"Go, sell what you have and give to the poor, then come and follow me!" Mt. 19:21

"Go, sell what you have and give to the poor, then come and follow me!" Mt. 19:21

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Mary the Mother of God Stands at the Gate of the New Year (audio)

"Mary the Mother of God stands at the gate of the new year, she shows us the way... but by pointing to Him who is the Way, the Truth and Life, she tells us to place our hand into the open hand of God in Christ, as she said to the servants at the wedding feast at Cana, 'Do whatever He tells you.'"
                        -from Word to Life radio show on Sirius XM with Fr. Allan White OP &
                          Fr. Gabriel Gillen OP talking about the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God 
Our province is blessed to have Fr. Allan White OP of the English Province, who is currently assigned to the Church of St. Joseph at New York University in Greenwich Village (Manhattan). Fr. White has also been working with our province and Kindly Light Media on various projects and films about the Catholic Faith and culture.
Fr. Allan White OP of the English Province, now in New York City
Fr. Gabriel Gillen OP in Sirius XM radio station in Midtown Manhattan

+next Vocation Weekend will be Feb. 3-5, 2012

Friday, December 30, 2011

You're Invited: February 3-5, 2012 Vocation Weekend

OUR NEXT VOCATION WEEKEND will be February 3-5, 2012 at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington DC.

A Vocation Weekend is a no-strings-attached chance to spend time learning about the life of Dominican Friars in the Province of St. Joseph. Come pray with us, talk with our student brothers, meet our older brethren, and most of all listen for the voice of Jesus who continually calls men to become preachers for the salvation of souls. (It is possible also to visit the Dominican House of Studies informally; contact the Vocation Director)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Opening the Book of Revelation

Check out this series of posts written by Bro. Leo OP on our student brothers' Dominicana Blog on the Book of Revelation.
Written by Br. Leo Checkai, O.P., the goal of the series is not to present a comprehensive commentary on the Book, but to provide readers with the skills they need to understand the prophetic language and context, thereby enabling readers to interpret it according to the Spirit in which it was written.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

For Unto Us a Child is Born (Solemn Vespers I)

Merry Christmas!

(click photo to enlarge)

1) I just sent you a Christmas email (actually two)
2) If you did not receive them, check your spam folder and add vocations@dominicanfriars.org to your address book. If you are not on my email list, you should contact me.
3) If you have been in contact with me, your name will be under the altar tonight as we celebrate Midnight Mass of the Nativity of our Lord.
4) Here is the midnight Mass Christmas homily of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.

Here are photos from First Solemn Vespers of Christmas (full screen).

(click to enlarge)

DeProfundis line (before dinner)

Our Preaching

Fr. Nicanor Austriaco OP teaches at Providence College.

"Although Dominic felt himself mature for preaching, yet he did not undertake that office until he had worked hard in the Palentine Athenaeum of philosophy and theology. Long familiar with the Fathers, under their guidance and teaching, he first, as it were, received into his blood and marrow the riches of Sacred Scripture, and especially of Paul." (Pope Benedict XV, Fausto Appetente Die, 1921.)

"He who never ceases to make His Church fruitful through new offspring wishes to make these modern times the equal of former days and to spread the Catholic faith. So he inspired you with a holy desire to embrace poverty, profess the regular life and commit yourselves to the proclamation of the word of God, preaching everywhere the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Pope Honorius III to St. Dominic)."

Our brothers, therefore, as the founder prescribed, 'should everywhere behave uprightly and religiously, as men intent on procuring their own and other people's salvation; they should behave as evangelical men, following in the footsteps of the Savior, speaking to God or of God, among themselves or with their neighbors." (The Fundamental Constitutions)

As members of the Order of Preachers, Dominicans are consecrated totally to God and are appointed entirely for the complete evangelization of the Word of God. All of the friars of the Province of St. Joseph in the United States receive their intellectual and spiritual formation at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington D.C.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

2011 Christmas Schedule for the Dominican House of Studies

Just to get this out there, here is the 2011 Christmas Schedule for the Dominican House of Studies and a few other announcements from our school, including the upcoming talk from Dr. Russell Hittinger for the Thomistic Circles.
Today is also the 795th Anniversary of the foundation of the Order of Preachers. Check out Bro. Clement OP's post today on Dominicana. We have a LOT more to do.  Come join us!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Archbishop DiNoia OP: Mary's Fiat & the Priesthood

On our provincial website you will find a homily on Mary's Fiat and the Priesthood by Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, O.P. recently preached at the Altar of the Chair, in St. Peter’s Basilica, on the fiftieth anniversary of Cardinal Levada’s priestly ordination.

