lay Dominicans and finally about the place of Lay Dominicans in the Order.
The European Council of Lay Dominican Fraternities (ECLDF) hereafter referred to as the European Council (E.C) or the “Council”, is motivated by the love of Christ and His Church as expressed by the apostolic spirit of Saint Dominic. It is established, in accordance with Rule 22(b) of The Rule of Dominican Fraternities, in March 1998 following the IVth European Meeting of Lay Dominicans Fraternities in Vienna
While recognizing that each Province and Vicariate is entitled to its own autonomy according to the rights and responsibilities as defined in the Rules, the Council draws on and also supports each one’s specific charism.