Benvenido Padre Caesar!
On April 25, 2015, Sr. Mary Martin, Sr. Mary Catharine and Sr. Joseph Maria made the short trip over the George Washington Bridge to Corpus Christi Monastery in Hunt's Point, South Bronx to join over 30 other nuns to meet our new promoter, Fr. Caesar Bajo, OP and to join them in introducing the region to Father as he begins his 6 year of service to the nuns.
The office of Promoter was established at the 1989 General Chapter of Oakland, CA in order to assist the Master of the Order and to helps the nuns who, like the friars, have the Master of the Order as their major superior. Because the Master can't always be available to the nuns in the way he would like to be (and the way we would like him to be) the promoter of the nuns fulfills a real need. Like the Master he is constantly on the road, visiting each monastery and getting to know each community and their particular way of living Dominican monastic life and their needs. Not only that, the promoter in many ways acts as a liaison for the monasteries among themselves as he can share the experiences of the monasteries with each other.
Last year, Fr. Bruno Cadore appointed Fr. Caesar Valero Bajo, OP as our new promoter replacing Fr. Brian Pierce who served the nuns so faithfully during his 6 years and now has a well-deserved rest from his Sisters!
Fr. Caesar is from the Province of the Holy Rosary, the missionary province, and is a native of Spain. Father's missionary vocation will serve him well as he travels throughout the world from monastery to monastery!
We enjoyed our time with Fr. Caesar very much. He is a humble and warm person, with a dry sense of humor and a great love of our Lord and the mission of the Order of Preachers to preach the Gospel. Father speaks some English and felt it was important that he engage in conversation with us directly with his "poor" English rather than through an interpreter and we were touched by the efforts Father made. In fact, his English is quite good!
Each prioress gave a presentation on her monastery and the last 2 days were days of retreat and reflection. Father gave conferences on the theme of Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium and after each conference we were invited to share our own thoughts, questions, reflections, etc.
Our 5 days together were a very special time of Dominican communion and we are all so grateful to the nuns of Corpus Christi Monastery for hosting us and to Sr. Anna Marie, OP for coordinating the meeting and remembering all the little details that goes into making a gathering run smoothly!
For more photos of the meeting click on the photo below.