Rome, 31 January 2020
Prot. n. 50/18/027 Jubilee 2021
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Dominican Family,
As we begin the year of the Lord 2020, let us keep in mind the forthcoming celebration of the 8th Centenary of the Dies Natalis of our Holy Father St. Dominic. Br. Bruno Cadoré has announced in his letter on 6 August 2018 that we will “celebrate the anniversary of St. Dominic’s death during the year starting on the 6th of January 2021 until the 6th of January 2022”.
The theme for the jubilee celebration is At Table with St. Dominic, which is inspired by the Mascarella table, the table on which the first portrait of St. Dominic was painted shortly after his canonization. Thus, we will celebrate St. Dominic not as a saint alone on a pedestal, but a saint enjoying table fellowship with his brothers, gathered by the same vocation to preach God’s Word and sharing God’s gift of food and drink.
Our jubilee celebration invites us to reflect on these questions: What does it mean for us to be at table with St. Dominic here and now (hic et nunc)? How does his life and work inspire and encourage us to share our life, our faith, hope and love, our spiritual and material goods so that others too may be nourished at this same table? How does this table become a table for the breaking of the Word and the Bread of Life? I hope to share with you my thoughts on these questions in another letter.
At this juncture, I wish to present to you the main activities prepared by the Committee for the Jubilee which will take place in Bologna, at the Patriarchal Church of San Domenico. St. Dominic’s itinerant preaching culminated in Bologna where his mortal remains are kept and venerated, thus the center of the celebrations will be in that city. May I ask the Priors Provincial and Vice Provincials to promote participation in these celebrations. May I also ask you to hold similar ones in your respective provinces or vice provinces, for the spirit and charism of Dominic is present wherever his sons and daughters are preaching.
- Epiphany, 6 January 2021 Opening Eucharistic Celebration to be presided by the Archbishop of Bologna, Matteo Cardinal Zuppi.
- Translation of St. Dominic, 24 May 2021, His Holiness, Pope Francis was invited to preside the Eucharistic Celebration
- Dies Natalis of St. Dominic, 4 August 2021, I will lead the Dominican Family in the Eucharistic Celebration.
- Epiphany, 6 January 2022 Concluding Eucharistic Celebration to be presided by the Prior Provincial of the Province of St. Dominic
- We encourage vice provinces and provinces to organize similar celebrations for the Dominican Family in their respective places, especially for those who cannot be present at Bologna.
You are also invited to participate or to organize a pilgrimage on “the last journey of St. Dominic” from Rome to Bologna. The Pilgrims’ Path, which includes shrines sacred to the Order, shall be published soon by the Committee for Jubilee, together with the various activities for the jubilee year.
From 25 March 2021 until 7 October 2021 the Basilica of San Domenico in Bologna and the cloister of the convent will host the exhibition “At Table with St. Dominic” (A tavola con S. Domenico) in which the entire “Mascarella Table” will be presented for the first time. This is very significant because prior to this exhibit, parts of this table are kept in different places.
The exhibition includes updates on the theme of the “table” in contemporary art, which will help us reflect on the questions posed above.
In collaboration with the University of Bologna, the Committee for the Jubilee will hold a historical-scientific conference from 22 to 25 September 2021 on the theme of the Jubilee.
I hope that the universities and faculties of the order will organize, in 2021 and in the coming years, theological conferences that will help the Order reflect on the theme of the Jubilee. Regional or inter-provincial celebrations, study days or retreats will help us celebrate the jubilee in the spirit of communion and collaboration.
Information and Materials for the Jubilee
The general calendar of activities, materials for the Jubilee and other relevant information shall be published on the website that will be created for such purpose. Hopefully, the website will provide a venue for collaboration and sharing of resources. Br. Philipp Johannes Wagner OP, chair of the Jubilee Committee shall be available if you have queries or suggestions (email@example.com).
Finally, in the spirit of family solidarity, I wish to appeal for your financial contribution to help us cover the expenses for the aforementioned activities. Please get in touch with Br. Juan Luis Mediavilla, Syndic of the Order (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details.
As we prepare for the Jubilee, let us keep in mind that we want to celebrate St. Dominic not with an archaeological spirit nor, even less, with a spirit of apologetics and self-glorification, but with thanksgiving, with a spirit of reflection and attention to the signs of the times and the relevance of the life and enduring legacy of St. Dominic.
fr. Gerard Francisco P. Timoner III, OP
Master of the Order