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Untitled Document

800 Year Anniversary

Reflections from Fanjeaux

Durstyne Farnan, OP

With the snow-capped Pyrenees in the background and fields aglow in bright yellow, 70 members of the Dominican family from across the globe gathered to reflect on “Catching the Fire” in preparation for the 800th anniversary of the Dominican Order which officially begins in Advent 2006. Members of the family represented the various international commissions including the International Youth Movement, Dominican Sisters International, nuns, justice and peace, and others.

The opening liturgy was celebrated at Prouille with an interactive homily by Carlos A. Azpiroz Costa, OP, Master of the Order, followed by refreshments and a light supper in the monastery. The song, “Still Today the Light is On,” was created especially for this meeting by the International Dominican Youth Movement in Costa Rica. It captured the spirit of the week and was played often as we gathered. To hear the song, click on the links below:

English Version (Windows Media Player - requires high-speed connection)

Spanish Version (Windows Media Player - requires high-speed connection)

Two major presentations were made — one by Barbara Beaumont, OP, on the early history of the Order entitled “The Coming of the Preachers,” and one by Liam Walsh entitled “Light for the Church.” You can find the complete text of these articles at

The days began with morning prayer prepared by the different commissions represented at the gathering. We prayed in the Couvent where the Dominicans lived in 1323. Throughout the meeting we were configured in various groupings such as regional countries and justice and peace, and according to various topics including communication. As our time came to a conclusion, the group issued the following message to the Dominican family:

A Message to the Members of the Dominican Family

From Fanjeaux, May 2006

We, members of the international commissions of the Dominican Order, meeting with the Master of the Order in Fanjeaux to celebrate the 800 th anniversary of St. Dominic’s founding of Prouilhe, wish to share with the worldwide Dominican family our reflections, ideas and commitments to enrich the holy preaching at this momentous time in the Order’s history.

We commit ourselves to renewing Dominic’s vision of a family together in mission.

We commit ourselves to knowing all branches of the family better and to working together in harmony, mutual respect and truth.

We commit ourselves to finding spaces to preach together as Dominic’s family.

We commit ourselves to finding new, innovative ways of preaching that will especially touch the poor, the young and the aged.

We commit ourselves to finding ways to link and nourish our prayer and mission.

We find ourselves to be more welcoming to all the other braches of the Order.

We commit ourselves to a more attentive listening to the world as a fundamental Dominican value.

We commit ourselves to working for justice together as a family.

We commit ourselves to being in solidarity with those at the margins of society.


From these general commitments, kindled by the fire of Dominic’s vision by being present in these holy places, we urge all branches of the Dominican family in this period of jubilee to:

• Be involved in mission by adopting local projects developed and implemented by all branches of the Order together

• Deepen our prayer life by praying the jubilee prayer prepared for us by the nuns of the Order and joining their liturgies in their monasteries wherever possible

• Work for justice by joining the rest of the Church in realizing the Millennium

Development Goals, signed by all governments in 2000, to relieve our world of dehumanizing poverty and to promote integral human development.

These are some of the fruits of our contemplation over these days in Fanjeaux where Dominic first had his vision of establishing what became the first foundation of the Order and where he dreamed of how to set the world on evangelical fire by praising, blessing and preaching. We encourage you all to take up these challenges, to give them flesh and to implement them, following in the footsteps of St. Dominic, as ways of witnessing to the Gospel in our time.



800th Anniversary Homepage

Jubilee Prayer

Images of Fanjeaux (Windows Media Player - requires high speed connection)