2007 Meeting of CODALC
Dominicans In Latin America Converge to "Preach
with a New Consciousness"
PERU – February 12, 2007. Over 70 Dominicans
representing federations and congregations from all over Latin
America and the Caribbean gathered here to hold the triennial
meeting of CODALC (Confederation of Dominicans in Latin America
and the Caribbean). Every three years, CODALC delegates
assemble to report on the projects they engage in and reflect
on their place in the preaching mission of the Order. The meeting
took place January 26-February 1st, including two days of retreat
with Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, OP (Oxford) and Gabriela Zengarini,
Lima was a perfect setting for this gathering -- a busy, crowded,
noisy and complex city - birthplace of St. Rose of Lima,
St. Martin de Porres, and Juan Macias, patrons of Latin America.
The event was held at the retreat house of the Domincian Missionaries
of the Rosary, a beautiful tranquil place with an interior garden
courtyard, meeting spaces and chapel.
The theme of the meeting was People with a
new conscience will release our preaching . Participants
included the prioress generals, provincials, regionals or their
delegates in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean
as well as presidents of national federations or secretariats.
For example Peru has a federation of Dominican sisters and the
president, Sr. Nieves Elizalde, OP, welcomed and greeted the
assembly. Other participants include one sister for four congregations
in each country.
Simultaneous translation took place during group sessions and
in between time; everyone was committed to connecting across
language barriers. This was a bit of a challenge, since Spanish,
Portuguese, English and French speakers were present.
CODALC’s major areas of concern are in the preaching mission
of the Order, especially originating in women’s experience,
justice and peace, and formation. Theological reflection and
study are also a significant part of the work. We heard
reports on CODALC’s goals which include courses for formation
personnel, educational meetings on theology and scripture. A
report was made from the Latin American Co-Promoters of Justice
Peace and Care of Creation, Noami Zambrano, OP (Cabra) and fr.,
Miguel Concha Malo, OP (Mexico).
Dominicans in Latin America and the Caribbean frequently speak
of our charism in terms of its prophetic dimension. Because
extreme poverty, violence and suffering are so embedded in the
Latin American experience, Dominicans here see that our own salvation
lies in solidarity with the poor. Much of the discussion and
context of the meeting comes from this perspective. It also comes
out of their experience of the earth. People here are very close
to the earth; their experience and their study helps them
articulate their theology of preaching.
As an invited guest and as DLC Communications Coordinator, I
was part of a group with Miguel Concha, OP (Mexico) and Therese
Antoine, OP (Trinidad) who reported on the December 2005 meeting
of Voices of the Americas in El Salvador. I also
offered a report from the Dominican Leadership Conference. (Both
of those reports are available on the right hand column of this
For me, it was an important opportunity to offer some limited
perspective on what US Dominicans are doing and thinking about.
I found that most attendees know little about what US Dominicans
are doing and tend to hold on to perceptions of America through
what they gain from television and film. I hope that my
remarks were a small gesture toward changing that view. It was
quite a challenge to say something useful in a few minutes.
We, in the US, in turn, know very little about what is happening
in Latin America. This is especially true if a congregation has
no links here. In speaking to the group, it was my hope
to open up the possibilities for exchange. Technology makes
it more and more possible, the question is whether we have the
will to do it.
There are a number of US Dominican women serving in Latin America
who were present at the meeting. (a
list of them is here) Their
presence creates an opportunity to make a more sustainable connection
between North and South.
US Dominican guests who were present included members of congregational
leadership: Pat Mulcahy, OP (Sinsinawa), Terry Auad, OP (Sinsinawa)and
Joyce Ann Hertzig, OP (Grand Rapids). Other
US participants are listed here.
The program ended with a two day retreat with members of CIDALC,
the leadership organization of Dominican men, given by Fr.
Timothy Radcliffe, OP, former master of the Order and theologian
Gabriela Zengarini, OP (Argentina). I was thrilled
to hear Timothy in person (although his written talks were for
personal reflection and not publication). Gabriela’s
material was excellent and helped me understand a contemporary
theologian’s perspective on Rose of Lima, Juan Diago and
Bartolomeo de las Casas. Her talks are available on the right
Finally, members of the assembly were invited to attend the celebration
and witness the profession of one of the Domincan friars in Lima
and the presider was the Master of the Order, fr. Carlos Azpiroz
Anne Lythgoe, OP (Elkins Park)
DLC Communications Coordinator
of the CODALC Meeting
Latin American Dominicans
Offer Support to Three Grand Rapids Sisters
Over 70 Dominicans attending the CODALC meeting
signed a letter to three Grand Rapids Dominicans who
have served time in federal prison protesting US policy and posession
of nuclear arms. READ MORE
READ MORE :
from Anne Lythgoe, OP on Dominicans in the USA (Word)
from Anne Lythgoe, OP on the Voices of
the Americas meeting
in El Salvador. (Word)
List of US Participants
Gabriela Zengarini, OP
DID YOU KNOW?There are 80 congregations of Dominican Sisters
in Latin American and the Caribbean, 19 of them are indigenous.
The city of Lima, Peru is home to several great Dominican Saints:
Martin dePorres, Rose of Lima and Juan Macias. See photos
of some of the shrines.
New CODALC Coordinating Team Includes Two US Dominicans
The newly elected CODALC team includes Germaine Conroy, OP (Columbus)
and Joan Williams, OP (Grand Rapids) who are missioned in Peru
and Honduras respectively.
Other team members
inlcude: Luzia Gioconda Borelli (Brasil) Maria Isabel Cruz Lolas
(Chile) Therese Antoine (Trinidad) Noami Zambrano (Argentina) Irene
Diaz, (Peru) Maria Rodriguez Galvan (Mexico). The term of service
is three years.