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General Chapter: Last and decisive work issues.

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In the afternoon of July 16, 2017, the plenary session was devoted to put together views, suggestions and reflections related to the cases of abuse that have surfaced in the Order. Amon the points mention were the approach of the Church and the Order; the obligations of justice and charity that have to be considered; the victim’s rights and the offender’s responsibility, guilt and compassion. Likewise, a number of interventions were oriented toward doing everything possible that such things will never be repeated.

During the second part of the session we were given inform about the celebrations on the incoming celebration of the anniversary of the death of St. Dominic in 2021. The anniversary will be centered on three topics: Gratitude to our Father for his contribution and the mission of the Order; Conversion to bring about the continues process; Renewal to discover our role in the Church today. 

There is an invitation to engage with the Dominican family in the celebration and other institutions and Dominican congregations to consider the example of the saints and their holiness as an example for the Dominicans today. Likewise, Theological and historical conferences; Pilgrimages from Rome to Bologna and visits to the places of St. Catherine, St. Thomas of Aquinas, Agnes of Multepunciano, Margaret, Giorgio la Pira. Exhibition in Bologna.

Four liturgical celebrations must be organizing the Opening celebration, Feast of the translation of St. Dominic, Dominican Family and closing celebration. At the local places it would be good that the friars encounter ourselves as Dominicans with the other branches of the family.

In the Eucharistic celebration of this same day, the preacher Fr. Felicisimo Martinez, OP., Invited us not to be discouraged because the only teacher and agent of the preaching is the Holy Spirit. We share his homily:


Br. Felicisimo Martinez, OP.

July 26, 2019

In the memory of Saint Joaquin and Saint Anne, we are reminded of the decalogue, the ten commandments. It was probably family catechesis in the home of Joaquín, Anne, and Mary.

For many Christians, the commandments have become an unbearable weight, because they have been separated from the Covenant. When morality separated itself from dogma, from the central mysteries of the Christian creed, it ran out of roots, and became dried.

The refrain repeated so many times in the Bible is forgotten: "So that you, your children and your grandchildren may be happy ..."This is the purpose of the decalogue.

Something similar happens sometimes with our religious profession. When it is not based on the experience of faith, when you have not had the experience of the Kingdom and its justice ... it becomes a heavy and unbearable burden, it is reduced to mere negative renunciations. It is foolish to buy the field without having discovered the treasure.

If our profession does not favor the quality of life and joy, it becomes an unbearable burden. We forget one of its purposes: "So that you and the next generation and the next will be happy ..."

The chronicles of Saint Dominic say he was a cheerful, optimistic, jovial male ... He was only disturbed by attacks of compassion.

The same thing happened to St. Augustine with the conversion with the decalogue and the profession.

Before the conversion he mistakenly thought that once converted he could no longer be happy. That is why he said to the Lord: "Tomorrow, Tomorrow ... let me enjoy a little more."But once converted, he realized his mistake and addressed the Lord with these words: " Late have I loved you, beauty so old and so new: late have I loved you." And he described his conversion experience with one of the most wonderful metaphors of Christian literature. He addresses the Lord in prayer in these terms: "Then you, Lord, took me from my back where I had put myself so as not to see myself and threw myself against my eyes"

Conversion is basically a matter of lighting. This statement is totally consistent with the best Dominican theology.

Our profession is a profession of preachers. Today's gospel invites us to make some reflections on preaching.

We can think about preaching in relation to the recipients. Some grains fell on hard ground, others on stony ground, others among thorns, others on good ground. In commission two of us have talked about religious illiterates, secularized, indifferent religious ... The relationship with the recipients of the preaching can be of judgment and condemnation. Then we will preach the Gospel by throwing it against the public. Woe to you if you do not comply! Or we can relate to the recipients with mercy and compassion. Then we will preach the gospel as good news, something that suits them.

We can reflect on preaching in relation to the preacher.

The first thing we need is not to become obsessed with success or measure it by public applause. Kierkegaard said: "I refuse to judge the success of my preaching by the applause of the public." And Fray Luis de Granada, quoting Saint Jerome, writes: "The success of preaching must be measured more by the tears of conversion than by the applause."

In failure we have not let ourselves be trapped by the feeling of guilt. We have to sow, the rest is God's thing. We do not know where the word will fall or when it will bear fruit. Many years ago, I was invited to give some talks at the Dominican family assembly in Cordoba of Argentina. Some 600 people from the Dominican family attended. One of the talks was about the Dominican charism. Do you know where the word went? To the cameraman they had hired to make the video. In the end he approached me and said: Father, I want to return to the Church, I want to baptize my children, because something happened to me while you talked” We do not know where or when the seed of our word will germinate.

And we must never be discouraged. Do you know the sermon on the chairs? A bishop invited a famous preacher to preach the triduum of the Patron Saint. The preacher arrived and on the first day of the triduum the chairs were absolutely empty. There was only one drunk in one corner and a couple in love in the other, at the bottom of the temple. But the preacher was not discouraged. He preached his sermon to the empty chairs: Dear chairs, I come with pleasure to preach to you the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, because it suits you, because it does you good. ” The drunkard and the young people went all over the city shouting: A crazy, crazy, crazy preacher has come, totally crazy… ”

The next day the cathedral was full of people. Do not be discouraged.

Rhetoric and sacred oratory are a human affair. Preaching is God's thing. Humberto de Romanis says and repeats it a thousand times: "The only teacher and preaching agent is the Holy Spirit."