The Capitulars at the ongoing General Chapter of the Order in Bien Hoa, Vietnam, have elected Fr. Gerard Francisco Timoner III as the Master of the Order. Fr Timoner, aged 51, becomes the 87th successor of St Dominic de Guzman and the 88th Master of the Order. Thanks be to God!
Fr. Timoner, who was elected on July 13, 2019, is a son of the Dominican Province of the Philippines and first Asian Master of the Order. He was one of the Socii who accompanied the former Master of the Order, Fr. Bruno Cadore, for the visitation of our Province of St Joseph the Worker, Nigeria and Ghana, in December, 2018.
Fr. Timoner, who hails from Camarines Norte, was the immediate past Socius of the Master for Asia-Pacific and prior to that, he was the Prior Provincial of the Dominican Province of the Philippines. He was once the Vice-Rector for Religious Affairs at the University of St Thomas (UST), Manila, and Rector of the Central (Interdiocesan) Seminary. In 2014, Fr. Timoner was named a member of the International Theological Commission by Pope Francis.
After his election, Fr Gerard said he had initially been reluctant to take up the position, confessing that were it not for the prayer and encouragement of his fellow Dominicans “the answer would have been ‘no’.”
In a message to the Order, he emphasized the importance of evangelisation, mission, and the Order’s focus on preaching. He said: “Mission is not what we do. It is who we are. And if that is clear, everything will just follow,” Furthermore, he said “We are preachers even when we are not preaching. We are preachers even if in our old age, we can no longer speak. We are preachers even if we are not ordained. We are preachers even if we are sick. We are preachers even if we are doing serious research alone in our rooms. We are preachers when we are helping the less privileged. We are preachers. That is our identity.”
We pray for God's inspiration on the new Master of the Order. May St Dominic, our Father, obtain for him the graces he needs to steer the ship of the Order in the light of truth.
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