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International: July 8, 2019: Chronicles of the First Day in the General Chapter of the Order

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After the Eucharist, presided by Fr. Joseph Ngo Si Dinh.the Secretary of the Chapter, the Dominican brothers were free until lunch at 12:30. At 15:30 they met in the general assembly where al the capitulars and guests were welcomed by Fr. Bruno Cadore, Master of the Order, Fr. Joseph Nguyen Duc Hoa, OP., Prior Provincial of the Province of the Queen of Martyrs in Vietnam. Both of them welcomed the participants, the representatives of the General Curia, the invited guests, the moderators, the translators and all those responsible for the organization of the Chapter, likewise they thank the government authorities for having facilitated the granting of visas to the delegates and others, the Bishop and the Rector of the Seminary for allowing the Order to use the Seminary for the venue of the Chapter.

After that, the Secretary of the Chapter read the names of all the delegates to the chapter, as well as those from the Curia and those who have been invited: Nuns, Sisters, Lay Dominicans, Secular Institutes, Moderators, translators, etc. 

Reference was made to the three official languages to be used at the chapter: English, Spanish, French, and Latin. They reminded us to talk slowly, simply and clearly so that the job of the translators can be facilitated. 

The Master of the Order reminded the capitulars of the fact that we were in Vietnam, the first time in which the Chapter is celebrated in a non-christian-country and it offers some thoughts for the chapter like a philosophy in dialogue with non-Christian background, Christians who refer to the memory of those missionaries from whom they received the faith for several centuries, the act that in this province one third of the brothers are in formation, a provinces with more Cooperator Brothers, a missionary province with presences in Thailand, North Vietnam, intention to open a presence in Cambodia, actually working in USA and Canada as well as with brothers in other provinces. That some of the young brothers are ready to be sent wherever the Order would be in need of help. A country where the Dominican Family is vibrant and with the larger number of members of the Dominican Laity. Likewise, there is a number of Dominican Congregations of Sisters of apostolic life. All these present to us a number of things to be taken up at the chapter that, somehow, complete the reports from the Master, the Assistants, the Officials, the Prior Provincials, the requests from chapters, friars and others. 

What do we have to do?

The elective general chapter must choose the new Master of the Order. For this purpose, a long explanation was given to the capitulars to help them become familiar with the process. At the linguistic and regional group’s sessions -to be held during the chapter- candidates could be considered and each chapter member can present a candidate. Those with the greater number of votes will be presented to the general assembly and after a further discussion send back to the groups and finally a list of five possible candidates would be presented. These nominated possible candidates and the process to interviewing them will be finalized in the plenary assembly prior to the real vote of the election in which the electors will still enjoy freedom to vote for their own candidate. 

The work of the commissions: The seven commissions previously approved by the council of the Order were ratified by the vote of the assembly. The commissions begin thee work taking into consideration the relation of the Master, the reports of the Assistants and official of the Order, the information received from the Provincials and chapters, regional meetings of friars as well as from individual brothers, sisters, lay Dominicans and others.  

The conclusions could be first presented in a general way to the assembly to see if the majority favors the objectives and direction envisioned by the commission and be able to listen to recommendations, suggestions, etc. in order to facilitate the final text that could include Admonitions, declarations, interpretations, ordinations, new constitutions, etc. as well as declarations, exhortations, commendations, petitions, etc. 

With the approval of the moderators and the norms of procedures the session ended.

Tomorrow, July 9 the schedule of the chapter is as follows:

7:00 a.m. Morning prayer and mass of the Holy Spirit.

9:00 a.m. Relatio of the Master of the Order

10:30 Linguistic groups: Analysis Relatio and identification o themes

15:30 Report of the Syndic of the Order

17:00 Plenary. Reactions to the Relatio & identification of Themes. 

Fr. Bonifacio García Solis, OP.

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