Dominicans Plan to Open Novitiate in Iraq

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ROME, MARCH 10, 2003 (Zenit.org).- At a time when the wary are leaving Iraq, the Dominicans are hoping to step up their presence there.



This decision is reflected in a report by Dominican Father Jean-Jacques Perennes, vicar for the Arab world, on his recent trip to Iraq and the programs the Dominicans are sponsoring in the country.

Among the projects is the opening of a novitiate in the city of Mossul within the next two years and, if possible, the constitution of a student body in Baghdad.

The Dominicans direct a theological center in the capital, which attracts hundreds of Christians every week. They publish a periodical called Christian Thought and carry out pastoral activities.

An audiovisual center and permanent exhibition were inaugurated in Mossul, in connection with their activities for the poor and for catechetical endeavors.

"Work is not wanting," Father Perennes explained. "The bishops offered us other apostolic activities and the monks are not lacking projects."

As a show of solidarity with Iraq's long-suffering people, the Dominican monks and women religious said that they will not leave the country even if war breaks out.