Dominican Order Update: Common Study

From the website of the Dominican Order:

Getting the cue from the apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, the theme of this year’s common study is “The Joy of the Gospel and the Gospel of Joy.” There were seventeen participants that attended the common study coming from five provinces of the Order (Most Holy Rosary, Assumption, Queen of Martyrs, Philippines and India) and eight nations (China, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Myanmar, Philippines, Indonesia and Solomon Islands). Among the participants are five ordained priests and two deacons.

The annual four-week program is in compliance with the provision of the Acts of the Bogota Chapter, number 221 which asked that “the Priors Provincial, Vice-Provincials and Vicar-Generals, together with their formation councils, to elaborate a program for those friars that have made their solemn profession and those who have been recently ordained to help them in these crucial moments of transition when they dedicate themselves to the mission.” The Asia-Pacific region is the first to comply since the major superiors of this region had already made a decision to pursue this program even before the inclusion of the provision in the Acts of the General Chapter of Bogota. It has been conducted twice in the Philippines (2008 and 2009), once in Vietnam (2010), Thailand (2012), and India (2013).

The 2014 common study in Indonesia was extra special because the brothers, during the fourth week of the common study (August 11-16, 2014), participated in the joint conference of the Journées Romaines Dominicaines (JRD) and the Justice and Peace and Care of Creation Commission (JPCC) of the Order in Asia-Pacific. It was the first time that these two groups are meeting jointly and the first time too that the JRD, the inter-religious dialogue group, is meeting in our region.

Msgr. Vincentius Sutikno Wisaksono, the bishop of Surabaya, generously lent the retreat house of the diocese in the cool mountain setting of Claket.
During the first three weeks of the common study, the following modules were conducted:

July 21-25: Preaching and Saint Thomas by Br. Vivian Boland, OP, Vicar of the Master of the Order (This module supplemented the brothers’ intellectual formation with hands-on analysis of key text from the writings of St. Thomas.)

July 28 – August 1: The personal dynamics affecting the Preacher of Evangelii Gaudium by Br. Amitharaj, OP (This module made the future preachers understand their own psycho-sexual dynamics and how to live with a healthy mental health while in ministry.)

August 4-8: The Spirituality and Mission of the Preacher of Joy by Br. Edmund Nantes, OP, and Br. Prakash Lohale, OP (This module puts the Dominican spirituality within the context of the Asia-Pacific region during the papacy of Pope Francis. Br. Prakash not only shared the challenges of the mission of the Order but also related the preparations leading to the Jubilee of the Order.) The socius of the Master for Asia-Pacific extended the personal greetings of the Master of the Order and also gave an overview of the situation his region.

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