Dominicans in the Americas
In September 1510, when the Dominicans arrived at Hispaniola, they engaged in pastoral care of the Spaniards and evangelization of the natives. Very soon, the Dominicans became aware of the bad treatment the indigenous peoples received as they were forced to become servants of the Spaniards. Confronted with submission and oppression of the natives, the Dominican community dedicated long hours in meetings to study the problem in depth, until they decided to make a public denouncement of the atrocities.
The friars prepared the denouncement in the form of a sermon to which they gave long and hard deliberation, with the participation of the whole community. Once they decided on the text and wrote it down, it was signed by each one of the members of the community. Fr. Antonio Montesinos was commissioned by the community to preach this homily during the Advent Liturgy in 1511. We celebrate the 500th Anniversary of this significant preaching presence in the Western Hemisphere this upcoming Advent 2011.
We invite the Dominican Family to find ways to celebrate this preaching presence throughout the year 2012.
New: Papal Bull of 1493 Rescinded
In recent consultations with the Holy See representatives at the United Nations in New York, we have come to know that The Papal Bull of 1493 (Inter Coetera) has been rescinded. This bull is a document issued by Pope Alexander VI which gave Spain the unlimited right to posses all undiscovered new land. This Papal Bull established Christian dominion and subjugation of non-Christian “pagan” peoples and their lands. In the past years, many indigenous and human rights advocates gathered to demand that the 1493 Papal Bull be revoked. Read more
Vatican Radio interview with Toni Harris, OP
DVDs of Montesinos Homily, Webcast Available
Two hymns to use for the celebration of the 500 years of the Prophetic Preaching in the Americas. We thank the Dominican sisters in Australia for these gifts!
Hymn: Antonio de Montesinos
Hymn in Honor of Fray Anton Montesino
Any questions on use of this music, please contact Jill Shirvington: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Dominican Family participated in a webcast Nov. 21, 2011. We had 400 connections live from as far as Peru and Australia, and within a week there were 2,000 requests to watch it on a later date. We realize that there is great interest and energy among the Dominican Family to hear about our history and current commitments to justice.
The program focused on past and present issues challenging the Dominican Family in America. The webcast featured the Rev. James Barnett as Fr. Montesinos, along with a panel of preachers (Marcelline Koch, OP, Margaret Mayce, OP and Chuck Dahm, OP), and a presentation by Toni Harris, OP. View video
New: Papers and Preaching
The Quest for Justice in a World of Poverty and Wealth: Judith Ann Brady, OP (Sparkill) reflects on wealth and poverty comparing the Dominican experiences of the early 1500s just coming to Hispaniola and our current desire to acquire riches in the 21st century.
Speaking Truth to Power: Ceil Lavan, OP (Blauvelt) writes about the current issue of Israel and Palestine and the injustices that plague the peoples of the Middle East.
Remarks on Racism by Sister Marceline Koch, OP
Address to Antonio Montesinos by Sister Joaquina Pacheco Villar
The Alma College (Alma, Michigan) Drama Department is willing to perform “The Controversy of Valladolid” at your motherhouse or College through March 2012. To schedule this event, contact Dr. Dana Aspinall: email@example.com or call 989-463-7269.
The play takes place after Europeans invaded the land, destroyed the culture, plundered natural resources and subjected thousands of people to servitude, torture and death, the church agonized over its question of the indigenous peoples: Are they human? Are they children of God? Based on a Spanish Papal Tribunal of 1550 this drama reveals the fate of millions of American natives by bringing to light the real-life debates whose outcomes are still felt today.
Movie: Tambien la lluvia (Even the Rain)
The film, “Tambien la lluvia” (Even the Rain) premiered in Traverse City, Michigan, at Michael Moore’s Film Festival. Moore had this to say about it: “Even the Rain is a brilliant movie. At a time when the poor of the world seem to be rising up, I found myself deeply moved and completely enthralled by this film. I encourage everyone in search of a great movie to go see Even the Rain.”
This fictional quest to make a film against all odds, is set against the back drop of the real life “Water Wars,” fought against the privatization of Bolivia’s water supply in the year 2000 and is anchored in the philosophies of historian Howard Zinn, as well as the stories of 16th century priests, Fathers Bartolome de las Casas and Antonio Montesinos, the first radical voices of conscience against an Empire. Read a review of the film by Prakash Anthony Lohale, OP, in Dominican Life | USA.
Call for Artists
Artists of all kinds, musicians, painters, poets, dancers, sculptors, photographers, film makers, playwrights and others are invited to express their ideas in new work that would connect with the current issues of justice particularly focusing on immigration, racism, military spending as well as with the history of the Dominican Order in the Western Hemisphere. Please do not send art work, but only send photographs of art with information regarding the size, medium to Lucianne Siers, OP: Lsiers6720@aol.com, 1533 Parker Street, Bronx, NY 10462.
Anniversary Steering Committee
Toni Harris, OP
For more information, contact Sister Lucianne Siers at Lsiers6720@aol.com.
Articles of Interest
Juan Manuel Péerez García, OP
Brian Pierce, OP