Discerning the specificity of the Order of Preachers in Africa

fr Bruno Cadore, op

The 13th General Assembly of Inter-Africa (IAOP), held in Ibadan, Nigeria, from May 28th to June 2nd, 2017, under the theme, “The renewal of Dominican life and mission in Africa” was the occasion for the Master of the Order, fr. Bruno Cadoré, to develop specific points concerning the Order in Africa. He stressed a keen interest in the discernment of the specificity of the Order in Africa, in study, in the way of doing theology, etc.

The Master of the Order first presented the five priorities that emerge from the Acts of the General Chapter of Bologna 2016, namely: 1 / Restructuring, that is, continuing and consolidating the renewal of the provinces, vicariates and institutions of the Order; 2 / The dynamics in which the life and mission of communities and provinces must be articulated; 3 / Collaboration, to root preaching in collaboration; 4 / The renewal of the interaction between the Institutions which are under the direct jurisdiction of the Master of the Order and the mission of the Order as a whole; 5 / The renewal of the specific mission of the Order in the Church.

It is in this perspective that the Master of the Order spoke of the discernment of the specificity of the Order in Africa. He recalled that the Order has the burden of proclaiming this good news that the Church has instituted, that is to say, a family of preaching. It is important that the Order be founded serenely and its future be based on Africans.

One of the places of the renewal of the specific mission of the Order in Africa and the rooting of preaching in collaboration is certainly the Center for Specialized Studies (CSE) or the Institute for Dialogue between Theology and African cultures and traditional religions requested by the General Chapter of Bologna (ACG Bologna 2016, n.186). This institute on which fr. Anthony Akinwale presented the "philosophical vision" based on listening and dialogue finds its raison d'être in the challenges of inculturation. The taming of different cultures; the taming in one head of different cultures. The brothers and sisters in Africa are the first who could help the Order to look at it intelligently, posed and lucid. For fr. Bruno, this experience of cultural crossing is important for the proclamation of the Gospel.

In his “sufficient encouragements”, fr. Bruno expressed his gratitude to the brothers, for the warm welcome, the work and reflection of the 13th Assembly of IAOP. He appealed to the Dominican laity in Africa, the sisters, nuns and the Dominican youth for the mission, in a dynamic of collaboration, for they are all actors of evangelization. The Order must remember that it is constituted by the world as it is (quiet and less tranquil). As preachers we must be where the world is experiencing profound changes, in the places of less tranquil in the world. The care of the poor, the oppressed is not effaced by the religious life. Hence the need for a genuine culture of solidarity. There are times when global solidarity must help future preaching. That is why we must fight so that there are no entities that are more beggars than others. All these situations arouse the concern for justice and peace that are articulated throughout life.

Finally, the Master of the Order evoked the prospect of a pilgrimage in the footsteps of Dominic (in listening to Dominic) intended for all the formators of the Order. This project, planned for 2018, aims to update today the steps of Saint Dominic, update the intuitions of the mission in America, integrate the challenges of African into the Order, and awaken the formators to the questions that arise throughout the Order.

fr. Gabriel Samba, op


(26 July 2017)