The statue is Saint Dominic which is to the left of the ambo at the Altar of the Chair, in St. Peter’s Basilica.

The episcopal shield is that of Archbishop DiNoia OP.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

More Advent Updates from the Vocation Office

Fr. Dominic Izzo OP, one of our vicar provincials, has just sent out another pre-Christmas update which is a nice summary of some of the things happening in our province.

I also wanted to give each of you an Advent gift from the Vocation Office. It is a free subscription to Dominicana, the on-line & printed journal of our Student friars here at the Dominican House of Studies. This journal has different articles from the on-line blog which publishes a new article M-F each week.  I will be sending access to each of you on my email updates to download the journal to an iPad, Kindle or your computer to read offline within the next few days.

Move on over to our provincial website where we just posted an update from Vatican Radio on the 500th anniversary of the historic homily of Fr. Antonio Montesinos OP in the Dominican Republic.  Our Order has a great tradition of working for human rights.

Also there you will find a video of Bro. Gregory Maria OP on following Christ in the Dominican vocation.

Not on my email updates? Contact me!  Finally the video below is a recording of our Dominican schola - enjoy and please say a prayer for our friars in formation!

Dominican Schola from the Dominican House of Studies under the direction of Fr. James Moore OP of the Province of the Holy Name (Western)


"Why are there so many Dominican vocations?" Read what Archbishop Augustine DiNoia OP says.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Aquinas' Prayer Before Study

Many of you are in exams right now including our student brothers here at the Dominican House of Studies. Here is an excellent prayer that many of us use. For those of you in formal studies know of our prayers as you commit yourself to study for God's glory!

(used when sitting down to study)
Creator of all things, true source of light and wisdom, origin of all being, graciously let a ray of your light penetrate the darkness of my understanding.

Take from me the double darkness in which I have been born, an obscurity of sin and ignorance.

Give me a keen understanding, a retentive memory, and the ability to grasp things correctly and fundamentally.

Grant me the talent of being exact in my explanations and the ability to express myself with thoroughness and charm.

Point out the beginning, direct the progress, and help in the completion. I ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

                                                                      -Saint Thomas Aquinas, OP (patron of scholars)

Newly Professed Student Brothers & Current Novices - say a prayer for them

Monday, December 12, 2011

"Juanito, Juan Dieguito, the Most Humble of My Sons"

"Juanito, Juan Dieguito, the most humble of my sons..." These were the tender words of Our Lady of Guadalupe to St. Juan Diego in the first apparition of 1531 in Tepeyac (Mexico City). 

Tonight I visited this chapel at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception across the street from the Dominican House of Studies and entrusted those of you discerning with us to our Blessed Mother.  The flowers and expressions of love for our Lady were extraordinary.  It was possible to smell the roses even from the back of the basilica.
St. Martin de Porres in the mosaic of the chapel offering a prayer before the Virgin.

As you consider God's plan for your life, consider also God's generosity and all that He has given you.  If you would like to test your call, consider making a vocation weekend with us at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington DC.  On Saturdays of the vocation weekends the men always have sufficient time for prayer and silence.  It is even possible to make a mini-pilgrimage over to the Shrine.

On this great feast of our Lady, I thought I would share with you the consecration to her that some of our friars have made shortly after being ordained to the priesthood.

Act of Consecration of a Dominican Priest to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

O Queen of the most holy Rosary, Help of Christians, Refuge of the human race, Victress in all God's battles, I suppliantly and with great confidence, not in my own merit but solely because of the immense goodness of your motherly heart, prostrate myself before your throne begging mercy, grace, and timely aid.

