On Wednesday 19 July we were blessed with a visit from the Fr Bruno Caldere, Master of the Dominican Order and Fr Gerard from the Philippines who accompanied him. A small group representing friars, sisters and lay Dominicans gathered for introductions, prayer and discussion about the lived experience as Dominicans in Aotearoa New Zealand.
fr Bruno shared that in this the last part of his term the most important message he has to share is the importance of life. We all have to live together. He encouraged us to take opportunities for inter-religious dialogue and to truly encounter and meet people where they are. When we do this we do not “talk” of friendship, rather we share the same way of life, celebrating joys and supporting each other in the challenges. We must be together to see what is going on.
When asked about his hope for the Dominican Family, Fr Bruno spoke about his hope that we would have more energy to think about others than to think about ourselves. We need to take time to think about who we are and we need to do that to let the world show us how to love the world. We need to be taught from the suffering of our brothers and sisters. The Lord will never move the process of the nature / creation – but when the Lord took flesh – when he met the blind man, he had such a compassion. He did what we never thought he would do. If we let the sufferings and joys of the world teach us our own flesh lets us do something new. Unity is very important – we must all be linked to the Dominican Family, both within our own country and further afield.
fr Bruno reminded us of the diversity among the Dominican family around the world! He spoke of the importance of committing our baptism to Dominic: “I give my life to the preaching of the Dominican order and obedience to listen to and live by the word of God”.
The words that I will remember for some time from fr Bruno were: “We need to involve people in the mission – preaching comes later. We want our church to be open and welcoming – any day of the week, not just on a Sunday.” I think there is a challenge in this statement for all of us to respond to. How do we involve others in our mission?
Contributed by Teresa McNamara
Below we share an article from NZ Catholic – 30 July 2017: