Right at the heart of the birthplace of the Dominican Order’s founder, nineteen newly elected and re-elected Priors Provincial and Priors Vice Provincial spent ten days of fruitful workshop with the accompaniment of the Master of the Order, Brother Gerard Francisco Timoner III, OP, and members of the General Curia from March 15-24, 2022.
Hosting the annual activity this year was the Province of Hispania, whose Prior Provincial, Br. Jesús A. Díaz Sariego, OP, was likewise among the participants as a re-elected superior. Gathered together at the Convento de Santo Domingoin Caleruega, Spain, he and the following brothers embarked on a series of conferences that aimed at reinforcing the exercise of their ministry in their respective entities: Daniele Drago (Province of St. Dominic in Italy); Antonio Cocolicchio (Roman Province of St. Catherine of Siena); Francesco Maria Ricci (Province of St. Thomas Aquinas in Italy); Łukasz Wisniewski (Province of Poland); José Manuel Correia (Province of Portugal); René Dinklo (Province of the Netherlands); John Harris (Province of Ireland); Luis Javier Rubio (Province of St. James in Mexico); Ruben Martínez (Province of Our Lady of the Rosary); Vince Micallef (Province of St. Pius V in Malta); André Luis Tavares (Province of Br. Bartolomé de las Casas in Brazil); Ricardo Guardado (Province of St. Vincent Ferrer in Central America); Modestus Ngwu (Province of St. Joseph the Worker in Nigeria and Ghana); Augustin Wiliwoli (Vice-Province of St. Pius V in DR Congo); Damián Juraj Mačura (Province of Slovakia); and Yinmy Caballero (Vice-Province of Bolivia). They were joined by two other participating major superiors via the online medium: Peter Kreutzwald (Province of Teutonia) and Lukáš Fošum (Province of Bohemia).
Among the salient topics discussed in the sessions were the responsibilities of the provincial, issues in synergy of mission and community, balance in and spirituality of leadership, and practical insights on canonical procedures and financial management. Each of the socii contributed to presenting a general view of the Order as it operates in the curia, and as it is present in the different regions of the world, constantly engaging in the different works for the intellectual and apostolic life, as well as for fraternal life and formation. Valuable insights were likewise shared by the General Promoters and other officials concerning their works with the branches of the Dominican Family, media communication, justice and peace, and the office for general postulation.
A most welcome respite within the workshop were the fraternal encounters with the communities of the friars and the Dominican nuns in Caleruega, which were highlighted by on-site visits to significant places in the early life of St. Dominic such as the well, the torreon, and the cellar. Providing refreshing breaks were likewise the cultural visits to the Benedictine community of Santo Domingo de Silos, and to San Estaban de Gormaz, Peñaranda de Duero, El Burgo de Osma, and the Premonstratensian monastery of Santa María de La Vid.
Previously restricted by various ordinances on physical distancing, this year’s event marked the resumption of in-person gathering for the workshop. It provided the much-needed venue for individual consultations, where effective practices were exchanged and possibilities for further collaboration were explored. It was, indeed, an occasion for the Provincials and Vice Provincials not only to personally interact with the members of the General Curia, but also to immerse themselves in serious reflection on their ministry as “first among equals” for the brothers in the Order.