To you and your Immaculate Heart I bind myself anew and consecrate myself anew in union with your Holy Mother, the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ.  Once again I proclaim you the Queen of the Order of Friars Preachers - the order, which your son, Dominic founded to preach the word of truth everywhere for the salvation of souls; the order which you have chosen as a beautiful, fragrant, and splendid garden of delights; the order in which the light of wisdom ought to shine that its members might bestow on others the fruit of their contemplation, not only by courageously uprooting heresy but also by sowing the seeds of virtue everywhere; the order which during the course of centuries has gloried in your scapular and in your most holy Rosary, which daily and in the hour of death devoutly and confidently salutes you as advocate in those words most sublime: Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy.

To you O Mary and to your Immaculate Heart I consecrate today my priesthood and my religious life that you might truly be its queen; that perfect observance, the love of your Son in the most holy sacrament of the altar, the love of your praise, and the love of St. Dominic and his virtues might reign in my heart and mind; so that I, thus filled with the spirit of truth, might effectively communicate it to others.

O Mother of Mercy, my mother and the Queen of the world, grant that all nations under the guidance of our supreme Pastor might proclaim you blessed, and together with you intone from pole to pole an eternal magnificat of glory, love and gratitude to the Sacred Heart to Jesus, in whom alone can be found life, truth and peace. Amen.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Rector of Angelicum Now Bishop Charles Morerod OP

Congratulations to Bishop Charles Morerod OP
Bishop of Lausanne, Genève et Fribourg in Switzerland

He has previously served as rector of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), professor of dogmatic theology and Secretary General of the International Theological Commission.
Here below is Bishop Charles' first Christmas Mass at St. Nicholas in Fribourg:
& here are the actual ordination videos/photos:

Links about the New Bishop Charles Morerod OP:

Bishop Morerod OP uses his Blackberry!
When he spoke at the Thomistic Circles at the Dominican House of Studies:

Gaudete Sunday: Thomas Aquinas on Joy

Many blessings to all of you on this Gaudete Sunday!

Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus enim prope est. Nihil solliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione petitiones vestræ innotescant apud Deum. Benedixisti Domine terram tuam: avertisti captivitatem Jacob.

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Let your forbearance be known to all, for the Lord is near at hand; have no anxiety about anything, but in all things, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. Lord, you have blessed your land; you have turned away the captivity of Jacob." (Philippians 4:4–6; Psalm 85 (84):2).
Below, you will find an amazing audio clip from a Vatican Radio program by Fr. Paul Murray, O.P. of the Irish Dominican Province who speaks about Joy (and Humor!) in the writings of the "Common Doctor of the Church," St. Thomas Aquinas.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Fr. Thomas Joseph White OP at Theology on Tap

The Radicality of Living the Gospel:  Saint Dominic
(audio below)

Fr. Thomas Joseph White OP spoke recently at Theology on Tap in Washington, D.C.  Check out the audio below.  Would you like to learn more about St. Dominic and the Order of Preachers?  Come to our next vocation weekend, which is already starting to fill.  Fr. White is the Director of the Thomistic Institute at the Dominican House of Studies.

Fr. Thomas Joseph White OP

Have you seen the blog of our student brothers?  www.Dominicanablog.com (check it out!)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Vocations and Our Lady's Immaculate Conception

Happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Entrust your vocation to the Blessed Mother and her powerful intercession!

Today we celebrate our patronal feast at the Dominican House of Studies (aka Priory of the Immaculate Conception).  Also taking the name is the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception (our college).
It was also a very special day for the Dominican Nuns of Summit New Jersey.  Fr. Andrew Hofer OP, today went to celebrate the Simple Profession Mass of Sr. Mary Magdalene OP. Here are a few photos from the day.

Our next vocation weekend will be February 3-5, 2012. Don't you think today would be a great time to consider more seriously a vocation?

If you are just coming to this blog, here are some previous emails I have sent out recently.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Bro. Michael Mary OP - A "Good" Catholic

This video was originally posted on our provincial website. If you go there you will find an introduction to this video.

What does it mean to be a good Catholic? Br. Michael Mary, O.P. gives an answer.


