Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus Holds Inaugural Gathering of Diocesan Priests
On the afternoon of 25 April 2017, the Priory of St. Albert in Oakland, California, welcomed four diocesan priests who responded to the invitation to discover the gift of the Dominican spirituality in the particular context of the secular priesthood. The Provincial Promoter of Vocations, fr. Stephen Maria Lopez, OP, organized the event, which marked the first gathering in the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus for the creation of a Dominican Fraternity of priests.
The assembly began with a brief introduction of each priest: Fr. Joseph Illo of the Diocese of Stockton; Fr. Anthony Garcias of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles; and Frs. Jeffrey Keyes and Loren Allen of the Diocese of Santa Rosa in California. This was followed by a presentation on the Priestly Fraternities of St. Dominic delivered by the General Promoter, fr. Florentino Bolo Jr, OP. Also present was the Prior Provincial, fr. Mark Padrez, OP, whose keen support was clearly manifested by his intention to name a friar to help develop in the Province this branch of the Order. Coming from the recently concluded assembly of the North American Provincials, he noted the general lack of awareness about the Dominican Priestly Fraternities. He likewise expressed ardent hope that more diocesan priests would be inspired to follow the evangelical spirit of St. Dominic through the fraternities.
After the meeting, the priests joined the brothers in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist presided over by the Provincial, who was also celebrating his Feast Day. For the entire evening, the priests experienced common life not only with the melodious chants of the friars of the priory and of the studentate community in liturgy, but also in the fraternal sharing of stories at the dinner table. The encounter reached its conclusion with the communal recitation of the compline, after which the priests departed with eager anticipation of the next gathering in July, and with the promise of bringing along other priests who would share the same interest in the Dominican fraternities.
(25 April 2017)