We had our last meeting in Bruxelles on the weekend of 18th January 2003, on the feast of Saint Margaret of Hungary (the only canonised Hungarian Dominican saint). Present were the following ECLDF members: Zaida Rocha Ferreira, Eva Kameniarova, Boris Kovalenko, Nikolett Muranyi; and Patricia Robinson, ICLDF member. We elected her as an ICLDF member to become a co-opted member of ECLDF in order to establish direct communication and co-operation between ICLDF and ECLDF.
The meeting’s main subjects were:
- Checking the bilingual texts of Fognano Acts before publishing them
- Setting up detailed plans for the 2004 Walberberg Asembly
- How can we find funds for poor Lay Dominicans?
- Relationship between ICLDF and ECLDF (between councils on intercontinental and European level)
- Patricia’s report on ICLDF
- We had great council discussions on the above mentioned subjects in a friendly atmosphere. We are not only and elected council, but a real fraternity. It was very good to feel that we are sisters and brothers coming from different parts of Europe, and we can pray together and share our thoughts, and we could always find solutions in harmony, that each of us liked. We keep in touch via regular e-mails between meetings that are held twice a year.
We had our meeting in the friars’ international convent in Bruxelles. Fr. Timothy Radcliffe founded this community in the beginning of 2002 with the target of trying to lead a good community life on an international basis. Previously it was a traditional Belgian convent.
The 15 friars come from 8 countries: Alain Arnoul, Bernard Olivier, Emilio Platti, Ignace Berten, Mark Butaye (prior), Jean-Marie Van Cangh (Belgian), Bob Eccles (British), Hubert Cornudet (French), Marian Wojciechowski (Polish), René Dinklo and Theo Veerkamp (Dutch), Thomas Eggensperger and Diethard Zils (German), Roberto Giorgis (Italian) and Eugenio Boleo (Portugal).
It was really interesting to have the possibility to spend a weekend at their house. Fr. Eugenio hosted us. Fr. Diethard also attended our meeting, as he would support us in putting together the liturgy book for the Walberberg Assembly in 3 languages. The official languages of the house are English and French, but all of them speak some other languages as well. We took part in common prayers and the Eucharist with the community.
We experienced a very good, open and fraternal atmosphere there. Almost all the household work is done by the friars themselves. For instance: prior, student, journalist and professor all work together in the kitchen before and after meals. We had long discussions mixing at least 5 languages. They have different activities: e.g. ESPACES is published by them, they own a valuable library, some of them teach at Catholic universities, others deal with Lay Dominicans.
We are thankful for having our meeting in the international convent of Bruxelles. Next time we are going to meet in September in Rome.