The Lay Provincial Council annual meeting was held June 20 to 23, 2008, in Oakland, California. The provincial lay representatives gathered on behalf of the chapters from throughout the Western United States. It is known as the Holy Name of Jesus Province or the Western Dominican Province. From Idaho, Mark Gross, OPL, prior of the Idaho Lay Dominicans attended as an observer, and the undersigned attended as a delegate. Pictures of the conference are posted on the website at www.dominicanidaho.org [June 20 & 21, 2008].
Like any gathering of the faithful, it was a joy to be with these like-minded folks and to learn that the lay branch of the Order of Preachers is growing. Further there are many new priests and seminarians who have joined the Order. The ‘mother’ Priory of the Western Dominican Province is St. Albert’s Priory located in Oakland, California, where each and every priest for the province is ordained and gathers periodically for a provincial meeting.
Tony Galati, OPL, was elected president of the Lay Provincial Council. He will lead—God willing—this province for at least three years. Tony is from Portland. The undersigned was nominated and was appointed as the Promoter for Justice and Peace for the lay people in the Western Dominican Province.
The promoter’s job is to represent the Western Dominican chapters regarding issues involving justice and peace, as well as the proper conservation and use of earth’s resources from a Biblical basis. The promoter attends regional and national meetings regarding key issues, and provides information to the chapters via the provincial newsletter and to members directly on any important matter.
As these efforts proceed, I pray for the humility, knowledge, and wisdom to carry out the task of promoter, to keep in balance what is needed to bring true freedom and opportunity to all peoples, and to keep St. Dominic’s charism in mind and the Biblical and Church’s teachings on these issues in focus without prejudice or distraction.
During the meeting, my presentation involved the divergence of views regarding social justice. It often gets down to a Christian world view, in that we should live in accord with Christ, the divine law, and natural law, or if we should live according to temporal purposes and humankind’s law. We cannot help but pick Christ.
In peace & faith,
John Keenan, OPL, JD