Christmas is getting close, Advent has already begun with this call to prepare the ways of the Lord according to the preaching of John the Baptist, the most important figure of this liturgical period.
In this second text I would like to share some thoughts that seem important to me at the moment.
The first reflection is on the jubilee of the Order. I see that initiatives have been taken everywhere and the most important, such as the Lectio Divina, the Congress of Salamanca and the Congress on the Mission of the Order, have an effective presence of the laity of the Order, which makes me very happy. At the Congress on the Mission of the Order, in January, here in Rome, 60% of the participants will be Lay Dominicans from all the continents, without exception. I am really glad: this is a sign of the dynamism of the laity in the Order. I hope that the Jubilee is an opportunity for the whole Dominican Family to discover the importance of laity in the Order.
The second thing I would like to share with you is the importance of two coming events: the European Assembly of Lay Dominicans and the International Assembly of Lay Dominicans. Both will be held in Fatima, in October 2017 and 2018 respectively. I encourage the participation of Provinces and Vicariates in these events. The 2018 assembly is a preparation course. I myself chair a group reflecting on the role of Promoters and Religious Assistants. By Christmas I intend to send a questionnaire to which I ask the largest possible number of promoters / assistants and lay Dominicans to respond. I am sure the other members appointed by the International Council for each of the preparatory commissions will do the same; for them also the time to send the questionnaires will be by the end of 2017. We await your answers not later than June 2017.
During the last meeting of the Committee of the Dominican Family, the common mission of preaching in the Order was evaluated. The Chapter of Bologna gives very interesting indications, as you can see in the documents of Bologna, which are on this site. I invite you to study them. We also talked about the conclusions of the Salamanca Congress and its call to reflect on the theme of peace and the care of Creation.
I would like with your help, and in order to respond, to be able on this site to offer some lines of reflection on “Laudato Si”. These themes are also the watchword of the international assembly. I would like all the lay Dominicans who already have a commitment to this dimension of ecology to share their experiences and projects here.
In the Dominican Family Committee meeting, communion of prayer was proposed around the theme of peace. Here I propose something concrete: a prayer that we can all share. The sanctuary of Fatima, where the jubilee of the centenary of the apparitions of the Virgin has already begun, proposes a beautiful prayer for peace. In Fatima the Blessed Virgin incessantly invited us to pray for peace. Here is the text that I propose:
O God, All-Holy Father,
who gave us Your peace through Jesus
and through Him you wished to lead us to Your Heart
– in this place where the Virgin Mary invites us to pray for peace in the world
and where the Angel of Peace exhorts us to adore God alone –,
grant us, we pray, that peace may reign among all peoples;
that the leaders of the nations find ways towards justice,
that we may all reach the peace of heart
and that, through the intercession of the Queen of Peace,
we may become builders of a more fraternal world.
Through Christ, Our Lord.
Would it be possible for us to pray this prayer together, every day?
Next year I have already planned some trips: Malta, Mexico, Ecuador, the United States, the Philippines, Sri-Lanka, Vietnam, Portugal; I am waiting for the dates for Germany, Poland, Benin and the Ivory Coast which I hope to visit during 2017. If you have invitations to make, please let me know during the month of January so that I can assess the possibilities.
One last word: I wish you a Holy Christmas and a happy New Year in 2017. May the strength of the jubilee, which is coming to an end, help us revive our common vocation, that of the sons and daughters of St. Dominic, whom the Church continues to send to preach.Christmas is getting close: second message by the promoter generalhttp://www.fraternitiesop.com/promoter-general/christmas-getting-close-second-message-promoter-general/http://www.fraternitiesop.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/fr-Rui-Lopes-smilingjpg.jpghttp://www.fraternitiesop.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/fr-Rui-Lopes-smilingjpg-150x150.jpgEnglishPromoter GeneralSliderfr Rui Lopes,message