Dominican Reflects on His Selection as New Leader

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ROME, JULY 27, 2001 ( The Dominicans´ selection of an Argentinian as master general reflects the fact that Latin America is “a continent of hope,” the new leader says.

Father Carlos Azpiroz of Buenos Aires, who was chosen July 14 to lead the Dominicans, is only the second non-European master general in the almost 800 years of the Order of Preachers. The 44-year-old succeeded Father Timothy Radcliffe of England.

Speaking over Vatican Radio, Father Azpiroz said his selection reflects the hope that Latin America represents. It is, he said, “where the life of the Church and of the order itself is very strong,” not only “among the friars, but also among the contemplative nuns, in the congregations and institutes of Dominican Sisters of apostolic life, present in areas of these countries where the friars often cannot go, and a very well organized laity, with very strong apostolic commitment.”

The Dominicans´ general chapter, being held in Providence, Rhode Island, from July 10 to Aug. 8, is focusing on the order´s program of activities for the next three years.

Father Azpiroz emphasized the need for the Dominican Order to return to the fundamental role of preaching, as the fruit of contemplation, “to give to others what we have first contemplated.”

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