Coming from a momentary interruption due to the pandemic, major superiors of the Dominican Family in the Asia-Pacific region came together anew for the leadership conference held in South Korea on 23-27 October 2023.
With the theme “The Dominican Family in Asia-Pacific: Strengthening Communion, Collaboration, and Mission in the Spirit of Synodality,” the triennial assembly commenced with the celebration of vespers integrated with the Holy Mass. The main celebrant, Br, Jamshed Albert Gill, OP, Socius for the Asia-Pacific, welcomed the participants representing the friars, nuns, apostolic sisters, and lay fraternities from 14 countries.
Reflecting on the opening keynote speech from Br. Quirico Pedregosa Jr., OP, the participants exchanged insights with each other in small groups. Thereafter, discussions in the following days were enriched by resource persons who delivered presentations concerning their respective contexts in the Order: Sr. Mary Augustine Cruz, OP, “Spirit of Synodality with the Dominican Nuns”; Sr. Margaret Mayce, OP, Coordinator of the Dominican Sisters International Confederation, “Spirit of Synodality with the Dominican Apostolic Sisters”; Br. Florentino Bolo Jr., OP, Socius for the Apostolic Life, “Synodality, Collaboration and Apostolic Life”; and Br. Paul Regan Talavera, OP, “Living Synodality in the Ministry with Young Adults.”
One of the highlights of the assembly was a visit to the Dominican Nuns of the Monastery of the Mother of God in Seoul, where everyone shared with the nuns the updates on the situations prevalent in their respective countries of ministry: Australia, Hong Kong China, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Timor Leste, USA, and Vietnam. Also gracing the gathering on October 26 was the Bishop Basil Cho Kyu-man, Bishop of Wonju Korea (South), who presided over the Holy Mass and joined the participants for lunch. In the closing session the participants evaluated the program. They expressed their expectations from different branches in the Dominican Family to strengthen communion, collaboration and mission of the Order. They also shared how the conference has helped to understand and explored the ways of collaboration among the Dominican Family. The session ended with proposal for future common programs in the region. On the following day, October 27, Br. Rubén Martinez, OP, Prior Provincial of the host Province, celebrated the closing Mass.
With the conclusion of the Dominican Family Leaders Conference, the friars proceeded on October 27 to the Convent of St. Dominic in Seoul to continue with the annual meeting of the major superiors of the entities:
- Br. Rubén Martínez, OP (Province of Our Lady of the Rosary);
- Br. Raymond Mi Yu Chun, OP (Vicar Provincial for the Philippines);
- Br. Dominic Murphy, OP (Province of the Assumption BVM in Australia and New Zealand);
- Br. Thomas Aquinas Nguyễn Trường Tam, OP (Province of the Queen of Martyrs in Vietnam);
- Br. Filemon I. de la Cruz Jr., OP (Province of the Philippines);
- Br. Pascal Paulus, OP (Vice Province of “Ibn-e-Mariam” in Pakistan);
- Br. Angelik Kitsula, OP (Vice Province of the Queen of China in Taiwan).
They were led by Br. Jamshed with the participation of Br. Florentino, and Br. Cristobal Torres, OP, General Promoter of the Laity.