The closing mass, together with a solemn profession of 21 brothers to join the order of preachers, took place in St. Martino Monastery, with a homily from the new Master of the order, Priest Gerard Francisco Parco Timoner III.
The general chapter of the preachers order taking place in Xuan Loc Diocese is the first hosted in Vietnam and in a country in which Catholics are a minority.
The 290th General Chapter took place from July 7 to August 4 and was the first Elective General Chapter in Asia. The event drew a total of 142 friars who are provincial priors, definitors and delegates of the respective provinces, as well as 18 guests.
Holding an elective General Chapter is of great importance for the life, mission and history of the Order. On July 13, 2019, the general chapter of Order of Preachers elected Priest Gerard Francisco Parco Timoner III from the Dominican Province of the Philippines as the new Master of the Order. He became the 87th successor of St. Dominic de Guzman and the first Asian successor. The new Master of the Order will assume his office for 9 years, from 2019 to 2028.
Fr. Gerard Francisco Parco Timoner III, the new Master of the preachers order delivers his Homily at the Closing Mass of the General Chapter Biên Hoà 2019
On the occasion of the general chapter of the Preachers Order hosted in Vietnam, Chairman of the Vietnam Government Committee for Religious Affairs of Vietnam Vũ Chiến Thắng has a meeting with the Master of the Order, Priest Bruno Cadoré, on July 8 at Xuan Loc diocese Cathedral.
At the meeting, the Master of the Order thanked the State of Vietnam for allowing the celebration of the First Elective General Chapter of the Order of Preachers in Asia, in a non-Christian country.
For his part, Mr. Vũ Chiến Thắng spoke highly of positive contributions made the preachers order in Vietnam, including social charities implemented by the provincial preachers order in the country. He also stated that the State of Vietnam always facilitates religious practices of religions according to a consistent framework of law, and always respects fine moral and spiritual values of religions.
Mr. Vũ Chiến Thắng greets the friars with a beautiful floral arrangement
The Order of Preachers was founded by St. Dominic over 800 years ago. According to the Pontifical Yearbook 2019, the order is currently the seventh largest amongst approximately 200 male orders of the Catholic Church, with 4,300 priests and 557 places of worship in countries.
The General Chapter of the Preachers Order is the Order's most important governing body and held every 3 years. In 1974, a General Chapter held in Madonna of the Arc, Italy, decided that the General Chapters, should be celebrated every 3 years: once, the definitors meet (friars who have no responsibility for government, delegates from their provinces), three years later, the Provincial Priors meet, then the third time, the Provincials and definitors meet together in the Chapter assembly to proceed, among other things, to the election of the new Master of the Order, whose tenure of office lasts for 9 years.
An Nam (theo capitulumgeneraleop2019.net; daminhvn.net; op.org)