A Preacher’s Life – Chapter

shield_prov474hEvery four years, the Dominican Order has what we call an Elective Chapter.  Very much like how our citizenry elects officials, we Dominicans elect all of our officials every four years.  However, we do so in the Greek Democratic form.  We elect delegates to elect our officers for us.

This year, beginning on January 2nd, St. Dominic’s Priory in San Francisco sent three men to be part of the elective Chapter for the Western Dominican Province.  This is a series of meetings that goes from seventeen-to-thirty days, in which we elect all of our officials and leaders, discuss legislation, and carefully discern what the Lord has in store for the Province for the next four years.  Fr Steve, is sent as prior (head of house), Fr Anthony is sent as another representative, and Fr Michael is sent, due to an election to represent a certain grouping of friars.

Statue of Holy Father Dominic, found in the cloister garden of our House of Studies, the Priory of Saint Albert the Great, OP, Doctor and Bishop

Statue of Holy Father Dominic, found in the cloister garden of our House of Studies, the Priory of Saint Albert the Great, OP, Doctor and Bishop

It’s extraordinary to send three friars to a chapter from the same house, really.  In our province, we usually group our smaller houses together and elect our delegates.  Only the larger formation houses, like St Albert’s in Oakland, and ours in San Francisco, are large enough to send multiple men.

However, here is the prayer request: the bulk of the liturgical and sacramental work rests upon myself and Fr Emmanuel.  Yes, we are getting some outside help—men that the parish has met.  These outside friars will help out during the week for Mass.  Yet—when it comes to Sunday Confessions, preaching the weekends, hospital calls, walk-ins and the everyday grind of allowing St Dominic’s to soar…well, the deacons and friars remaining will be rather short on time.  It’s going to be a very busy month.

In fact, for this month, I have a carte blanche policy of having no social life for January.  In terms of meetings, I am not meeting with many of my directees or regular penitents this month, so that I have the energy to preach and actualize the liturgical schedule.  Mind you, I’m not complaining.  I’m just saying that, if you see me walking around the nave with a dark look in my eye, it is likely that I didn’t sleep the night previous.

Please pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as the Chapter continues.  Please pray for Fr Michael, Fr Steve and Fr Anthony as they help discern with the province about the future of the Western Dominican Province. Please pray for Fr. Emmanuel and myself as we watch the Chapter from a distance while the work of St Dominic’s Catholic Church continues.  And pray for our parochial community, that we may have compassion and charity for each other, using the graces given to become the saints that we are called to be.

Let us pray:

bow in prayer 2Master Preacher,
through the intercession of Holy Father Dominic,
through the mercy of your Most Holy Name,
be with the delegates of the 25th Elective Chapter of the Province of the Most Holy Name.
May the delegates discern well your will
And may the Ministry of the Word
Continue to enflame the hearts of those who believe and preach,
that your Name be praised by all.
Through Christ our Lord.


A Preacher’s Life – Chapter — 3 Comments

  1. You will be in my prayers.

    “We do not hesitate to affirm again publicly that we put great confidence in the Holy Rosary for the healing of evils of our times.”

    Pope Pius XII

  2. Dear Fr. Isaiah Mary, Thank you so much for writing this thoughtful and informative article. It means a great deal to more fully understand the role and significance of the Elective Chapter and how Fr.Michael, Fr.Steve, and Fr.Anthony have been called to contribute. May God be with all of you as you shepherd St. Dominic’s and our community during the time. Thank you for including us; will be praying for you. Debbe

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