Fr. Timoner: ’Mission is not what we do, it’s who we are’

Fr. Timoner: ’Mission is not what we do, it’s who we are’

Fr. Gerard Francisco Timoner III makes profession of faith as the new Master of the Order of Preachers July 13. PHOTO FROM THE ORDER OF PREACHERS

By Joselle Dela Cruz

July 15, 2019

Manila, Philippines

Echoing the call of Pope Francis, the new head of the worldwide Dominican order hopes for a genuinely outward-looking church, less turned in on itself.

In what amounts to a marching order, Fr. Gerard Francisco Timoner III urged his fellow Dominicans to help the Church become a stronger communion.

“We are invited to really look not at ourselves but at the Church that we are supposed to serve and to build,” he said in his first address as the Master of the Order over the weekend.

The pope has repeatedly decried a church that is inward-looking and self-referential.

At one point of his address, he reminded his fellow Dominicans of their identity as preachers of the Gospel.

He stressed that in order to serve and build the Church, there is a need for new evangelization and a “powerful preaching” of St. Dominic today.

“Mission is not what we do, mission is who we are. And if that is very clear then everything will just follow. Actions follow being… Everything will follow,” Fr. Timoner said.

“All the elements that make us preachers, Dominicans, should always be present in everything that we do,” he added.

Fr. Timoner was elected and installed as head of the Order in a ceremony during their ongoing general chapter in Biên Hoà, Vietnam.

The Filipino Dominican is the first Asian to be elected to the post, and which he will serve until 2028.

He is also the 88th Master of the Order, replacing French Fr. Bruno Cadorè who led the Order since 2010.