First Meeting of the Dominican Family of Latin America and the Caribbean
As part of the process initiated by the mandates of the General Chapter of Tultenango, 2022, nn. 139-143, a fruitful first meeting of the Dominican Family of Latin America and the Caribbean, organised by the General Curia of the Order of Preachers, the Province of St. John the Baptist of Peru, the Vicariate of Puerto Maldonado (VICAPM) and CIDALC, took place in the Vicariate of Puerto Maldonado in the Peruvian Amazon from 2 to 8 July of this year.
The aim of the meeting was to get to know, recognise and support the missionary work carried out by the Order in the Amazon, in communion and in participation with the VICAPM Pastoral Plan 2022-2026 and the work that has been carried out through the Amazonian Forests project of the Province of Hispania.
The meeting provided an opportunity to learn and a frank and peaceful dialogue between lay people, young Dominicans, sisters of apostolic life, members of the native communities, priests of the Apostolic Vicariate, friars of the Provinces of Hispania and of San Juan Bautista del Perú, members of the General Curia and promoters of Justice and Peace in the region.
We began by considering the historical reality of our presence in the Amazon, looking together at the past, the present and the future of this mission. These we examined from the eyes and heart of Jesus. Finally, we proposed a new transforming initiative for the Dominican Family with five lines of action that fit the thematic axes of the Pastoral Plan of the Vicariate:
- Kerigma (announcement): To promote the Amazonian missionary vocation within and outside the Order and to generate processes of integral formation for these pastoral agents.
- Koinonia (communion): To assume as a Dominican Family the responsibility for this mission that has been entrusted to us by the Church.
- Diaconia (service): Creation of a lay missionary fraternity that welcomes and accompanies all the members of the Dominican Family who wish to participate in this mission whether in a temporary or a permanent way.
- Liturgy (celebration): Formation for the inculturation and inter-religious dialogue of the different symbolic manifestations proper to Amazonia.
- Solidarity with the mission: To sensitise, motivate and commit the different branches of the Dominican Family to solidarity through an annual contribution to the mission in Amazonia.
In order to articulate, concretise and enact these proposals, a commission was formed, made up of representatives of the different branches of the Dominican Family present at this meeting.
Considering the mission from the perspective of the last General Chapter has been the fundamental criterion for organising our response to the challenges posed. We want to assume the Amazon as a joint mission, to establish our presence with a common horizon. We aim to unite efforts, wills and vocations to respond generously to this mission that the Church has entrusted to us, because it brings together many things that we consider important as an Order. It “implies the care of creation, the struggle for justice and peace, and the preaching of the Gospel to the poor” (Tultenango 141).