Fr Bruno Cadoré and others receive “The Martin de Porress Award” at Dominican Family Conference

Fr. Bruno Cadoré, OP, Sr. Barbara Reid, OP, Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez, OP, Dr. Paul Farmer

Four people whose lives have been characterized by a profound commitment to service were honored October 22 at the Southern Dominican Family Conference, held in honor of the 800th Anniversary of the founding of the Order of Preachers, or Dominican Order.

“The Martin de Porres Award is awarded to persons whose lives exemplify the spirit of St. Martin de Porres, who serve the community and church, particularly the poor, sick and marginalized,” explained Fr. Tom Condon, OP, Prior Provincial of the Province of St. Martin de Porres (Southern Dominican Province).

The recipients were Fr. Bruno Cadoré, OP, Master of the Order of Preachers; Sr. Barbara Reid, OP, author, vice-president, and academic dean at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago; Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez, OP, theologian, and Dr. Paul Farmer, internationally recognized humanitarian and co-founder of Partners in Health.

“When I told each of these people that they were going to be presented this award, they each told me they didn’t think they were worthy of such an honor,” Fr. Condon told the conference attendees. “Which means they most certainly deserve this award.”

The St. Martin de Porres Award recipients take part in a panel discussion. (L to R) Fr. Bruno Cadoré, OP, Sr. Barbara Reid, OP, Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez, OP, Dr. Paul Farmer

Each of the recipients were invited to make brief remarks upon receiving the award. Fr. Cadoré told the audience he would receive the award on behalf of the entire Dominican Order, urging all Dominicans — friars, sisters, laypersons, and associates — to continue to work to bring about a peaceful society. “It is possible to reverse divisions among the world using goodness,” he said.

Similarly, Sr. Reid accepted the award in the name of her particular congregation, the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids. “All that I have done…is only by the grace of God and through my Dominican family. And so, to use a common expression and make it my own, I accept it in the name of my family because it takes a family to raise a Dominican!”

Speaking in his native Spanish, Peruvian-born Fr. Gutierrez said, “Gifts are never deserved, but they are always welcomed.” He noted that he and St. Martin de Porres share a common bond — both were baptized in the same church in Lima, Peru. “Though not in the same year,” Fr. Gutierrez joked. He urged the assembly to not lose zeal in their work to bring relief to the underprivileged in society.

Lastly, Dr. Farmer accepted the award, noting that as a young man, he never cherished his family’s Catholic faith. Prior to entering Harvard Medical School, he explained, he traveled to Haiti where he first encountered poverty. There he read Fr. Gutierrez’ book about liberation theology, and was “hooked.” He credited Fr. Gutierrez for instilling in him a desire to see the face of God in the poor, which has propelled him to use his skill as a physician to serve the poorest of the poor throughout the world. “I am honored to count [Fr. Gutierrez] as a friend. Thank you for this honor and thank you Gustavo,” he said.

The awards were presented at the final dinner of the “Living our Legacy” Conference, a three-day gathering of Dominican friars, sisters, laity, and friends held in Dallas and hosted by the Province of St. Martin de Porres.

In the Company of the Poor

“Poverty is not a destiny, it’s a condition. Poverty is not a misfortune, it’s an injustice,” declared theologian and liberation theology founder Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez, OP, at a panel discussion co-hosted by the University of Dallas School of Ministry and the Dominican Province of St. Martin de Porres on October 21, 2016.

More than 500 Catholics attended the event, held at the Dallas/Fort Worth Marriott Hotel in Irving. Bishop Greg Kelly, auxiliary bishop in Dallas, welcomed the attendees. “This night may be a little bit disturbing,” Fr. Tom Condon, Prior Provincial of the Dominican Province of St. Martin de Porres told the audience. “It’s a topic that should unsettle us.” Fr. Gutierrez, together with Dr. Paul Farmer, founding director of Partners in Health and Fr. Bruno Cadoré, OP, Master of the Order of Preachers spoke of the need to understand poverty.

(L to R) Fr. Bruno Cadoré, OP, Sr. Barbara Reid, OP, Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez, OP, Dr. Paul Farmer

 “Poverty is not only related to money. There is material poverty, of course, but there’s also spiritual poverty, institutional poverty. It’s a complex issue,” said Dr. Farmer. “All too often we romanticize what it means to love the poor. To love the poor is not a romanticization — it’s a way of life,” he said. The three spoke of the need to “have a preferential option given to the poor.”

“The question is not to have a preferential option given to the poor because they are more loved by God, but to see that they are the persons who need the most protection,” stressed Fr. Gutierrez. “To love one poor person is to be Catholic. “ “It is very clear that we must be in solidarity with the poor, “ Fr. Gutierrez added.

“We have to consider solidarity is not an action, it’s a way of life,” Fr. Cadoré affirmed. “Nobody has the right to decide that someone, or a group of people, are not part of society. We have to decide to live our life in a way that includes all people.“ Dr. Farmer spoke of the need to “not only stand in solidarity, but to provide material solidarity as well.” But in order to do that, first “we must speak to the poor. We have to know them. We have to give the floor to those whom we are talking about — to give them the floor and let them talk,” Dr. Farmer said.

The panel discussion was moderated by Sr. Barbara Reid, OP, Vice-president and Academic Dean at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. “We have been talking about the poor quite a bit today, but it is quite important to hear from those we have been speaking about,” she said. The event was part of a three-day Dominican conference marking the order’s 800th Anniversary. Run by the Southern Dominican Province of St. Martin de Porres, The conference, entitled “Living our Legacy,” was attended by more than 250 Dominican friars, sisters, and laypersons. The panel discussion, which was open to the public, was part of the University of Dallas’ Landregan Lecture series.

For more pictures, click here.


(26 October 2016)