By the way, Bro. Michael Mary played baseball for Walsh University before entering the Order.

Bro. Thomas OP just posted a new article, "How to Learn a Million Things that Aren't Worth Learning" on our popular blog from our student brothers. Check it out!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent News from the Dominicans

Fr. Dominic Izzo OP, one of our vicar provincials, just wrote an excellent summary of news about what has been happening in our province. Please check it out and say a prayer for the work of our friars and for vocations!  

Also, in case you missed it, here is the last email I sent to those of you on my email updates.  If you would like to be added (those discerning a vocation only please), you can sign up here.
Also, please say a prayer for the 30 men attending our December 2-4, 2011 vocation weekend starting tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dominican Saints 101: Bl. John of Vercelli

The newest post in the Dominican Saints 101 series is up on our provincial website: Bl. John of Vercelli.  Check it out!

Just a brief note about the Dominican Confraternities.  There are three major Dominican Confraternities: 

1) the most quickly growing, at least in this country, is the Angelic Warfare Confraternity, which is concerned mainly with chastity and is under the patronage of St. Thomas Aquinas. 
2) the Most Holy Rosary Confraternity is probably the largest internationally. That one is pretty self-explanatory, dealing with the Rosary. 
3) there is also the confraternity related to Bl. John of Vercelli, the Holy Name Confraternity.

According to the Constitutions of the Order, there is also the Confraternity of Blessed Imelda.  In this country, I've only seen a placard about it outside the Holy Name Building at St. Vincent Ferrer's in New York City, which was the headquarters of most of our Confraternities.  I suspect this might also be the confraternity sometimes referred to as the "Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament."  This is not to be confused with the Anglican confraternity (CBS).

Friday, November 25, 2011

Dominican Saints 101: St. Catherine of Alexandria

St. Catherine of Alexandria is one of the co-patronesses of the Order.  In my post on the provincial website, I mainly look at her importance in general for the Dominicans.  Click on the image below.

There is also something more that is important to note with her than just a historical account of her life.  St. Catherine's feast day provides a great example of the riches of the hymns for specific Dominican saints.

With many of the hymns in the old Dominican breviary (many of which we still often use today), there is a certain flow that occurs in the text beginning with Matins, moving to Lauds, and concluding with Vespers.  The texts of the hymns tell the story and glory.  St. Catherine's hymns (as well as those on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, which are 4 hymns dealing with the mysteries of the Rosary in order) recount her life, her martyrdom, and her glory in heaven.  She is one of my favorite examples of this trait in the liturgical texts.  Not only do the hymns catechize, but they also allow for a certain integrity to the liturgy that leads ultimately to heaven where the final hymn comes to a rest. 

In the morning before the daylight arises, the Matins hymn recounts the virtues of her life and the moments leading up to St. Catherine's martyrdom.  This allows the friar to contemplate the virtuous day he hopes to have and the preaching that he will undergo.  The lauds hymn brings to mind the sufferings and martyrdom of the saint.  This too is important for the friar who is in the midst of the toil of a day's labor, study, and preaching.  Lastly, the Vespers hymn recounts the most important moments of her story and concludes with the entrance of souls into heaven.  In this elevation of the mind to heaven, the friar is more enabled to contemplate the Most Holy Trinity.  With this evening prayer in particular, St. Bede writes that through our prayer and meditation, "we are encouraged to lead a life of virtue.  Such virtues are best achieved in the evening.  We are weary after the day's work and worn out by our distractions.  The time for rest is near, and our minds are ready for contemplation."  The integrity and flow of the liturgy allows for and even fosters this.

While, the texts are long for today's feast, I've included the three hymns below in Latin and in translation (not a literal translation, but one that's singable to the same music).  All three are sung to the Dominican tune for the Tantum ergo.

Matins - Pange lingua gloriosae virginis

Pange lingua gloriosae            Sing, my tongue, the glory telling
Virginis martyrium:                  Of this virgin-martyr's fray:
Gemmae jubar petiosae           May this gem, its light dispelling,
Descendat in medium,              Down upon us shed some ray,
Ut illustret tenebrosae             That all darkness in the dwelling
Mentis domicilium.                   Of our soul may speed away.

