The celebration of the Jubilee of the Order of Preachers in 2016

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The celebration of the Jubilee of the Order of Preachers in 2016 is set to be a quite special event. The General Chapter, in session currently in Trogir, in Croatia, has set up a working group to examine [how to mark] this upcoming celebration. Expectations are high, and all the Chapter participants are keen to play their part.

To celebrate a Dominican Jubilee of this kind is a special occasion. It’s not like you get to do it every century! We couldn’t celebrate the 700th properly in 1916 because of the First World War. And that’s what makes marking the 800th anniversary of the Order something really special. Just think about it: so much time has passed since the first brothers heard the preaching of St Dominic and said to themselves: “I want to be just like him and do what he does!” That desire and passion have continued unabated, despite the vicissitudes of time.

That’s why Dominicans worldwide have been preparing for the 2016 Jubilee since the Season of Advent in 2005. It all began by commemorating the founding of the first Dominican community in Prouilhe - the birth place of the Holy Preaching. Then it continued every year under a different theme, this year's theme being: "Do unto me according to your Word" (Lk 1:38) - Mary: Contemplation and Preaching of the Word”. The General Chapter in Trogir is not immune to this spirit of preparation for the Jubilee!

Expectations are high, given that this Trogir meeting is the last (scheduled) General Chapter before the year of the Jubilee itself: and important decisions have to be made.

In order for the members of the Chapter to have some idea what’s been done so far and what has yet to be done, the Master of the Order, Br Bruno Cadore OP, invited the general promoter for the Jubilee, Br José Gabriel Mesa Angulo OP, to give a presentation on the progress of the preparations for the 2016 Jubilee. This presentation wasthorough and extensive.

Now a special committee has been set up, as I said at the outset, a 'commission on the jubilee and renewal of the mission and evangelisation of the Order'. This group is expected to come up with a concrete set of proposals in relation to what the Order as a whole ought to do, in order to mark this upcoming Jubilee in an appropriate manner. Of course, all the participants at the Chapter are interested in the topic of Jubilee so the Commission on Jubilee will not suffer from a lack of suggestions!

Br Mirko Vlk OP