OPEN LETTER TO THE DOMINICAN FAMILY FROM THE
JUSTICE AND PEACE COMMITTEE IN THE SOUTHERN CONE.
Dear Sisters and Brothers:
We came together as “Dominican Family”, here in Buenos Aires on the 9th and 10th of August 2013. Our responsibility is the coordination and organization of Justice and Peace activities of the Dominican Family in the Southern-Cone. Praying, celebrating and reflecting together we wanted to send greetings to each one of you, our brothers and sisters, in the diverse organizations and projects that form our Family and share with you our joys and concerns.
As we celebrate 800 years of the beginning of the Dominican Family, we remembered that we are heirs of the commitment to option with the poor and the renewal of the Church. Celebrating 500 years of the conversion of Bartolomé de las Casas, we reminded ourselves that conversion is a historical process flowing from our reading of the Scriptures and life. Remembering the martyrdom of fray Tito de Alencar, we celebrated our commitment to the struggle for the liberation of our peoples.
In the context of the feast of Saint Dominic, we realised that the energy that motivated us all these years was the idea that we are a single family, working for Justice and Peace in the countries of the Southern-Cone (Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay). There have been many reunions, encounters and seminars; studies, exchanges and celebrations. These have shown us that working together; lay people, sisters and brothers, is not just a viable way but the urgent and indispensable route to take. How good it would be if we could extend this experience to the whole Dominican family around the world!
From the land of Pope Francis, we recalled the challenge of “simplicity and presence among the poor”. United with our peoples, we closely reflected on the hard reality in which we live. We are particularly concerned about the complicated situation of young people, the principal victims of the present model of society – a reality in which one of the many consequences is the deterioration of the human subject. It is this which gives rise to drug addiction and violence. Also there is the misery, social inequality, State inefficiency, the degrading situation of the environment and our own indifference.
During these two days, we renewed our commitment to work as Dominican Family in our promotion of Justice and Peace and to strengthen our national committees. We shared experiences, planned activities and joint initiatives, which include the Seminar on Human Rights that will be held in the city of Goiania, Brazil in September 2015. The seminar will have a preparatory program in each country of the Southern-Cone during 2014. We invite everyone to actively commit themselves in this project.
In our time together, we rediscovered what the General Chapter of Quezon City affirmed: “Justice is a constitutive element of the preaching of the Gospel”. We understand Justice and Peace to be a “spirituality” – something that permeates our Christian-Dominican vocation. This is the flame that we carry: a passion that we bring from the past which causes us to orientate our society towards that: “possible other world”.