Next Tuesday, 31st August 2010, the next General Chapter of the Order of Preachers will begin in Rome : and the following Sunday, 5th September, the new Master of the Order will be elected.
This being a General Chapter for the election of a Master, it is composed of Priors Provincial and Diffinitors for the Provinces – the next two triennial Chapters consisting of only one or the other – and I have to say that not only will the English Province be particularly well represented; but that subset of it which consists of friends of mine will also be well represented in Rome on this occasion, because quite apart from fr John Farrell OP the Prior Provincial and fr Allan White OP, who serves the Order as Socius pro Provincia in Europa septentrioccidentali et Canada – both of whom I, sadly, hardly know – not only is fr John O’Connor OP, Prior of Blackfriars Oxford, the Diffinitor for the English Province on this occasion, but there will also be two other members of the House there.
fr Timothy Radcliffe OP, former Master of the Order, will obviously be there as a ‘vocal’ participant . . . and then, listed right down at the bottom of the ‘Other Participants’ – below even the other members of the Dominican Family – is the ‘Chronicler’, whom it may not surprise you to know is to be my cherished friend fr Lawrence Lew OP, of whose ordination to the Diaconate I wrote recently.
He tells me that his principal job is to chronicle the Chapter – which is to take place in the Salesianum, rather than on Dominican premises – in photos, at least largely for use on the Chapter’s own website, which you can find here; and knowing Lawrence’s exceptional talents in this direction I think we can safely expect to see some splendid photos.
I urge you to have a look at the website from time to time during the Chapter, and particularly on 5th September, to find out who the new Master of the Order – and thus the global head of the whole Dominican Family – is.