A word of welcome to the new Promoter General and warm thoughts about the outgoing Promoter
translated by Ruth Anne Henderson
The new Promoter General of the Laity was officially named on 23 October 2019-11-07
I had the opportunity to meet Br Ubaldo Lopez op in an informal meeting with Br Rui in the first half of October, at a sort of working lunch where we talked about the laity, about future plans and unrepeatable tales (for those who know me and are wondering, I chose a Shiraz). We have already had some opportunities to work with Br Ubaldo, and he is the right person for this new phase of the laity. I am sure he will do a good job.
I would like to say a few words about Br Rui, with whom I collaborated for six years, at first as a mere factotum and then as custodian of his confidences.
Together we launched the project of Fraternities OP, whose success astonished us; we had fun making videos (I was working ‘backstage’); we spent many hours together when he was in hospital and then convalescent; we went to congresses and meetings – indeed, it was Br Rui who put forward my name for some activities. I was a reader at the Jubilee Mass in Rome’s Cathedral, St John Lateran, because Br Rui mentioned my name. He introduced me to the ICLDF asking me to work with them; he involved me in the preparation of the Fatima Congress and we prepared the Acts together. He was a marvellous boss, leaving me free to act, defending me so that I always felt my back was covered. Br Rui solved an infinite number of laity problems, and took responsibility for many “sins” – I’ve seen him excited but also terribly disappointed, almost humiliated.
I have had the privilege of getting to know a private Br Rui about whom I can’t reveal everything: he would telephone me, amused, to say: “I’m going to make you laugh! Listen to what happened”, or he would call me at night because he had concerns that kept him awake.
We were having lunch together and while we were waiting for the dessert, I gave him a sheet of paper, saying: “I want to publish this article”. He took it absent-mindedly, then he grew serious, almost moved. When he reached the preceding paragraph he burst out laughing. Then he handed it back to me, saying: “Fine. We two have really worked hard”.
I thank God for this friendship and for letting me get to know Br Rui and appreciate him as a man and as a Dominican.
Now our paths are separating. Our collaboration has been profound and friendly, an unrepeatable experience. This is why I have asked Br Ubaldo to be relieved of Fraternities OP. I don’t know if that will happen or not, but in the mean time I will continue to help him so that he will not be left alone at the beginning of his mandate.
One period of life comes to an end, another begins. As they say, “the best is yet to come” and I am ready. Much more so, Br Rui.
All good wishes to Br Ubaldo for his work.