ROME, SEPT. 7, 2010 (Zenit.org).- St. Dominic’s 86th successor says he has a lot to discover about his new mission as master of the Dominicans, but he reflects that his task is to be the “servant of unity.”
Father Bruno Cadoré was elected Sunday at the Dominicans’ 290th general chapter, under way through Sept. 21 in Rome.
The 56-year-old French superior gave his first interview to H2O News, recounting how he discovered his vocation to join the Order of Preachers.
He says his life as a young pediatrician changed unexpectedly one day when he stepped into the church of a Dominican monastery.
“I don’t know why, but I was looking for a church which would have a Dominican friary, and I arrived one day when the community was praying,” he recalled. “I was able to see a community of friars that gave the impression of being free and happy.
“In that period, I went through a phase of discernment. In fact, since I had worked with sick children, I was unsure, I told myself that I had to have another view of the world, one other than disease, death and the difficulties of life. And then I entered that church. There, I had the impression that they were pursuing something that was true, free and happy.”
Discoveries in Haiti
Thus he entered the Order of Preachers, where, after his novitiate, he was sent on mission to Haiti for two years.
“It was a very important moment for me,” Father Cadoré reflected. “First of all, I didn’t know what a community of preachers was, and I was able to see it. Moreover, I didn’t know that side of the world: People live in extremely precarious situations; at that time it was a moment of dictatorship, very disorganized. And I was able to see there the life of brothers, who lived in a large region, in the countryside, in the mountains, and who were organizing the parishes in grass-roots ecclesial communities, which were called fraternities.
“In those two years of life, dedicated to living with people, to getting to know the Bible with them, I think I learned the Gospel with them and that was decisive for me, because I’ve never forgotten it.”
For the new master of the order, “a Dominican is a friar-preacher, hence, he is a ‘brother’ who lives with brothers, who wants to live with his brothers, because it’s there that the Word of God is shared and it is there where we become the human beings that we are. ‘Preachers’ who preach trying to act as Jesus did — to say it in some way — that is, going out to meet persons, loving them, listening to them, taking time to find out about their lives, to know their questions, to live with them, and to seek with them the truth of the Word of God.”
Seeking to discover
In regard to his mission as master, the priest admitted with humility: “I don’t know very well what the function is. I’m going to discover it.”
“I know what the function was of the masters of the order that I met, but I don’t quite know how it is carried out,” he explained. “I have the impression that the essential task is to know the brothers, to learn to love them, to appreciate what they preach, to discover the persons with whom one lives and preaches, hence to discover how the Word of God is revealed among persons through preaching, that is, through the exchanged word and dialogue with the people.
“I also believe that the master of the order is the servant of unity among all the brothers, all the communities, the provinces, all the cultures that are so different. With the mystery of the unity that has been given to us, I believe, through the joy of being recipients of the Word of God, the joy of loving people as children of God and, it could be said, as Dominic did; liberty, liberty, to take the time to really seek with the people what is the life of life, what is the life within life.”
Elected for a nine year term of office, he succeeds Bro. Carlos Azpiroz Costa,
Father Cadoré was elected for a nine year term. He succeeds Father Carlos Azpiroz Costa, of Argentina.
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