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2007 CODALC Meeting, Lima

2005 Meeting
Voices of the

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CIDALC website

Latin American

United Nations
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Dominican Perspectives on Latin America and the Caribbean

2007 Meeting of CODALC
Dominicans In Latin America Converge to "Preach
with a New Consciousness

CODALC logoLIMA, PERU – February 12, 2007.  Over 70 Dominicans representing federations and congregations from all over Latin America and the Caribbean gathered here to hold the triennial meeting of CODALC (Confederation of Dominicans in Latin America and the Caribbean).  Every three years, CODALC delegates assemble to report on the projects they engage in and reflect on their place in the preaching mission of the Order. The meeting took place January 26-February 1st, including two days of retreat with Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, OP (Oxford) and Gabriela Zengarini, OP (Argentina).

Lima was a perfect setting for this gathering -- a busy, crowded, noisy and complex city - birthplace of St. Rose of Lima, St. Martin de Porres, and Juan Macias, patrons of Latin America. The event was held at the retreat house of the Domincian Missionaries of the Rosary, a beautiful tranquil place with an interior garden courtyard, meeting spaces and chapel.  

The theme of the meeting was  People with a new conscience will release our preaching . Participants included the prioress generals, provincials, regionals or their delegates in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean as well as presidents of national federations or secretariats. For example Peru has a federation of Dominican sisters and the president, Sr. Nieves Elizalde, OP, welcomed and greeted the assembly. Other participants include one sister for four congregations in each country.

Simultaneous translation took place during group sessions and in between time; everyone was committed to connecting across language barriers. This was a bit of a challenge, since Spanish, Portuguese, English and French speakers were present. 

CODALC’s major areas of concern are in the preaching mission of the Order, especially originating in women’s experience, justice and peace, and formation. Theological reflection and study are also a significant part of the work.  We heard reports on CODALC’s goals which include courses for formation personnel, educational meetings on theology and scripture.  A report was made from the Latin American Co-Promoters of Justice Peace and Care of Creation, Noami Zambrano, OP (Cabra) and fr., Miguel Concha Malo, OP (Mexico).

Dominicans in Latin America and the Caribbean frequently speak of our charism in terms of its prophetic dimension.  Because extreme poverty, violence and suffering are so embedded in the Latin American experience, Dominicans here see that our own salvation lies in solidarity with the poor. Much of the discussion and context of the meeting comes from this perspective. It also comes out of their experience of the earth. People here are very close to the earth; their experience and their study helps them articulate their theology of preaching.

As an invited guest and as DLC Communications Coordinator, I was part of a group with Miguel Concha, OP (Mexico) and Therese Antoine, OP (Trinidad) who reported on the December 2005 meeting of Voices of the Americas in El Salvador.  I also offered a report from the Dominican Leadership Conference. (Both of those reports are available on the right hand column of this page).

For me, it was an important opportunity to offer some limited perspective on what US Dominicans are doing and thinking about. I found that most attendees know little about what US Dominicans are doing and tend to hold on to perceptions of America through what they gain from television and film.  I hope that my remarks were a small gesture toward changing that view. It was quite a challenge to say something useful in a few minutes.

We, in the US, in turn, know very little about what is happening in Latin America. This is especially true if a congregation has no links here.  In speaking to the group, it was my hope to open up the possibilities for exchange.  Technology makes it more and more possible, the question is whether we have the will to do it.

There are a number of US Dominican women serving in Latin America who were present at the meeting. (a list of them is here) Their presence creates an opportunity to make a more sustainable connection between North and South.

US Dominican guests who were present included members of congregational leadership: Pat Mulcahy, OP (Sinsinawa), Terry Auad, OP (Sinsinawa)and Joyce Ann Hertzig, OP (Grand Rapids). Other US participants are listed here.

The program ended with a two day retreat with members of CIDALC, the leadership organization of Dominican men, given by  Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, OP, former master of the Order and theologian Gabriela Zengarini, OP (Argentina).  I was thrilled to hear Timothy in person (although his written talks were for personal reflection and not publication).   Gabriela’s material was excellent and helped me understand a contemporary theologian’s perspective on Rose of Lima, Juan Diago and Bartolomeo de las Casas. Her talks are available on the right column.

Finally, members of the assembly were invited to attend the celebration and witness the profession of one of the Domincan friars in Lima and the presider was the Master of the Order, fr. Carlos Azpiroz Costa.

Anne Lythgoe, OP (Elkins Park)
DLC Communications Coordinator


Photo Gallery
of the CODALC Meeting

Latin American Dominicans Offer Support to Three Grand Rapids Sisters

Over 70 Dominicans attending the CODALC meeting signed a letter to three Grand Rapids Dominicans who have served time in federal prison protesting US policy and posession of nuclear arms. READ MORE


Remarks from Anne Lythgoe, OP on Dominicans in the USA

Remarks from Anne Lythgoe, OP on the Voices of the Americas meeting in El Salvador.

List of US Participants

Retreat Talks:

Gabriela Zengarini, OP

There are 80 congregations of Dominican Sisters in Latin American and the Caribbean, 19 of them are indigenous.

The city of Lima, Peru is home to several great Dominican Saints: Martin dePorres, Rose of Lima and Juan Macias. See photos of some of the shrines.

New CODALC Coordinating Team Includes Two US Dominicans

The newly elected CODALC team includes Germaine Conroy, OP (Columbus) and Joan Williams, OP (Grand Rapids) who are missioned in Peru and Honduras respectively.

Other team members inlcude: Luzia Gioconda Borelli (Brasil) Maria Isabel Cruz Lolas (Chile) Therese Antoine (Trinidad) Noami Zambrano (Argentina) Irene Diaz, (Peru) Maria Rodriguez Galvan (Mexico). The term of service is three years.

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