A Common Study Programme at Bangkok


The fourth Common Study Programme for the solemnly professed and the newly ordained Dominicans of Asia-Pacific Region was held at Baan Phu Waan, the Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Bangkok from the 17th of June to the 14th of July 2012. The theme of the programme was “Mission as Dialogue”: which is, dialogue with self; dialogue with the poor, dialogue with other religions and dialogue with the World.

There were sixteen participants from eight different countries of Asia Pacific. The host of the programme was Fr Joseph Ngo Si Dinh, OP, the Provincial of the Province of Vietnam. He delegated the task to Fr Joseph Nghi Dinh, OP, the local coordinator and organizer. He welcomed us and took very good care of us.

The four week programme was planned and coordinated by Fr. Vincent Lu Ha, OP (Socius for Asia Pacific Region). His concern and interest is immense and he journeyed with us throughout the programme. The programme had two student masters, Fr. Amirtha Raj, OP for the first two weeks and Fr. Edmund Nantes, OP for the last two weeks. The resource persons for the programme included; Fr. Prakash Lohale, OP (Socius to the Master for Apostolic Life) who showed his keen interest in the mission of the Order and the  need to establish the Order in different parts of the world, Fr. Joseph Nghi Dinh, OP, Fr. Edmund  Nantes, OP, Fr. Amirtha Raj, OP, Dr. Yusuf Imtiaz and a few others.

The aims of the programme are;

1) To give opportunity to the young Dominicans to be in touch with the Dominicans in different parts of the world.

2) To guiding them to live in inter-cultural and inter-national communities.

3) To be a launching pad for the young Dominicans to begin their priestly life with hope and expectations

4) To build up the ability to know oneself and others.

5) To know the missions of the Order and to build up willingness to be part of it.

6) To build up skills in inter-faith dialogue.

7) To relive the four Priorities of the Order.

8) Dominican Preaching.

9) Challenges of present day life of a religious.

10) To be rooted in the Church and also be relevant in the modern world.

The expectations placed on the students were high and demanding. However, the involvements and activities kept the programme alive and vibrant.

The liturgy, classes, sports, recreation, visitation to different places kept all the participants together and interested in one another and in all that was happening. It was also a rare opportunity for us to participate in the inauguration of the ‘First House’ of the Dominicans of the Province of Vietnam.  One of the highlights of the programme was living in the Buddhist Monastery ‘Chang Wat Petchabun’ for four days and spending the time learning the art of Buddhist meditation and living and sharing the Buddhist monastic life. This is an experience cherished by the participants.

Fr. Amirtha Raj, OP