Overflowing with the Joy of the Gospel

The important, profound letter from Pope Francis addressed to the whole Order in this Jubilee year warmly stirs our communities of contemplative life, reminding us of the commitment and involvement that we nuns have had since the beginning of the “Holy Preaching”. Our Region of South America and the Caribbean, thanks to the merciful love of God, has beacons that illuminate and guide the path of preaching, our monasteries are homes that keep the fire of the Word, of praise, of welcome, of compassion, of charity, of hope alive and warm. In this eighth centenary of the death of St. Dominic, each contemplative community has become a womb (uterus), where we gestate with the hearts of mothers, the cries, the merciless cries, the despair, the pain, the impotence of the weakest; we want to give birth through our prayerful, silent life, hidden in Christ, to the testimony that our Father Dominic left us, to bring the gentle balm of consolation to all the “peripheries” of our countries that cry out for mercy.

Yesterday as today, we nuns, at the heart of theMission of the Order, stand as sentinels of light in the midst of darkness speaking out: “Are these not men whom we treat and humiliate as slaves?” We encourage the Dominican Family, echoing the words of Pope Francis, not to be afraid and to take the risk of preaching justice and truth, defending and caring for life in all its forms. Our Region calls for new “Franciscos de Vitorias”, it needs the voices of “Antonios Montesinos”, it needs communities that are “Bartolomés de las Casas”.

In the presence of such an unpleasant smell of oppression, let us perfume ourselves with the sweet smell of Christ as did Rose of Lima, Br. Martín de Porres, Br. Juan Macías, Sr. Ana de los Ángeles Monteagudo and Br. Louis Bertrán, overflowing with the joy of the Gospel, making ourselves into the bread of charity, building peace with simplicity and cultivating communion and fraternity with exquisite delicacy. As a song that beautifully summarises the presence of the Dominican mission says: “Dominic, your voice in America reveals the strength of truth, Dominic, your voice in America is the fire of freedom”.

Sr. Irene Diaz, O.P.
Vble. Catalina de Jesús Herrera Monastery
Federation Santo Domingo in Ecuador
South America Region

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