Lay Dominicans in Europe

A meeting of representatives of the Lay Dominican Fraternities from the Provinces of Europe with their Promoters and guests has been held every three years since 1989. The first of these meetings was the Assembly held in Toulouse, France, followed by Budapest , Hungary in 1992, Kanie, Poland in 1995, the fourth in Vienna, Austria in 1998, the fifth in Fognano, Italy in 2001 and the sixth in Walberberg, Germany in 2004. These Assemblies were organized by volunteers in collaboration with the Brethren until after the Vienna meeting.

Presentation of the Promotor General

PRESENTATION BY JERRY STOOKEY, OP, PROMOTER GENERAL OF THE DOMINICAN LAITY

A. INTRODUCTION
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.

WHAT KIND OF EUROPEAN CITIZEN WOULD JESUS HAVE BEEN? WOULD HE HAVE BEEN A CATHOLIC?

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.

LAY DOMINICANS AND THE ORDER

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.