On the 7th of November 2015, the Master of the Order, fr Bruno Cadoré opened the Jubilee of the 800th Anniversary of the Order at the Basilica of Santa Sabina, Rome. Subsequently, Dominicans all over the world began the yearlong celebration. The theme of the Jubilee was “Sent to preach the gospel”, a recalling and a renewal of the mission of the Order, the mission entrusted to Dominic by the Church. The Jubilee year was a period to look back and examine the ways we have effectively carried out this mission and to suggest ways in which we will better carry it out in the future. Therefore, throughout the Jubilee year, Dominican friars, sisters and laity held various events in Rome and all over the world.
The Jubilee celebration culminated in these last two events; the Congress on the Mission of the Order and the Closing Mass. The Congress on the Mission of the Order which was held at the Angelicum from 17 to 20 January 2017 brought together friars, nuns, sisters, lay Dominicans, collaborators and friends. For fr Bruno, following the conclusions drawn from the Congress, the priorities of Dominicans in the coming future should be these three convictions: “preaching, fraternity and encounter”. The focus should be on, “young people, the digital world, emigration, and above all study and study and study to build communities“.
The Closing Mass was celebrated by the Holy Father Pope Francis at the Lateran Basilica, Rome on the 21st of January 2017. There were over 2,000 members of the Dominican family and friends in attendance.
During his homily, the Holy Father highlighted the importance of the Order of Preachers throughout history of the Church.
“Today, we give glory to the Father for the work that Saint Dominic carried out, full of the light and salt of Christ, 800 years ago; a work at the service of the Gospel, preached with the word and with life; a work that, with the grace of the Holy Spirit, has helped so many men and women to not be dispersed in the midst of the ‘carnival’ of worldly curiosity, but who instead savoured the taste of healthy doctrine, the taste of the Gospel and became in turn light and salt, craftsmen of good works … and true brothers and sisters that glorify God and teach <others> to glorify God with the good works of life.”
The Congress and the Eucharistic celebration in Rome were the last events of the Jubilee Year of the Order. It is the end of the celebrations and at the same time, a new beginning for all Dominicans. Now we have been challenged, motivated and empowered to go forth and preach the gospel in a new and better way and to meet the challenges of our time and places.
This article originally appeared at www.op.org