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Provincial Curia: Feast Of Our Lady Of The Rosary, Patroness Of Our Province.

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Yearly we celebrate with faith, joy and peace the holiest woman that has ever been born, the Mother of Jesus, chosen before she was conceived to give birth to the Son of God as foretold by the prophets and the Holy Scripture since the story of the garden and our first parents. She is the woman who has crushed the head of the snake by giving birth to the flowing waters of forgiveness of the Messiah and Savior of the world.

The celebration of the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is another opportunity to analyze our vocation and faithfulness to the mission of preachers to which we have been called in a very personal and unique manner. While religious life was not instituted by Jesus, nevertheless, it was willed by Him and we are called to embrace and follow the kind of life He lived as we are sent to go and preach in his name. Therefore, it is with great satisfaction that we worship with faith, joy and peace the feast of the holiest Mother of Jesus, chosen before she was conceived to conceive and give birth to the Son of God. Through Him, we have become sons of God and given the assurance of salvation. Furthermore, He entrusted her to us as a mother. Will she ever fail us?

While in our call we have not been privileged with an extraordinary visit from an Angel, nevertheless it is not less certain that we have also been chosen by God in a providential manner to answer his call. Like Mary, we also enjoy the freedom to say yes. For this, we too have been helped by God’s grace to say yes without really having known or anticipated the challenges we were to be confronted within the course of the history of life. But we are not alone. Having been called by Him we are certain that his grace will never let us down since He is bound to provide the necessary graces to fulfil the mission entrusted to us.  

While we may not have experienced the sword of pain that pierced Mary’s heart at the foot of the cross, nevertheless we have also been confronted with and will continue to experience something similar when confronted with our limitations and contradictions at the personal, community, and ministerial levels. There is also one great difference between Mary and each one of us. She was full of grace and we need to discover the reasons behind the difficulties we encounter and humbly implore God’s light and beg for an increase of faith to see where human light cannot dispel the uncertainties of our choices.

But, what human comfort was there for Mary at the foot of Jesus’ cross being so powerless as she was in the presence of her dead Son?  Had she not been told that He was to become the Savior of mankind? What thoughts may not have crossed her mind, what love, what trust, what humility, what feelings of wonder and resignation had not crossed her mind as she maintained her positive reliance on God’s plan in the presence of Jesus’ apprehension, condemnation, scourging, crowning, nailing to the wood of the cross and death? All this she had accepted when the angel greeted her with those extraordinary words “full of grace the Lord is with you and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”

We too feel powerless in the presence of the COVID 19, we have pleaded with God for mercy and continue to pray for the relief of this plague and the end of the pandemic so that economy, movement, and life may return to a degree of normality because we continue to be without much hope that it will be over soon. We have seen some of our brothers infected and recovered, but others have not been able to overcome the infection and have passed to the presence of God. However, the trial is not yet over. In some places, they have managed to control the infection but in many countries, it is still disrupting the normality of life. Thus we are bound to continue praying that God may guide scientists and governments to find, as soon as possible, the vaccine that may be able to control the effects of this pandemic. While we comply with and embrace the restrictions imposed and recommended by experts and epidemiologists to control the pandemic.  

I encourage the brothers and the communities to join the initiative of the Master of the Order in the triduum of Penance and Prayer with the whole Dominican Family from October 4 to 6 and on the 7th to recite the glorious mysteries at 8:00 local time or at a more appropriate time at the convenience of the community. The intentions are: in suffrage for those who died during the pandemic; for the intentions of their bereaved families; for those who continue to suffer the effects of the pandemic and for those who work to alleviate their suffering. 

Similarly, I invite the Brothers to entrust to the intercession of our Mother the reflections of the communities in preparation for the incoming provincial chapter. Today I will be sending the documents on preaching to be discussed in the communities before remitting their inputs to the Provincial Council not later than February 2, 2021.

May the Blessed Virgin Mary under the advocation of the Rosary help us to continue listening to her inspirations and guidance in our personal, communitarian, provincial, and ecclesial undertakings. While it is true that we are instruments in the hands of God, nevertheless, we have been entrusted with the great responsibility of becoming prophets for our world and the future of the Province. None of us can excuse himself from the great co-responsibility of planning, coordinating and acting. We believe that we are not alone; however, we cannot fail in our task as co-workers in the vineyard of the Lord and in shaping the future of a Province that must continue to preach the Good News to all those entrusted to our ministry.  

Let the yearly celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary be an opportunity to confess our faith and express our trust in the tender love of such a wonderful mother. In her arms, not only did Jesus find comfort and tender love. Whoever comes to her and implores her protection will never be abandoned. The Church’s teaching, the tradition we have received from our parents and our personal experience confirm and attest to our deepest Christian belief in such an extraordinary privilege, love and care.

I congratulate you, Brothers, for your work and service to the Gospel and I pray that the celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary renews and intensifies our faith, prayer and love. However, this is also an opportunity to become more committed to what we believe and to assume greater responsibility with our common vocation as preachers. Let the quality of our Christian and religious life be an example for others to discover the truth of the Gospel.

I wish you abundant blessings and graces and I humbly ask you to offer your prayers for our common needs and intentions since when two or three are gathered in Jesus’ name their prayers are certainly heard!

Happy Feast day!

Fray Bonifacio Garcia Solis,OP