Dominicans in the Americas Webcast Nov. 21 commemorates 500th anniversary

Arriving late in the year 1510, Dominicans have been preaching and teaching in America for 500 years. Our legacy is significant as we began our ministry in the New World. The first friars were disturbed and confronted by the treatment of the indigenous peoples, who were seriously oppressed and pushed into submission by the Spanish who colonized their land.

The Dominicans spent hours of meetings and studying the atrocities, and decided to make a public denouncement of the treatment of the Indians through the form of a sermon. Each of the friars signed the document, and Fr. Antonio Montesinos was commissioned to preach this sermon during Advent in the year 1511. The sermon was not preserved, but Bartolome de Las Casas incorporated an extract in his work, “History of the Indies.”

As members of the Dominican Family in the Americas, we will begin to commemorate this important anniversary through a webcast on Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 at 7 p.m. EST (6 p.m. CST). The program will focus on the past and present issues challenging the Dominican Family in America. Rumor has it that Fr. Montesinos may make an appearance. This presentation will be available for downloading as well as converted into DVDs.

We invite you to consider a local/regional event to commemorate our 500 years of Dominican Presence in the Western Hemisphere sometime during 2012.

For more information and a copy of the 30-page summary of the Early Dominicans in America from the Acts of the General Chapter in Mexico, please contact: Lucianne Siers, OP, Co-Promoter of Justice for North America, at