The Master of the Dominican Order (the 87th direct successor to St. Dominic), Fr. Bruno Cadore, O.P., toured the Province of St. Albert the Great (Central Province U.S.A.) to conduct the canonical visitations as required by the Constitution of the Order. The principal objective was to gain the best possible understanding of the province, of its communities, and its brothers, of the cultural and ecclesial contest in which it undertakes its preaching, of the principal challenges with which it is faced, of its strengths and weaknesses, and to identify with the province the key points for promoting further its apostolic creativity and for integrating that creativity in the overall mission of the Order.
The Master of the Order arrived in late October and spent nearly two weeks touring the Province of St. Albert the Great (Central Province, U.S.A.).
The Master visited with brothers in their communities in Chicago, Madison, Denver, St. Louis, and West Lafayette (Indiana). He met with students and faculty at Fenwick High School and Aquinas Institute of Theology. According to Fr. Bruno, the moments spent in evening prayer with the Dominican Family, the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa, and concelebrating Mass in Province parishes served as a reminder about the importance of collaboration in fulfilling the Order’s mission today.
He reminded us that our holy preaching has to give priority to the poor.
On the History of the Province and the Order
“Jubilees are times of restoration and liberation in which the fundamental questions of identity surface. The jubilee of provinces, especially in the context of the great Jubilee of the Order is a graced moment to stand in silence before God and the rich history of a province in order to listen and to grasp how, as an integral part of the Order, it will renew itself and adapt itself courageously.”
“The unity of the Order in a province is bound together in the common vision of the province, that is, the way in which it manifests the charism of the Order fully in each instance of its presence in a specific location.”
On Fraternal Life
The Master acknowledged the value brought to the province by its elder members as well as affirming the importance of its campus ministries and vocations efforts.
“You have been blessed with a good number of vocations that rejuvenate the province. This is due to the culture of vocations that you have developed where all are responsible for the promotion of vocation, which begins with the integrity of one’s own life and fidelity to the charism of the Order. In such a way, the tradition of the Order is handed on from one generation to the next with a confidence and esteem that encourages creativity in the face of routine challenges.
“The elder brothers remind us that without a foundation in a daily life of prayer and study the challenges of aging will be all the more burdensome and frustrating. It is the fruits of our lifelong dialogue with the Word that provide the way through life’s challenges, especially when the body is too weak (lack of energy and concentration, poor eyesight, etc.) to start anew at the beginning,”
On the Province’s Growth:
“The new priory of St. Dominic (St. Louis), with its emphasis on architectural simplicity and a renewed use of previous structures, can be seen as a symbol of renewing previous relationships for collaboration by focusing on the basics (simplicity) of the Dominican Life.”
“The danger is to see preaching as something we must ‘do’ rather than something we ‘are’ in the sacra praedicatio, that is, the witness to the conversation that God wants to have with us so that we have something to share with the world. It is in the Word of God that we discover our identity as Dominicans.”
On a Life of Study
“Your province has a tradition of a strong intellectual mission evidenced by a number of your brothers and renewed tools for publications with the New Priory Press. As you define and reaffirm the goal and purpose of Aquinas Institute, know that I was very impressed with the school and support academic (philosophical and theological) formation in the ambiance of the lay formation programs, especially in the M.A. in Health Care Mission. A strong foundation in philosophy and theology, distinguished by its rigor and scientific method, will be necessary in order for brothers to take part fittingly in serious dialogue.”
“Which youth are we serving? Are we serving only the youth that can afford an education today at the educational institutions that we serve? What about all of the youth that do not attend college? If our ministry priority is to the youth, then how is it to all of them and not only to a particular social class or those who are intellectuals, that is, having received the higher levels of education?”
On the Province’s Economy
“There are new steps in the Office of Mission Advancement and a growing culture of mendicancy in the province.”
On Missions Abroad
“Begin a dialogue with the Order about the possibility of beginning a new foreign mission or collaborating with a more fragile entity in need of support.