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    Blessed Margaret of Castello, OP Chapter-in-Formation

    Stephanie Deninnio, Prioress

    Monthly Chapter Meeting

    Saturday, June 19, 1999 at St. Mark’s in Boise.

                7:00 a.m.         Liturgy of the Hours                            “cry room”

                7:30 a.m.         Rosary                                                 sanctuary

                7:50 a.m.         Holy Sacrifice of the Mass                   sanctuary

                [Often, members may get together for coffee or breakfast after Mass].

    Sunday, March 20, 1999 at St. Paul’s Student Center, BSU campus, in Boise.

    [A “pot-luck” brunch is cooked and served at or around 1:00 p.m.—if you wish to             join that part of the meeting].

                2:00 p.m.         Chapter meeting commences              downstairs      

     I.  Chapter Meeting

                a.  Business Meeting

                            -Discussion Rite of Reception, organize, etc.

    II.  Formation

                a.  St. Dominic.  A view of St. Dominic in light of Peace and Justice

                            -St. Dominic

                b.  St. Martin de Porres, OP

                            St. Martin was the illegitimate son of a freed woman of Panama, probably a Negro but possibly of Indian origin, and a Spanish grandee of Lima, Peru.  He inherited the features and dark complxion of his mother; and though this irked his father, he finally acknowledged his son aftger eight years.  When Martin’s sister was born his father abandoned the family.  St. Martin was reared in poverty.

                            At 12 his mother apprenticed him to a barber-surgeoin.  He learned how to cut har and also how to draw blood (a standard medical treatment then), care of wounds, and to prepare and administer medicines. 

                             After a few years in this medical apostolate, he applied to the Dominicans to be a “lay helper”, not feeling himself worthy to be a religious brother.  After nine years, the example of his prayers and penance, charity and humility led the community to request him to make full religious profession.  Many of his nights were spent in prayer and penitential practices; his days were filled with nursing the sick and caring for the poor.  He treated all people regardless of their color, race or status.  He was instrumental in founding an orghanage, took care of slaves brought from Africa, and managed the daily also the prior with practicality as well as generosity.  He became the procurator of both priory and city, meeting needs for “blankets, shirts, candles, candy, miracles, or prayer.”  Many of his fellow religious took him as their spirital director, but he continued to call himself a “poor slave”.  He was a good friend of another Dominican saint of Peru, St. Rose of Lima.

                 At the canonization of St. Martin in 1962, Pope John XXIII remarked,

    He excused the faults of others.  He forgave bitterest injuries, convinced that he deserved much severer punishment on accuont of his own sins.  He tried with all his might to redeem the guitly; lovingly he comforted the sick; he provided food, clothing and medicine for the poor; he helped, as best he could farm laborers and Negroes, as well as mulattoes, who were looked upon at that times as akin to slaves; thus he deserved to be called but the name people gave him: Martin of Charity.

                 c.  Presentation by Deacon Ralph Flager, Holy Apostles Catholic Church, Eagle, on gifts of the Holy Spirit.  This subject is a continuation on a prior study that will be very helpful.  It is not related to the study of Peace and Justice, in that we must orient ourselves first to God, then to our brothers and sisters in Christ.  This study is about the gifts.  This will be of assistance to each of us.

                d.  Prayer:  Pray that we may have the same love for the Body of Christ as Martine had; to be able to see Christ in the poor and in the sick, in the homeless and in refugees, in the rich, in the able, in the disabled, in all.  It is truly important that we pray and see people in light of the spiritual poverty, especially our own, not just the political labels and controversies of our day.

                 e.  Scripture:  Matthew 25:31-46.  The public ministry of Jesus is coming to a close.  He is completing his instruction to the disciples.  

                Our Lord, who offered his “great commandment” to love God above all else and our neighbors as ourselves, identifies Himself with all who are in need.  He is to be seen in all whom the world considers the least.  Each is to be greeted and cared for by Christ’s disciples as though they were greeting Christ Himself because He considers what is done for them is done for Him.

                Then disciples and we—then and now, respectively—are to identify ourselves with the “least” because that is what Our Lord did.  “The least” is the one who comes to us in need.  We are to go out with the same love and care to meet the least as we would to take care of ourselves.

                The more we are able to extend ourselves, to identify with “the least,” the broader and the richer will be our understanding, our charity and our fulfillment of Christ’s command to go for the least.

                 f.   Discussion on the Theology of Peace and Justice.

                g.   Question:  In what specific ways must we (as a society) or I change my life in order to see Christ in all people?

                            i.  Discussion.

                h.  The Rule and Statutes:  Discussion on the local chapter.  The Chapter is the smallest unit of Lay Dominican life providing a focus for our growth and directin through monthly meetings which include:  celebration of Eucharist and Liturgy of the Hours; study, reflection and sharing; support and encouragement for our common and individual apostolates; and remembrance of our faithful departed.

                Within the Chapter, three important offices include: the prior(ess) of the Chapter, who is elected by the Council members and leads the Chapter and Council meetings, and appoints coordinators for various Chapter activities; the formation director or novice master, who conducts the training program for new members of the Chapter; and the spiritual director, usually a Dominican priest, brother, or sister.  The Council is the governing body of the Chapter, consisting of six to twelve members.  They prepare the schedule and program for the Chapter, oversee the finances, vote on reception and professoin of members, promote common apostolates, recruit new members and cooperate with other branches of the Order.  Members of the Council are elected by the professed members of the Order and serve for three years. 

                Our Chapter, Blessed Margaret of Castello, OP, is in formation, therefore it is not a chapter in the fullest sense, but is formed functionally with the goal of providing for the common life of each of the members.  More discussion at the chapter meeting.

    To Praise * to Bless * to Preach

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