The Biên-Hoà General Chapter 2019 of the Dominican Order in Vietnam started on July 9, 2019 and ended last August 4, 2019. It was held at the Grand Séminaire Xuan Loc, 210 Hung Vuong, Xuan Binh, Long Khanh, Dong Nai, Vietnam.
A general chapter of the Order is important because it is an international gathering of priors provincial, diffinitors, guests, Master of the Order, and other representatives of the Dominican Family that happens every three (3) years where important decision are being made. This year’s general chapter was even more important because it was an elective chapter where a new Master of the Order was elected, which happens every nine (9) years. The IDYM is blessed to have been invited as guest twice for the said general chapters. The first one was in 2016 which was held in Bologna, and the second was in the recently concluded general chapter in Vietnam.
On July 13, 2019, Rev. Fr. Gerard Franciso Timoner III, OP was elected as our 88th Master of the Dominican Order. Fr. Timoner is the first Asian (a Filipino) to be elected in the said position. He was appointed as the Socius for Asia and the Pacific last 2016, and a member of the International Theological Commission appointed by Pope Francis. It was a day of happiness of the whole Order. Moreover. it was also a day of thanksgiving for our former Master, Rev. Fr. Bruno Cadore, OP, who contributed a lot in all aspects of the Order for the past nine (9) years. In the same day, right before the announcement, I arrived in the venue of the General Chapter.
For the commission works of the general chapter, the priors provincial, diffinitors, guests, Master of the Order, and other representatives of the Dominican Family were grouped into 7 different commissions:
1. Commission 1 - Synergy Life-Mission: Challenges and Renewal of Fraternal Life
2. Commission 2 – Synergy Life-Missio: Challenges of Renewal of Preaching
3. Commission 3 – Vocations, Cooperator Brothers and Formation
4. Commission 4 – Solidarity and Collaboration
5. Commission 5 – Government of the Order and Promotion of the Dominican Family
6. Commission 6 – Studies, Centers of Studies and Institutions of the Master of the Order
7. Commission 7 – United in Diversity to Preach: Constitutions and Ordinations
All commissions were diligent in their respective tasks and responsibilities for some days in preparation for the plenary sessions where all the brothers made decisions for the whole Order. As our representative, I participated in the Commission 5 – Government of the Order and Promotion of the Dominican Family. With this, I am happy to share to my fellow IDYM members that it has been a great experience for me, after thorough discussions, to receive support from the commission members to the whole IDYM as we have made recommendations and ordinations that speak about continuing the encouragement and guidance of the brothers to the whole IDYM (new groups to be established and existing groups), acknowledging the importance of the linkage of IDYM with the other branches of the Dominican Family especially the Lay Fraternities, recognizing the Dominican youth as partners in the preaching mission of the Order, and more. I ended our participation in the commission works on July 19, 2019.
Now that the Chapter is done, we look forward in receiving the Acts of the General Chapter soon. With this, I encourage my IDYM brothers and sisters to continue praying for the whole Dominican Family and to remain dedicated and passionate in our mission as young preachers. Our role is important in the whole mission of the Order, so we must continue supporting and helping one another as one IDYM family.
May God bless us all!
Elijor Benjamin “Benz” Rodil