Blandimentis rex molitur           Strives the king - but vain his luring -
Virginem seducere:                   This pure maiden to defile:
Nec promissis emollitur,            Scourges leave her faith enduring,
Nec terretur verbere:                Nor could royal grants beguile:
Compeditur, custoditur             Guarded then and chains securing,
Tetro clausa carcere.                 Closed was she in dungeon vile.

Clausae lumen, ne claudatur,     Though imprisoned, her light shining
Illucet Porphyrio,                       Won to Faith the captain bold:
Qui reginae foederatur              He, with his own queen combining,
Fidei collegio:                            Bravely mid Christ's friends enrolled;
Quorum fidem imitatur              In their wake, for Truth now pining,
Ducentena concio.                     Ten score pagans seek the fold.

Gloria et honor Deo                   Lauds and glory in completeness
Usquequaque altissimo,             Be to the Father and to Son:
Una Patri Filioque,                    Equal glory with all meetness
Inclyto Paraclito:                       To the Paraclete be done
Cui laus est et potestas,             Theirs be praise in fullest sweetness
Per aeterna saecula.                  While unending ages run.

Lauds - Praesens dies expendatur

Praesens dies expendatur          Let this day be consecrated
In ejus praeconium,                   To the glory of her name,
Cujus virtus dilatatus                Whose high virtue is dilated
In ore laudantium                      By the tongues that sing her fame,
Si gestorum teneatur                 If the story, full narated,
Finis et initium                          Of her deeds they would proclaim.

Imminente passione                  When her passion near was nighing,
Virgo haec interserit:                Prayed the maid: "Most loving Lord,
Assequatur, Jesu bone,             Whoso in this hour of dying,
Quod a te petierit                      Mindful of me, seeks reward;
Suo quisquis in agone               What he asks, I pray Thee sighing,
Memor mei fuerit.                     Do Thou graciously accord."

In hoc caput amputatur            When her head was amputated,
Fluit lac pro sanguine:              Milk flowed forth instead of blood:
Angelorum sublevatur               Then her body was translated
Corpus mutiudine,                     By the angel multitude,
Et Sinai collocatur                     And on Sinai's Mount located
In supremo culmine.                  At its highest altitude.

Gloria et honor Deo                  Lauds and glory in completeness
Usquequaque altissimo,            Be to the Father and to Son:
Una Patri Filioque,                   Equal glory with all meetness
Inclyto Paraclito:                      To the Paraclete be done
Cui laus est et potestas,            Theirs be praise in fullest sweetness
Per aeterna saecula.                 While unending ages run.

Vespers - Catharinae collaudemus

Catharinae collaudemus           Catherine's virtues of high station
Virtutum insignia,                      Praise we in this serenade:
Cordis ei praesenteums             Homage true of veneration
Et oris obsequia                        By our lips and hearts be made,
Ut ab ispa reportemus              That by her in due equation
Aequa laudis praemia               For our praise we be repaid.

Fulta fide Catharina                Strengthened by a faith unbounded,
Judicem Maximinum                Pagan judge inspires no dread:
Non formidat: lex divina          With God's law were they confounded
Sic firmat eloquium,                 Who had sought her fall instead:
Quod confutat ex doctrina       'Fore the doctrine she expounded
Errores gentilium                     All their gentile errors fled.

Victi Christum confitentur,        Conquered, and her Christ confessing,
Relictis erroribus:                      Pagan errors now they spurn:
Judex jubet ut crementur,          Raging flames about them pressing,
Nec pilis aut vestibus                 Hair nor vesture cannot burn:
Ignis nocet, sed torrentur          Souls, from bodies baked egressing,
Inustis corporibus.                    Soar to Him for whom they yearn.

