Greetings in our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ, we pray this communication finds you well.
The Convent of St Philip and St Jacob the Apostles, Vilnius, Lithuania, was the venue for the first face to face meeting of the European Council of Lay Dominican Fraternities in over two years. Our meeting began on Friday October 22nd and concluded on Sunday evening 24th October. The reason for meeting in Vilnius was in preparation for the next assembly which please God, will take place from August 12th to 17th 2022.
Although the Council have regularly met during these two years it has always been by zoom or skype. With the volume and pace of work we got through in Vilnius, it quickly became obvious that face to face meetings are far more productive.
The Lithuanian fraternities hosting our meeting were an amazing inspiration, we were totally blown away with their work ethic. Their mission is without doubt blessed, with Saint Dominic and the Holy Spirit working visibly among them. Our Lithuanian brothers and sisters delivered at a gathering in the convent an excellent presentation which highlights some of their work and which have agreed to share on agora so you can all see. Our sincerest gratitude goes to them for their wonderful hospitality.
As you can imagine the planning for the assembly entails much work, again the team in Vilnius have made a great start to the preparations. The council visited the venue for the assembly which will be held in St Joseph’s, the Lithuanian national seminary. We were very impressed with the complex and I know assembly delegates will be very well accommodated in this modern, state of the art facility.
Saturday morning work began in earnest, and I am happy to report that we were very successful in covering our planned schedule. The provisional programme for Assembly 2022 is prepared, our work continues as we seek to secure some brilliant speakers that we have identified. “Europe Land of Mission” is the theme selected for the assembly.
Over the next number of weeks, you will receive notification of the assembly and we will follow these with other various items of information as we firm up on speakers, facilitators, and special guests. In the meantime, sisters, and brothers, we ask for your prayers for a successful assembly where we can all meet, gather but most of all pray together for a healing of Europe that as we all know is suffering in many, many ways.
Finally, may I take this opportunity to thank the community of friars in the convent of St Philip and St Jacob the Apostles in Vilnius for their generous hospitality. Much gratitude also to our Lithuanian sisters and brothers for the great welcome and care they gave us during our visit, they have given at least one weary solider much inspiration and motivation by their exemplary apostolate.
In the Love the is Jesus Christ, we pray you keep healthy, safe and well.
Fraternally in Saint Dominic and Saint Catherine,