PRIESTLY FRATERNITY OF SAINT DOMINIC IN SPAIN
After a long period of time pursuing the idea, this became a reality, which already exists in other countries and provinces of the Order.
Up to the reform brought by the Second Vatican Council, including also religious orders and congregations, priests who wanted to link with the charism of a particular religious family did so through the respective lay associations or fraternities. After the Council, the reform of the Rule of these fraternities took place, thus creating specifically priestly fraternities.
In recent years, provincial promoters of the lay fraternities have tried to collect data and contact priests who are connected with the Order in different places. The commission of the Dominican Family for the friars in Spain finally organized the first meeting or encounter of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Dominic in our provinces.
As we said earlier, this meeting was held in Caleruega, in the cradle of Our Father Saint Dominic, from October 19 to 22. Six priests together with fr. Óscar Jesús Fernández and fr. Juan Carlos Cordero attended said meeting. Three others informed previously that they could not make it to the meeting this timen. The Priestly Fraternity already established will keep in touch with some others who may also be welcomed as members.
The veteran is D. Jorge Rodríguez, priest of Gran Canaria, who made his profession in 2001, and has participated in several meetings through these years. The other five are: D. José María Vázquez, D. Carmelo de Lara, D. Amadeo Romá, D. Esteban García and D. Manuel Rodríguez, who belong to the Dioceses of Tui-Vigo, Albacete, Valencia, Logroño and Madrid, respectively. Their ages range from 45 to 74 years.
In addition to the presentation in which each shared his experience and expectations, there was time for shared prayer, personal reflection, relaxed living together, and the visit to the Dominican places in Caleruega.
Several reflections supported the meeting: the elements of the Dominican charism presented by fr. Juan Carlos Cordero; preaching in the project of Saint Dominic, by fr. Óscar Jesús Fernández; the talk of D. Jorge Rodríguez on his personal experience and on the Rule of the Priestly Fraternities, and the last lecture by fr. Javier Carballo on spirituality and organization of the Order.
The celebration of the Rite of Admission to the Priestly Fraternity took place on October 21, Wednesday. Fr. Javier Carballo, as President of the JIP and on behalf of the other provincials of Aragon, Andalucia and the Prior Regional of the Rosario, presided over the Eucharist and received the brother priests into the new Dominican branch and thus the Priestly Fraternity of St. Dominic in Spain was inaugurated. The whole community of Friars of Caleruega joined in the celebration of the Eucharist. As part of the rite of admission to and initiation of the novitiate, a Dominican Cross and the Rule of the Fraternities was given to each. It was a simple, emotional and especially significant celebration for the five priests incorporated into the Dominican Family.
The meeting ended on October 22, but not before celebrating with the contemplative Dominicans. This meeting with our nuns was another opportunity for the new members of the Priestly Fraternity to feel more welcomed and integrated into the order, and partakers of the common charism of preaching the Gospel we are called to intensify all together through the Jubilee Year which is about to start.
We give thanks to God and to these brother priests for the step they have given to join the sons and daughters of St. Dominic, with the desire to continue the mission of preaching the Good News in brotherhood and family. After a year of novitiate, and according to their Rule, they may make their Profession. We hope that from now on more priests, who may wish to live their own ministerial vocation within the framework of the new fraternity that has just been born, and in the bosom of the Dominican Family.
(07 November 2015)