Gloria et honor Deo                  Lauds and glory in completeness
Usquequaque altissimo,            Be to the Father and to Son:
Una Patri Filioque,                   Equal glory with all meetness
Inclyto Paraclito:                      To the Paraclete be done
Cui laus est et potestas,            Theirs be praise in fullest sweetness
Per aeterna saecula.                 While unending ages run.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

St. Cecilia and the Dominican Order

Today is the feast of St. Cecilia, virgin and martyr.  She has a very old connection with the Dominican Order stemming back to the time of St. Dominic Himself.  In the Lives of the Brethren, we read:

"Once when St Dominic was passing the night in the church in prayer, about midnight he went out and entered the dormitory. After looking at his brethren he resumed his prayer at the entrance of the dormitory. While standing erect as he prayed, he chanced to glance to the other end of the dormitory and saw three very comely ladies advancing towards him, of whom the central figure seemed to be a lady more dignified and of higher rank than the . others. One of the two attendants carried a beautiful and resplendent vessel of holy water, and the other a sprinkler, which she presented to the third who walked between them. This one sprinkled the brethren and blessed them, but as she passed along doing so there was one friar whom she neither blessed nor sprinkled. St Dominic observed this attentively, and noting whom it was, followed the lady as far as the lamp which hung in the middle of the dormitory: there he threw himself at her feet and began earnestly to beg her to say who she was, although he knew very well all the while. Now at that time the beautiful and devout anthem, the Salve Regina, was not sung in the convents of our brethren and sisters in Rome, but merely said kneeling. Then the lady addressed St Dominic and said: 'I am she whom you greet every evening, and when you say "Turn then our Advocate," I prostrate myself before my Son for the preservation of this Order.' St Dominic then enquired who her companions might be, whereunto she made answer: 'One of them is Cecilia and the other Catherine.' Upon this St Dominic made further enquiry touching the brother whom she had passed by, and why she had neither sprinkled nor blest him with the rest: at this she answered: 'Simply because he was unworthy of it.' Then she resumed sprinkling and blessing the remaining friars, and went away." (Lives of the Brethren, part 3, ch. 7)

The Catherine described above is St. Catherine of Alexandria whom we'll celebrate this Friday.

Please keep the Nashville Dominican Sisters in your prayers today as today is their patronal feast (Congregation of St. Cecilia).

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Providence College Students with Dominicans in Africa and Australia

Two PC students share their experience of doing work within the Smith Fellowship offered at Providence College.

The presentation on the fellowship trip to Kenya begins at 46:50 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Yet Another Video of Fr. Peter John Cameron OP on EWTN

Here is Fr. Peter John Cameron OP - yet again!  This time he is on with Doug Keck of EWTN again talking about his book on the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The link below will take you to the video on our provincial website.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Albertus Magnus

Happy Feast of the Dominican saint and Doctor of the Church, St. Albert the Great (d. 1280). He was the mentor of St. Thomas Aquinas, and is the patron of scientists. His biography, and list of astonishing accomplishments can be found here.

Check out Bro. Peter Martyr's post on our provincial website:

We also wish our brothers in the Central Province best wishes on this their patronal feast!

This statue of the saint is at the main entrance of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), the Dominican University in Rome.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fr. Peter John Cameron OP on EWTN

Fr. Peter John Cameron OP is the Editor of the Magnificat, a monthly liturgical prayer book, used to follow the daily Mass.  It provides an excellent way to enter into the Church's liturgical seasons.

On this video Fr. Cameron talks about the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Please say a prayer for his work with Magnificat.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

Dominican All Saints - Bro. Louis Bertrand OP

Br. Louis Bertrand Lemoine, O.P. speaks about Dominican All Saints day, which occurs annually on November 7th.
1) And on our provincial website you will also find a post from Bro. Peter Martyr OP on All Saints of the Order.
2) Finally Bro. John Devaney OP has a post up today on the blog of our Student Brothers.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Dominican Vocation Stories: Bro. Raymund OP

Move on over to our provincial website to see the video of the vocation story of Bro. Raymund Snyder OP, who recently made his profession of vows.  
He hails from Wichita, Kansas and is a recent graduate of the University of Notre Dame.  Fr. Andrew Hofer OP, who teaches at the Dominican House of Studies, is also from Kansas.

