Assembly Lay Dominican Council

Assembly of European Lay Dominican Fraternities in Fatima

The tenth Assembly of European Lay Dominican Fraternities was held in Fatima, Portugal from 4 to 8 October, with more than 50 participants representing 35 Provinces and Vicariates.

A large hotel run by Dominican Sisters, less than fifteen minutes from the Sanctuary, was “home” for these five days: not only did everyone sleep and eat there (huge, wonderful meals), but the Assembly room and chapel were on the premises, and the Sisters and staff were unfailingly hospitable and helpful.

Three invited speakers offered reflections on the theme “Preachers of Hope”: the current Master of the Order, Br Bruno Cadoré OP (excellent); the former Master Br Timothy Radcliffe OP (as always, inspiring and entertaining); and a Dutch Sister from a non-Dominican congregation, Yosé Höhne-Sparborth,  who has worked extensively in Iraq (Sr Yosé has some difficulty with the English language and was not always easy to follow, but her enthusiasm and commitment shone through every word). All the plenary sessions and almost all the liturgy were in English, but on two occasions there were workshops – four groups, in the three languages of the Order, and on 7 October, Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Rosary, Mass was celebrated at the Sanctuary, where hundreds of pilgrims joined us, and Br Rui Lopes, our Promoter General, presided, in his native Portuguese, giving a brief summary of his homily in English for the benefit of the many members of the Assembly who were unable to understand the original.

The language problem is pressing, and there is no simple solution. The hiring of the equipment necessary for simultaneous translation is very expensive, and the translators (who at past Assemblies have worked for many hours, unpaid – though their travelling expenses and accommodation are covered) are required to be extraordinarily flexible – and tireless! But the absence of the French Provinces on this occasion, and of South Italy at the Bologna 2014 Assembly, is a reminder of the importance of making these gatherings accessible to all. Personally, too, I would have been happy to have the liturgy in several languages – particularly in the case of the Mass, we all know what is happening, and could follow the celebration in languages we don’t personally speak – this was the case with Br Rui’s Mass at the Sanctuary, and I heard no complaints.  Your correspondent was also disturbed by the substitution of songs for the Gloria and the Sanctus on some occasions: these are part of the essential liturgy of the Eucharist and might even have been in Latin, which most of us could have coped with.

Small informal groups gathered in the bar of the hotel in the evening, making new friends and savouring a glass of port (well, we were in Portugal!). On the last evening we were joined by members of the Portuguese Youth Movement and Dominican Volunteers International, with music and laughter uniting the whole company.

Most importantly for the European Dominican laity, on the last afternoon those nominated for the new European Council were presented to the delegates: nine in all, of exceptionally high quality. Those elected were (in alphabetical order) Maro Botica (Portugal), Felix Hoffmann (South Germany and Austria), Damien McDonnell (Ireland), Ludovic Namurois (Belgium), and Vilija Semetiene (Lithuania); while Gabriel Silva (Portugal) was elected to the International Council, with effect from 2019. Our prayers will accompany them all in their work.

A day-by-day account of the Assembly is available on the website ecldf.net and we hope to be able to publish the full texts of some of the talks in due course.

Photo by Arnaud Kientz published on European Council of Lay Dominican Fraternities

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Assembly of European Lay Dominican Fraternities in Fatimahttp://www.fraternitiesop.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/10-Assembly-ECLDF.jpghttp://www.fraternitiesop.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/10-Assembly-ECLDF-150x150.jpgRuth Anne HendersonChronicleEnglishSlider,,
The tenth Assembly of European Lay Dominican Fraternities was held in Fatima, Portugal from 4 to 8 October, with more than 50 participants representing 35 Provinces and Vicariates. A large hotel run by Dominican Sisters, less than fifteen minutes from the Sanctuary, was “home” for these five days: not only...
The tenth Assembly of European Lay Dominican Fraternities was held in Fatima, Portugal from 4 to 8 October, with more than 50 participants representing 35 Provinces and Vicariates. A large hotel run by Dominican Sisters, less than fifteen minutes from the Sanctuary, was “home” for these five days: not only did everyone sleep and eat there (huge, wonderful meals), but the Assembly room and chapel were on the premises, and the Sisters and staff were unfailingly hospitable and helpful. Three invited speakers offered reflections on the theme “Preachers of Hope”: the current Master of the Order, Br Bruno Cadoré OP (excellent); the former Master Br Timothy Radcliffe OP (as always, inspiring and entertaining); and a Dutch Sister from a non-Dominican congregation, Yosé Höhne-Sparborth,  who has worked extensively in Iraq (Sr Yosé has some difficulty with the English language and was not always easy to follow, but her enthusiasm and commitment shone through every word). All the plenary sessions and almost all the liturgy were in English, but on two occasions there were workshops – four groups, in the three languages of the Order, and on 7 October, Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Rosary, Mass was celebrated at the Sanctuary, where hundreds of pilgrims joined us, and Br Rui Lopes, our Promoter General, presided, in his native Portuguese, giving a brief summary of his homily in English for the benefit of the many members of the Assembly who were unable to understand the original. The language problem is pressing, and there is no simple solution. The hiring of the equipment necessary for simultaneous translation is very expensive, and the translators (who at past Assemblies have worked for many hours, unpaid – though their travelling expenses and accommodation are covered) are required to be extraordinarily flexible - and tireless! But the absence of the French Provinces on this occasion, and of South Italy at the Bologna 2014 Assembly, is a reminder of the importance of making these gatherings accessible to all. Personally, too, I would have been happy to have the liturgy in several languages – particularly in the case of the Mass, we all know what is happening, and could follow the celebration in languages we don’t personally speak – this was the case with Br Rui’s Mass at the Sanctuary, and I heard no complaints.  Your correspondent was also disturbed by the substitution of songs for the Gloria and the Sanctus on some occasions: these are part of the essential liturgy of the Eucharist and might even have been in Latin, which most of us could have coped with. Small informal groups gathered in the bar of the hotel in the evening, making new friends and savouring a glass of port (well, we were in Portugal!). On the last evening we were joined by members of the Portuguese Youth Movement and Dominican Volunteers International, with music and laughter uniting the whole company. Most importantly for the European Dominican laity, on the last afternoon those nominated for the new European Council were presented to the delegates: nine in all, of exceptionally high quality. Those elected were (in alphabetical order) Maro Botica (Portugal), Felix Hoffmann (South Germany and Austria), Damien McDonnell (Ireland), Ludovic Namurois (Belgium), and Vilija Semetiene (Lithuania); while Gabriel Silva (Portugal) was elected to the International Council, with effect from 2019. Our prayers will accompany them all in their work. A day-by-day account of the Assembly is available on the website <a href="http://www.ecldf.net" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ecldf.net</a> and we hope to be able to publish the full texts of some of the talks in due course. <em>Photo by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/arnaud.kientz.75" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Arnaud Kientz</a> published on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/1695459427378429/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">European Council of Lay Dominican Fraternities</a></em> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/" rel="license"><img style="border-width: 0;" src="https://i.creativecommons.org/l/by-nc-nd/4.0/88x31.png" alt="Creative Commons License" /></a> This work is licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/" rel="license">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License</a>.

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