Saturday, April 05, 2008

New Provincial for the English Dominicans

On 31 March, the transferred Feast of the Annunciation, the English Dominicans held their Provincial Chapter at Blackfriars, Oxford, opening with Solemn Mass at which the beautiful Missa cum iubilo (according to the Roman chant books) was sung as well as a motet based on Armenian chant by Fr Andre Gouze OP. Fr Allan White, the out-going Provincial (his second four-year term of office coming to an end with this chapter), presided and Fr Mark Edney preached about our mission being like Our Lady's - one is sent to us so that we can be called and in receiving God's grace we may respond to this call by also being sent to bring Christ to the world.

After Mass, the Capitulars, singing the 'Veni Creator Spiritus', processed to the Chapter Room and prepared to elect a new Prior Provincial. Shortly afterwards, a bell rang to summon the other friars present in the priory to hear the outcome of the election.

Gathered in the Chapter Room

Fr Allan announced the good news that Fr John Farrell had accepted his election as Prior Provincial of the English Province for the next four years. Later that day the election was confirmed by the Master of the Order. Fr John had hitherto been superior of the Dominican house in Newcastle. It may interest NLM readers to learn that the Priory church of St Dominic has a Mass in the Extraordinary Form every Sunday, under the auspices of the Latin Mass Society, and Fr John has offered this Mass regularly.

The new English Dominican Provincial

In the evening, the fathers of the Chapter assembled with the Oxford brethren for Solemn Vespers; this was the new Provincial's first liturgical celebration with the brethren and we were joined by our regular weekday congregation.

Incensing the HIgh Altar and relics

The Provincial specifically asked that "the ancestors" - the relics of the Order's major saints - be brought out and placed on the High Altar and these were duly incensed and venerated during Vespers.

Turned to the Lord

Please pray for our new Prior Provincial, Fr John Farrell, and the brothers of the English Province, that we may respond with open hearts to the call given to us to continue St Dominic's mission of preaching for the salvation of souls.

End of Vespers

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