Consider making a vocation weekend at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington DC.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All Saints Vigil 2011 (Including Audio)

The All Saints Vigil last night was a great success.  Over 450 people, mainly young adults, came out, and the chapel and balcony seating were filled 45 minutes before the Vigil even began.

Br. Gabriel Torretta, OP preached on friendship between God and men, man and man, and the saints and men.  And the four readings at the beginning of the vigil were mostly related to this topic as well.

Thanks to We Are One Body (WAOB) radio in Latrobe, who aired the Vigil, there is an audio file of the whole event.  The Dominican Schola first sings with a French response at 10:15.  Bro. Gabriel's preaching is at 36:55 (he gets cut off at 42:15 because the mic ran out of batteries; it picks back up a couple of seconds later though).  The beginnings of the 4 pieces by the schola are:
    Seigneur, je vous en prie (Francis Poulenc) - 10:13
    Concede nobis Domine (chant) - 15:58
    Confitemini Domino (G.P. da Palestrina) - 25:28
    Ave Maria (Franz Biebl) - 31:30

Monday, October 31, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Parents Weekend in the Novitiate (Part II) - God's Grace at Work

Please read first "Parents Weekend in the Novitiate (Part I)."

Song is "Roll Away Your Stone" by Mumford & Sons
Please say a prayer for our novices and for Dominican Vocations.

Roll away your stone, I’ll roll away mine
Together we can see what we can find
Don’t leave me alone at this time,
For I am afraid of what I will discover inside
You told me that I would find a home,
Within the fragile substance of my soul
And I have filled this void with things unreal,
And all the while my character it steals
The darkness is a harsh term don’t you think?
And yet it dominates the things I seek
It seems as if all my bridges have been burned,
You say that’s exactly how this grace thing works
It’s not the long walk home that will change this heart,
But the welcome I receive at the restart
The darkness is a harsh term don’t you think?
And yet it dominates the things I seek
The darkness is a harsh term don’t you think?
And yet it dominates the things I seek
The darkness is a harsh term don’t you think?
And yet it dominates the things I seek
Stars hide your fires,
And these here are my desires
And I will give them up to you this time around
And so, I’ll be found with my steak stuck in this ground
Marking its territory of this newly impassioned soul
But you, you’ve come too far this time
You have neither reason nor rhyme
With which to take this soul that is so rightfully mine

Friday, October 28, 2011

Future Persecution of the Church?

Last August my eight classmates and I went on retreat for five days in preparation for solemn vows.   The retreat master, a Dominican priest, posed the question of whether or not we would be willing to go to jail for the sake of the Gospel. This was a serious question.  Others are also asking the same.

Russell Shaw has just written a piece entitled: "Are we seeing the beginning of religious persecution in America?"  He points out how the government is backing certain ideas and supporting legal cases that could make it difficult for the Church to operate as she currently does.

As Catholics, and religious in particular (and for those of you considering a vocation to the Order of Preachers), this should make us pause and consider our motivations in following Christ and how far we will go in order to do this.  If the government were to legally declare the Catholic Church as discriminatory because of non-ordination of women to the priesthood or any number of other issues...what might happen?

As we preach to people in our parishes, campus ministries, hospitals, Providence College, etc., we have to wonder where they will stand.  Will they hear the Church's teachings and listen to the Lord speaking through the mouth of the preacher?  Will they stand up for the freedom of religion and for the right to believe in Truth?  How will we help them to hear the truth of the Gospel?

This issue may be intensifying (as both Archbishop Dolan's words and the verdict of the Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC case seem to indicate).  Are we ready?

"Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!"  (1 Cor. 9:16)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Parents Weekend in the Novitiate (Part I)

The Dominican Constitutions say:  "The novitiate is time of probation during which the novices come to understand more clearly the nature of a divine and Dominican vocation." (#177)  

Certainly there are challenges and trials both in community and personally as the novice friar "puts on Christ" and takes the new identity of a friar preacher. It is a deepening of his Baptismal consecration and a concrete, year-long preparation to profess the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience - to be more closely consecrated to Christ for the sake of the Gospel.

