Pilgrimage takes many forms and variations; it is oriented to a goal at the end of which we anticipate the result of our journey. In the context of the forthcoming Great Jubilee of the Dominican Order, this year is devoted to the topic Lay Dominicans and preaching. And as preaching is associated with pilgrimage, the European Council of Lay Dominican fraternities came up with the idea of the Pilgrim Image of St. Dominic travelling from country to country across Europe.
Individual members of the laity from various countriesshould personally meet while passing the Image and they should get to know each other, or share their experiences. On Friday 4 April 2014 representatives of Lay Dominicans in Slovakia took the picture from Lay Dominicans in Krakow, and on Saturday 5 April 2014 it was brought to the Regional meeting of the members of Fraternities in Košice.
The meeting was held at the Dominican Cultural Centre Veritas and attended by approximately 35 members from Fraternities of Košice, Levoča, Hencovce, Kendice, Petrovany and Bačkov. There were present also the Provincial President of Lay Dominicans Peter Jeremias Suchovský OP, the Formation assistant Eva Antonina Zúdorová OP, friars – assistants and also Congregation Sisters from Košice. Participants could listen to the presentations by sr. Daniela Promčáková OP – Laity and Congregation Sisters and their place in this world, by the fr. Irenej Maroš Fintor OP – Lay people as bearers of a new Pentecost, and by Katarína Magdaléna Lichmanová OP – How today’s lay people have dreams, visions and how they prophesy. The meeting continued with a mass and was completed by a shared prayer with the Pilgrim Image of St. Dominic. The Image remained the whole week in the Dominican church and Fraternities from Eastern Slovakia were meeting daily to pray with it.
Pilgrime Image in Košice.
After a week, the Pilgrim Image travelled from Košice to Zvolen, where a Regional meeting of the Fraternities from Central Slovakia was held on Saturday 12 April 2014. The meeting point was dedicated to St. Dominic´s idea – Being on the road and preaching. In front of the Pilgrim Image of St. Dominic almost 50 members of Fraternities from Zvolen, Banská Bystrica expressed their respect for this idea by a personal and common prayer. A spiritual enrichment was the theme of the talk by Fr. Jan Alan Dely on the topic God´s Pilgrimage to man and man´s to God, in which Fr. Alan concisely developed this idea in relation to the present journey of the Image. In the ceremony of the mass celebrated by the Promoter of the Lay Dominicans in Slovakia Fr. Mannes Stanislav Marušák OP two Lay women were admitted to a Lay Dominican Fraternity.
On Easter Monday, the Pilgrim Image travelled from Zvolen to the West of Slovakia to the Church of Our Lady of Snow on the Calvary in Bratislava. During the week the members of the Fraternities of Bratislava expressed respect by their personal and common prayer in front of the Image. On Saturday 26 April 2014 another Regional meeting took place and it was attended by about 70 members of the Fraternities of Bratislava, Hlohovec, Trnava, DunajskáLužná and Skalica. The meeting was also attended by friar-assistants – Fr. Jakub Vladimír Miščo OP, Fr. Antonín Ján Husovský OP, Fr. Ján Branislav Mickovič OP and fr. SvoradJán Duda OP. The Provincial President of Dominican Sisters in Slovakia, Sr. Justína Ivana Kostúrová OP, together with other Sisters of the Congregation from DunajskáLužná, was also present. The meeting began with a prayer of the Rosary of divine mercy and continued with a mass in the Church of the Holy Trinity in Bratislava. After the mass there was the common prayer in front ofthe Image of Saint Dominic. The meeting resumed at the premises of Quo Vadis, and it was introduced by Peter Jeremias Suchovský OP. After lunch, people working in groupstried find answers to these questions:
1. What helps God to make a pilgrimage towards me?
2. What prevents God from making a pilgrimage from me to the others?
The results of reflection were interesting answers and resolutionson how to demolish barriers. At the end of the meeting Fr. SvoradJán Duda OP was given the Pilgrim Imageto take to Ukraine.
Pilgrime Image in Bratislava
St. Dominic, we ask you for the grace flowing for our daily lives so that we may preach the good news byour lives according to your example there where the Lord has called us.
Written by Zuzana Imelda Hlavienkova, translated by Miriam Villana Suchovska