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Filipino is first Asian to head Dominican Order

BIEN HOA (UCAN): Father Gerard Francisco Timoner, a Filipino priest, was elected Master General of the Order of Preachers (OP), also known as the Dominican Order, during the congregation’s general chapter in Vietnam on July 13. He became the 88th master of the 800-year-old mendicant religious order and the first Asian to hold the post.
The 51-year-old priest led the Philippine province of the Dominicans and served as socius, or assistant, for Asia and the Pacific of the outgoing Dominican master, Father Bruno Cadore of France.
In 2014, Pope Francis named Father Timoner to the International Theological Commission, a 30-member Vatican body tasked with examining questions on doctrinal matters.
Father Timoner was born on 26 January 1968, in Daet, Camarines Norte, in the Philippines. He obtained his philosophy degree from the Philippine Dominican Centre of International Studies and his theology degree from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila. He was ordained a priest in 1995. In 2004, he finished his licentiate in sacred theology at the Catholic University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands. He served as vice rector for religious affairs and rector of the UST Central Seminary from 2007 to 2012.
Father Timothy Radcliffe, a former Master of the Order of Preachers, said in an interview with The Tablet that the election of Father Timoner “reflects the Church’s growth in Asia.”

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