From August 2 to 5, 2022, in the Monastery of Santo Ecce-Homo in Colombia, eight diocesan priests met to prepare themselves with a spiritual retreat to be admitted as members of the Order of Preachers and to begin the novitiate for the constitution of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Dominic of the Province of St. Louis Bertrand.
The spiritual retreat was directed by Br. Ivan Mejia, OP, Br. Walter Rueda, OP, and Br. Raul, who dealt with the following topics: liturgy in the Order of Preachers, the Dominicans in the history of spirituality and the mystery of the Incarnation in the Order. Likewise, in moments of prayer, fraternity and study, the priests were advancing in their discernment to give their positive response to the admission to the Order.
The admission ceremony was held in the Convent of Our Lady of the Rosary in Chiquinquira, and presided over by the Provincial, Br. Diego Serna, OP. The priests were conferred the Cross of Calatrava as a distinctive insignia of their belonging to the Order. They were likewise presented with the Rule of the Priestly Fraternities of St. Dominic, with the purpose of configuring their ministry to the Dominican charism. Everything ended with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist in the National Marian Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquira.
The group started its journey about a year and a half ago through virtual meetings held every fifteen days. Accompanied by Br. Raul Gomez, OP, the Provincial Promoter of the Dominican Family, the priests come from different dioceses and countries in Latin America: Fr. John Fredy Gutiérrez, Fr. Jesús Francisco Vega and Fr. Jaiden Baute from Colombia; Fr. Johan Araujo, Fr. Mauro Moncada and Fr. Jorge Montilla from Venezuela; Fr. Jairo Maduro from Aruba; and Fr. Juan Carlos Cuéllar from El Salvador.
Finally, we recall that the Priestly Fraternities of St. Dominic are a spiritual aid that the Order of Preachers offers to diocesan priests who exercise their mission in their particular churches of origin, so that they become authentically part of the Order seeking to live the ideal and charism inherited by Our Father St. Dominic of Guzman.
Fr. Juan Carlos Cuellar (Diocese of San Salvador)
Novice of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Dominic