Saturday, June 8, 2013

Day 1: Recognition of Visalia, San Diego and Seattle as full chapters

Last night, Tony Galati, president of the Lay Provincial Council of the Western Dominican Province, informed us that the executive committee had reviewed three chapters in formation and found them fit to be fully recognized. The motion to recognize Visalia, Seattle and San Diego as full chapters was approved by a unanimous vote.

Seattle began meeting in 2006, has six life-professed members and has 24 total in membership. San Diego, which was founded by Dominican Father Vincent Serpa, has a total membership of 16. Visalia in 2007, has 12 life-professed and total membership around 25. “Very vital, growing chapter,” Galati said of the group, who has an apostolate with prison. He called it “a very on fire group.”

Address from Provincial Promoter

Fr. Vincent Serpa, OP.
Father Serpa, the provincial promoter, addressed the more than 20 chapter representatives gathered for the meeting. “What if this room was empty tonight, what a difference it would make in the world. How much of a difference, we can’t see right now," he said, exhorting the lay Dominicans. Fr. Serpa said lay Dominicans multiply the number of those in the order who  worship the Lord by praying the Liturgy of the Hours. “Our attention to the Lord makes a difference. What we do affects people around us,” he added. “When we see virtue in other people it’s up lifting.”

Fr. Serpa said that “to focus on the passion is the most significant thing we can do, other than attend Mass. We get so focused on ourselves. That’s one weakness that we really have in our society today.” 

The crosses we have remind us that we can't do it by ourselves, Fr. Serpa said. And God brings good things out of bad.

“Adam’s fall enabled us to love the Lord more than we could have if he hadn’t fallen,” he said. “Faith means trusting without understanding.” 

The Dominican life — and human life in general — should be God-centered. 

“The most important thing we do is give our attention to the Lord. It starts there," Fr. Serpa said. "We have to be God-focused people and in particular passion-focused people. It is the most perfect revelation of God to us. It says so much about who God is. It shows us how much he loves us. And it shows us about us — that he would give his life for us.” 

Being God-centered leads us to proclaim Church teaching with respect to marriage, religious liberty and and God's mercy. 

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