Cardinal Alexandre Do NASCIMENTO makes his commitment in Priestly Fraternities of the Order of Preachers

Cardinal Alexandre Do NASCIMENTO

It was with great joy that Archbishop Emeritus of Luanda, Angola, Cardinal Alexandre Do Nascimento was looking forward to his integration into the Priestly Fraternity of the Order of Preachers, to become a Dominican. His dream came true on Thursday the 4th of June 2015.

During the Mass presided over by Brother Carlos Rui Antunes e Almeida Lopes, General Promoter of the Dominican Laity, delegated by the Master of the Order, Brother Bruno Cadoré, Cardinal Alexandre do Nascimento, 90 years old, made his commitment and became the first priest, bishop and cardinal from Angola to join Priestly Fraternities, a branch of the Dominican Family.

The celebration began at 6:30 pm with a clothing ceremony, in private, in the chapel of the community of St. Thomas Aquinas of our brothers in Luanda. This was also presided over by brother Rui (since it had to be in Portuguese !). He was accompanied by brothers Gabriel Samba, Socius of the Master of the Order for Africa, Miguel Ángel Del Rio, Socius of the Master of the Order for the Italian provinces, Malta and the Iberian Peninsula, Jose Sebastian, Vicar Provincial of Angola, all the brothers of the Vicariate, some priests and religious, including Franciscans.

After the clothing, Brothers Rui and Sebastien led the Cardinal into the church of the community where the Eucharist was celebrated. At the beginning of the Mass, the Socius for Africa read the letter from Brother Bruno Cadoré addressed to Cardinal Alexandre Do Nascimento. In this letter, the Master of the Order expresses his "fraternal communion in thanksgiving and prayer" with the Cardinal and expressed the hope that with him "in this year of the Jubilee celebration of the Order, a Priestly Fraternity in Angola will be established that brother Jose Sebastian, the Vicar Provincial, will certainly be happy to promote. "

In his homily, brother Rui pointed out the meaning of profession of evangelical life according to the Rule of Priestly Fraternities. He noted two important aspects of the Dominican vocation: the balance between contemplative and active life, and the dimension of study, a dimension that has always attracted Mgr. Alexandre. From his youth, Cardinal Do Nascimento was always struck by the figures of St. Thomas Aquinas and father Lacordaire; and in his preaching brother Rui stressed the importance of study in the life of the Cardinal. Brother Rui also said that welcoming the Cardinal into our family was an honour and a responsibility, a call to live better and to better reflect our Dominican vocation.

After the homily, standing before the whole congregation of about 250 people, Cardinal Alexandre Do Nascimento made his commitment in the hands of brother Rui. It was a wonderful moment of emotion, reverence and thanksgiving enhanced by the presence of three bishops namely Bishop Anastacio Kahango, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Luanda, Bishop Zeferino Zeca Martisns, currently Auxiliary Bishop of Luanda and Bishop Vincente Kiaziko, Bishop of the Diocese of Mbanza Congo. Also present were the Minister of Education, Mr. Pinda Simão, the State Secretary for Cooperation, Mrs Angela Bragança, and several members of the biological family of the Cardinal.

Then sitting in an armchair in front of the altar, the Cardinal sprinkled the Dominican friars who came in procession with holy water, as they sang the Dominican Salve Regina and the O lumen Ecclesiae.

In his speech, widely reported by many Angolan media covering this historic event, the Cardinal thanked the brothers for having welcomed him into the Order, and thanked the Lord for this gift. He assured the brothers that they could rely on him and on his support.

On behalf of the Order, the Socius for Africa handed a gift to the Cardinal, a painting of Saint Thomas Aquinas painted by our brother Thomas Odiambo Nicholas, OP, from the Provincial Vicariate of Eastern Africa, who came from Kenya in recent months to decorate the church of the brothers.

The ceremony ended with a festive meal with all the guests and the Dominican Family of Angola with whom we had a meeting before the event at 4 pm. This celebration also marked the end of the canonical visit that brothers Miguel, Rui and Gabriel began on 1 June 2015.

fr. Gabriel Samba, OP.



(13 June 2015)