January 13, 2019
Greetings from the 26th Provincial Chapter of the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus. It’s been cold and rainy here in Oakland. When we first arrived, there was neither heat in part of the house nor in the chapel. I was wearing both sweaters I brought with me under my habit. The heat’s back on, but the rain still falls.
The twenty members of the chapter come from all over our Province, and we are seated in order of religious profession. I was surprised to discover I’m the fifth oldest in religion of the capitulars. That’s not to say I’m the fifth oldest in age. Some of the friars who are “younger in the Order” are older than me. Still, it’s an indication of the relative youthfulness of the capitulars.
We began with a retreat given by Fr. Allen White, OP, a former Provincial of the Province of England, and on Monday and Tuesday of the past week we heard reports from the Provincial, his Socius (assistant), the Master of Students, Master of Novices, President of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology (Fr. Peter, who says, “hello!”), and five other officials. Today we divided up into commissions. There are four basic sections of our Constitutions: On the Following of Christ, On the Formation of the Brethren, On Government, and On Economic Administration. I am with four other friars on the commission dealing with Government. We will review our legislation concerning our Province government vis a vis changes made by the last General Chapter in Bologna, Italy, as well as review petitions proposed by brothers. We are also talking about the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing our Province and discussing potential candidates for Provincial. By the time you read this, God willing, we will have elected a new Provincial. Please pray for him, and for all of us. You’re in mine.