Dominican Life and Mission in the Asia-Pacific Region

Picture: 
Body: 

The major superiors of the entities in the Asia-Pacific region gathered at Rosary Hill, Hong Kong in February 2013 to discuss the life and mission of the Order in that region.

Most of the superiors were present at that meeting; fr Javier Gonzalez (Holy Rosary Province) was the host provincial, fr Kevin Saunders (Australia), fr John Kusumalayam (India), Joseph Ngo Si Dinh (Vietnam), fr Vincent Li (Taiwan), fr Hiroshige Watanabe (represented the vicar from Japan) and fr Gerard Timoner III (Philippines).  Also present were; fr Vincent Lu Vien Ha (Socius of the Master for Asia-Pacific) and fr Prakash A. Lohale (Socius of the Master for Apostolic Life). Unfortunately Fr. Pazcal Nazir (Pakistan) was unable to come.

Each of the brothers gave reports of the different challenges facing the Dominican life and mission in their entities. From Australia, fr Kevin reported that the average age of brothers in the province is rising and the in flock of vocations is not encouraging. He is hoping that the vocations from the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea will be able to work in Australia and New Zealand in the future.

Fr Vincent gave a report on the Order’s support to the region through the Solidarity Fund. This fund is used to support common studies and to offer scholarships to brothers from the region. The hope is that the brothers so sponsored by the fund will return to teach in one of the institutes of the region. In the spirit of collaboration, the entities in the region also offer different forms of scholarship to brothers from within and outside the region. 

There were also positive reports from the last Common Study programme of the region hosted by the Province of Vietnam at Bangkok, Thailand. The participants had the opportunity to learn from the resource persons invited and from one another. The next programme will be hosted by the Province of India at Igatpuri, near Bombay between June 25 and July 27, 2013. There will also be a Leadership and Formators Course at the Philippines between February and March, 2014. This is open to all members of the Dominican family. It was noted that emphasizes should always be placed on formation for mission since the region is a vast mission territory.

On the Jubilee of the Order which comes up in 2016, the brothers were updated on the preparations from the General Curia. All the plans which are still in the developmental stage, will focus on Liturgy, the Patrimony of the Order, the Dominican Family, Studies, Communication and the History and Heritage of the Order. The entire celebration will culminate on December 22, 2016, the anniversary of the confirmation of the Order by Pope Honorius. As soon as the plans are finalized, they will be communicated to the entire Order.

Each entity also shared on their levels of preparation for the celebration of the Jubilee. From their reports, they will be focusing on retreats, conventions, pilgrimages, conferences and various liturgical celebrations. On the regional level, as part of the Jubilee celebrations, the next Dominican Family Retreat and Celebrations will take place in October 2016 at UST, Manila. The Leaders Conference and Business Meeting will following after that.

The brothers made some recommendation for the forthcoming General Chapter of Trogir, 2013.

It was indeed a fruitful gathering of brothers, thus they will gather again in Japan in March, 2014.