As preparation for the 800th anniversary of the Approval of the Order of Preachers in 2016, we are preparing for this Year of Grace by a "Novena" highlighting certain aspects of the charism of the Order of Preachers. The theme for 2012 is "Go and tell my brothers, Dominican women and evagelization.Following is the letter of the Master of the Order, Fr. Bruno Cadore, OP, reflecting on the role of women in the work of the Holy Preaching.
Go tell my brothers! (Jn 20:15): Dominican women and evangelization
This appeal of the Christ to Mary at the dawn of the resurrection was chosen as the theme for this fourth year of the novena as we prepare to celebrate the Jubilee of the Order. This year titled “Dominican Women and Preaching” invites us to place the announcement of the resurrection at the source of our mission in the Order.
This very simple sentence initially reminded me of the emotion I felt a few years ago in the church of a town in Iraq. Morning had just broken and we were preparing to celebrate the entrance to the novitiate and the profession of some young brothers. A crowd of women were already in the church as they waited for the celebration; among them, there were Dominican mothers, sisters, friends, apostolic sisters and lay women. All together, they filled the church with the dense silence of their prayers while the entire country was suffering from chaos, violence and threats. In that silence and in the presence of the Father, these women prayed with such intensity that at the heart of the chaos, which wreaked havoc in the country and ripped it apart with all sorts of divisions, they conveyed the assurance that nothing can silence the message of life. One day, in this world, dawn broke out in the country of Judaea, through the birth of a child, the Prince of Peace. In spite of appearances, His coming pushed back darkness forever and the night was definitively torn open when, from the depths of a death inflicted on him, He gave his life. Often, in certain parts of the world, where violence repeatedly claims to destroy all social ties, women and mothers act as guardians of life to testify that, in spite of the appearances, no one can claim to become the master of a life that is received, primarily so that it can be given away. Go tell my brothers! Tell them of the strength of life, the unheard story of a humanity that, day after day, is born again in the Spirit of life and given away, through the Passion, all the way to the Resurrection. These women in Iraq showed the vast horizon of the mission of evangelisation: to inscribe into the heart of human history the joy and hope of Christ, who gave his life so that the world may live and learn to be his witnesses.
Read the rest of the Letter.