Conference in Edinburgh showcases the Dominican family
Fr Dermot Morrin OP, superior of St Albert’s in Edinburgh, reflects on an inspirational new form of conference that brought together over 120 members of the Dominican family and non-Dominicans in Scotland’s capital city last weekend.
This photograph reminds me of one of those from the Dominican pilgrimages to Lourdes that we used to have, in so far as there are young and old, Dominican Friars, Dominican Sisters, Lay Dominicans, people from our parishes, and even some who are none of the above! But this isn’t Lourdes. This is Edinburgh and these people are standing on the steps leading up to the Church of Scotland’s Assembly Hall. The unseen statue to the left is not Our Lady. It is John Knox!
Last weekend, well over 120 of us gathered in Edinburgh to explore what “St Dominic and His Preachers of Grace” is all about. The Scottish sun made an appearance, the rain held off and in the Assembly Hall there was a clear sense of joy at being together, of belonging, and of purpose as we explored together what belonging to St Dominic’s Preachers of Grace really means.
Fr Richard Finn gave us the pre-Reformation history, while Fr Fergus Kerr talked on film about his time in the Order finishing at 1962. Then we had the photograph followed by a 20-minute walk through crowded streets to the Cathedral for Mass – during which Fr Timothy Radcliffe delivered a fine homily for the Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist.
After Lunch, Fr Nick Crowe talked about the intellectual apostolate and its importance for us. Sr Philomena Dzimba and Sr Chama Mwila spoke of their apostolates in education and healthcare. Margaret Doyle gave us an overview of the various Lay Dominican groups spread across Britain and Sr Angela Marie Russell talked about her community’s rich and vibrant ministry to young people in Elgin and more widely in Scotland.
After a short break, Fr Timothy Radcliffe spoke on “Preaching and the Imagination” leaving us with three headings to ponder as we look forward: Beauty; Goodness; and Truth. Then a group of relatively new members of our preaching band – 2 Friars; 2 Sisters; and 4 Lay Dominicans – made three excellent responses under those three headings.
The day ended with Vespers, the Salve and the O Spem. It was a day when we were visible as a Province and a family, both to ourselves and to the folk who spotted us on the streets of Edinburgh. It was just so good to be together. We will do this again.
Photographs by Margaret Doyle: