Recap: 2013 North American Student Gathering

The 2013 North American Student Gathering in St. Louis proved to be a series of excellent conferences full of fraternal charity that we pray will bear fruit for decades to come. Many ideas were shared and laughs were had but one sentiment was held in common. Throughout this meeting the student brothers shared “one heart and one soul seeking God.”[1] Many of our ambitions and wishes for the future of the Order were very much the same and it was visible that all of our passion was for “preaching and the salvation of souls”[2].

 

In the first conferences with Fr. Ed Ruane the student brothers showed a specific interest in three topics:

 

1)The importance of understanding the Order internationally; collaborating more as one and less like a federation of provinces.

2)Building a stronger sense of community within our own convents and not fearing correction but welcoming it, in order to grow in holiness and charity.

3)What younger friars bring to the Order; a zeal for new and fresh ideas in preaching, the intellectual life, and pastoral ministry.

 

At the conferences I could feel the profound love the brothers have for the Order. There was a lot of optimism and hope for the future as well as gratitude for the tremendous efforts of current and deceased brothers. It was so exciting to listen to what Fr. Ed had to say about the General Chapter in Trogir and the “Metanoia” that is to take place between Trogir and the 2016 General Chapter in Bologna that will “launch us into the future”[3].

 

Fr. Benedict Viviano’s conference on the intellectual life of the Order was both informative and hilarious (refer to the tweets). A true Dominican, Fr. Benedict Viviano told the student brothers “there is not one minute that you should not be studying, even on the toilet.”[4] The whole event was live “tweeted” and can be seen on Br. Drew’s Twitter page (#opsg13). While all the conferences were excellent, the greatest part was to be with the brothers from the other provinces. We have a lot to look forward to in the next years for the Order in North America.

 

[1] Rule of Augustine

[2] The Fundamental Constitution

[3] Fr. Ed Ruane, OP, 2013 North American Student Gathering

[4] Fr. Benedict Viviano, OP, 2013 North American Student Gathering