The Master of the Order, fr Bruno Cadoré presided at the Eucharistic celebration for the inauguration of the 36th Congregation of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) on the 2nd of October 2016. After the Eucharistic celebration, Mr Edoardo Mattei, a member of the Lay Fraternities in the Roman Province of St Catherine of Siena had the privilege to accompany him back to the Adventine Hill during which they has a conversion about the just concluded General Chapter of Bologna 2016 and collaboration in the Dominican Family. Edorado shares the fruit of the encounter with us:
Judging from my past experiences with him on the way he moves, I waited for him at the exit of the Jesuit house after the Mass. In fact, each time I have meet him, I have come to appreciate more and more his lifestyle of simplicity and frugality. At the celebration of the centenary of the Dominican Convento del Rosario at Prati (Rome), he came on foot with the Metro and returned the same way. Again, when he participated at an event at the Angelicum, he also arrive on foot as always with his backpack.
As he stepped out, I called out to him, “Master” (I have always wondered the best way to address him). He turned and for a moment was amazed but it seems the Dominican shield on my jacket gave him a little assurance. I introduced myself and requested to accompany him back to Santa Sabina which will give me the opportunity to have a conversation with him on certain issues relating to the Order. The following is the result of a 20 minutes fraternal conversation, which was all it took us to arrive at the foot of the Adventine Hill. Being fully aware that the steep slope will not make for a good conversation, we parted ways cordially. I thanked him for his generosity and patience with me and of course, I had a selfie with him.
Edoardo: Master, in contrast to what happens between the Dominicans and the Franciscans where each presides at the others founder’s feast day celebration, such does not exist with the Jesuits.
fr Bruno: In fact, this is the first time we are being invited. On the contrary we have a great friendship and tradition with the Franciscans and on the 4th of October, we will be celebrating with them.
E: From the recently concluded Chapter of Bologna, there is an exhortation to continue the collaboration in the Dominican Family, asking for the participation of the members of the Dominican Family during the preparation and celebration of their respective chapters. (cf. Acts 133)
B: The Dominican Family is very important and the collaboration process between the branches is proceeding successfully. This is a new step forward; each branch has a role to plan in the breaking down of barriers and misunderstandings, all in view of the preaching mission we have been called to.
E: The Chapter also talks about a directory of the Dominican Family (cf. Acts 131)
B: The Directory is not going to be a cold tool or a legal code that to abide by. Rather, it will also contain the ways and possibilities for collaboration within the Dominican Family. Friars, nuns, sisters and lay people in the Order have their different specializations and tasks, different capacities and different places to preach. We need to know and to encourage those who are best suited for various opportunities in the mission. Street evangelization is different from preaching in universities, and preaching to the sick is different from preaching to families.
We also need collaboration in governance. There is no guarantee that the Order or the different Congregations will always have internally the necessary and appropriate human resources to ensure their governance. We need to broaden our horizon to the entire Dominican Family and to discover and development our brothers and sisters who are as available for this service like the friars and the nuns.
E: It’s a transition from a devotional participation towards an awareness of the vocation of belonging to the Order.
B: There are nuances in the ways of belonging to the Order and where there are these devotional feelings, brothers and sisters must be matured and must develop their vocational discernment. Formation is very important here.
E: The General Chapter of Rome 2010 recommended the establishment of “Preaching Schools” (cf. Acts 149). Is this project still ongoing?
B: Certainly, the project is very popular in the US, France and the Philippines where such schools have been opened recently. They are organized as one-week courses or periodic meetings where the speakers are experts from within and outside the Order. The courses reflect on past experiences and future projects.
E: The Chapter of Bologna recommended the promotion of the formation of friars in order to enable them handle digital technologies (cf. Acts 151-156). What are the objectives? What is the Order’s approach to digital media?
B: Digital media is now a common instrument which is used globally transforming interpersonal relationships across societies and languages. As preachers, we cannot ignore this transformation, we have to know it to better understand the world to which we are called to carry out our mission.
For these reason and also to adequately form ourselves on these topics, the Order has promoted OPTIC (Order of Preachers for Technology, Information and Communication) in order to study how to fulfill our preaching mission with the use of the digital media, how to understand its potentials and effects, how to approach people in the digital continent and how to talk to them about God.
Also as an Order, we have to learn how to create networks. A committee will reflect on this subject during the Mission Congress which will be held in January at the Angelicum, Rome.
Mr Edoardo Mattei, op
(16 November 2016)