Say a prayer for the 2011 Novitiate class
That being said, for one weekend during our canonical year of novitiate (two weekends this year since there are so many novices), parents come to visit to see their sons for the first time in the habit of our Holy Father St. Dominic.  It is a time of great joy for the parents/family to be brought into the larger Dominican family. 

Here one of the fathers joins two of the novices to provide entertainment for the families after Mass last Sunday in the refectory.  For the second parents' weekend and the brothers below singing "Roll Away Your Stone" from Mumford & Sons click here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

From the Lives of the Brethren: The Fruit of the Blessed Virgin’s Prayers

During our formal meals at the Dominican House of Studies, we have a reading during part of the meal. Last night, we began reading the Lives of the Brethren, which is a whole host of stories about the founding of the Order, St. Dominic (1 and 2), Bl. Jordan, the development of the Order, and the departure of the brethren through death.

The whole work begins with a ‘tribute’ to the Blessed Virgin Mary describing how the Order of Preachers came to be due to her powerful intercession. It is a beautiful story, and is still true in our own day and age:

“It is clear from a careful study of holy Scripture, that the blessed Virgin is a compassionate advocate and powerful helper of mankind. By her prayers the fire of God's wrath kindled against sinners is tempered lest they perish, and countless blessings are showered down upon the world. Rightly therefore is she compared to a cloud between the consuming fire of God's justice and guilty man, softening by her tender influence the heat of his wrath. She is a vessel of loving kindness; and God allows his ire against sinners to be appeased through her and pours forth by her the waters of his compassion in blessings. One of the examples of this is the fact, revealed to many of God's servants, that this great Order was raised up by Almighty God's mercy for the salvation of souls, through her all-prevailing intercession.

Before the Order [of Preachers] had as yet sprung up, a certain monk, a man of upright and holy life according to the rule of his Order, during three whole days and nights was rapt in ecstasy, scarcely giving token of feeling or life. While his brethren and bystanders were considering what should be done, he regained consciousness as if waking from a deep sleep. When all asked in wonder what had been amiss, and whether he had seen any marvel, he gave no reply but this: ‘I was a little while in ecstasy,’ whereas he had been so during three days and nights, nor would he for a long while mention what had been shown him. Some years later, when our Order had obtained a sure footing, and our brethren were scattered abroad on their ministry, two of them chanced to come into the neighborhood to preach. On beholding them this monk began to make diligent enquiries as to their Order, name, and manner of life, since their habit was new to him. Their preaching being over, he drew them aside, and summoning other wise and sober persons, spoke thus to them: ‘I feel, brethren, that the hour is come for me to reveal the secrets which the Lord was pleased in his goodness to unfold to me and about which I have hitherto been silent, for I now see that they have come to pass.

During the time that I was caught up in rapture I saw our Lady, Mary the Mother of God, during those three days and nights, upon bended knees and with clasped hands, pleading with her Son on behalf of mankind, and beseeching him to forbear yet a while that the world might repent. But although during all that time he spoke never a word, at length upon the third day he yielded and made answer: 'My own Mother, what can I, or what ought I to do further for the race of men? I sent them patriarchs for their salvation, and for a brief space of time they gave ear unto them; I sent them prophets, and for a while they did penance. After that I myself went unto them, and I gave them apostles, but me they crucified and them they killed. I have since sent them martyrs, confessors, and doctors, and many more, yet despite their toil the world has not amended; nevertheless, at thy prayer -- for it is not beseeming that I deny thee aught -- I will send unto them preachers and men of truth, through whom the world shall be enlightened and reclaimed. If it so prove, it is well; but if not, there remains no further remedy, but I will myself come in judgment and be avenged upon them.’”

May the Lord continue to raise up “men of truth” in the Order of Preachers “through whom the world shall be enlightened and reclaimed.”

Our Lady, Queen of Preachers, pray for us!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dominican House of Studies Offers Training in Dominican Rite

Fr. Pius Pietrzyk, O.P. who is currently studying for a degree in Canon Law at the University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome (Angelicum), has been with us here in Washington DC to offer some tutorials for the student brothers and for the priests to learn to celebrate the Dominican rite of the Mass.

If you click below it will take you to the story on our provincial website with more photos from the tutorial and the Mass itself.