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About the Jubilee

Sent to preach the Gospel

The Order of Preachers  will celebrate a Jubilee Year with the theme “Sent to preach the Gospel”.  This marks the issuing of the Bulls promulgated by Pope Honorius III eight centuries ago, confirming the foundation of the Order, in 1216 and 1217.

The Jubilee Year properly speaking will be celebrated between November 7, 2015 (Feast of All Saints of the Order) and January 21, 2017 (the date of the Bull Gratiarum omnium largitori of Pope Honorius III).

Approach of metanoia

A Jubilee for the people of Israel was a time of joy and renewal when « you shall return, every one of you, to your property and every one of you to your family» (Lev 25:10). If our Jubilee invites us to the origins of the Order, paradoxically it is so that we will remember how St. Dominic sent out his first friars from their house, their family, and their nation so as to discover the joy and freedom of itinerancy. Our mobility means more than moving from one place to another. As disciples of Christ, we are sent to preach the Gospel.

A twofold approach was proposed to address this occasion of our Jubilee : An approach of gratitude for the gift of the Order’s vocation, for the Lord’s confidence in us and his faithfulness to us, for the tradition that has been handed down to us, for the richness and the diversity with which today’s friars accomplish the preaching mission, and for the new vocations that we have been given. An approach of truth and humility drawing from the sources of our history and our tradition in a spirit of gratitude and metanoia, we beg the Lord to renew the generosity and the interior freedom that will ready us once again to be sent out to proclaim the Gospel with passion, creativity and joy, just as the first brothers of Dominic did. 

Renewal of the Order

The preparation of the Jubilee over the next three years means entering into a dynamic process of renewal. The Order seeks to renew itself by entering into a process that culminates in sending the friars to preach anew, just as Dominic sent the first brethren. We share the joy and the freedom of being sent, following Saint Dominic, with the whole Dominican Family.

In preparing for the Jubilee we affirm that as Dominicans we are sent to preach the Good News of the Resurrection of Christ. As we prepare to be sent anew we ask ourselves: By whom are we sent? To whom are we sent? With whom are we sent? What do we bring with us in being sent?

The general chapter chose to draw the attention of all our friars and communities to certain concrete aspects of our life, inviting us to take advantage of this time of the preparation for our Jubilee as a chance to strengthen the life and mission of the Order. Far from being merely an ephemeral self-celebration, the chapter proposes that the approach of the Jubilee should be a pathway – a “school” – of truth and humility, a pathway to metanoia that invites us as individuals and as communities to reinvest the full weight of meaning in each of the dimensions and in all the demands of the life we profess. 

Criteria for the celebration of the Jubilee

The celebration should be oriented towards God, from whom we receive the gift of our Dominican vocation, and towards those to whom we are sent.

Remembering our history is to remind us of our origins in a spirit of gratitude, and to help us to discover the place of itinerancy in our way of life.

The celebration of the Jubilee is an opportunity for us, in an ecumenical spirit, to venture into “new worlds” in dialogue and solidarity with the forgotten, the poor, the victims of violence and oppression. We should reach out to believers of other religious traditions and non-believers alike, close to them in their search for meaning.

The celebration of the Jubilee should reflect the creativity that is needed to preach today through the arts and modern means of communication.

The celebration of the Jubilee must include all branches of the Dominican Family and capture the voice and imagination of the young.

The celebration of the Jubilee of the Order of Preachers in 2016

The celebration of the Jubilee of the Order of Preachers in 2016 is set to be a quite special event. The General Chapter, in session currently in Trogir, in Croatia, has set up a working group to examine [how to mark] this upcoming celebration. Expectations are high, and all the Chapter participants are keen to play their part.

To celebrate a Dominican Jubilee of this kind is a special occasion. It’s not like you get to do it every century! We couldn’t celebrate the 700th properly in 1916 because of the First World War. And that’s what makes marking the 800th anniversary of the Order something really special. Just think about it: so much time has passed since the first brothers heard the preaching of St Dominic and said to themselves: “I want to be just like him and do what he does!” That desire and passion have continued unabated, despite the vicissitudes of time.

That’s why Dominicans worldwide have been preparing for the 2016 Jubilee since the Season of Advent in 2005. It all began by commemorating the founding of the first Dominican community in Prouilhe - the birth place of the Holy Preaching. Then it continued every year under a different theme, this year's theme being: "Do unto me according to your Word" (Lk 1:38) - Mary: Contemplation and Preaching of the Word”. The General Chapter in Trogir is not immune to this spirit of preparation for the Jubilee!

Expectations are high, given that this Trogir meeting is the last (scheduled) General Chapter before the year of the Jubilee itself: and important decisions have to be made.

In order for the members of the Chapter to have some idea what’s been done so far and what has yet to be done, the Master of the Order, Br Bruno Cadore OP, invited the general promoter for the Jubilee, Br José Gabriel Mesa Angulo OP, to give a presentation on the progress of the preparations for the 2016 Jubilee. This presentation wasthorough and extensive.

Now a special committee has been set up, as I said at the outset, a 'commission on the jubilee and renewal of the mission and evangelisation of the Order'. This group is expected to come up with a concrete set of proposals in relation to what the Order as a whole ought to do, in order to mark this upcoming Jubilee in an appropriate manner. Of course, all the participants at the Chapter are interested in the topic of Jubilee so the Commission on Jubilee will not suffer from a lack of suggestions!

Br Mirko Vlk OP


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