Greetings from our Dominican Missions in Nairobi, KENYA!
St. Dominic always wanted to go to the missions and in particular to evangelize the barbarians. He grew a beard (to be accepted by the people) in anticipation of this dream that was never realized for him personally as he struggled to found the Order of Preachers. Many of his brothers though would be sent by him personally to distant lands.
The Order of Preachers has an amazing history of great missionaries, many of whom are saints! St. Dominic's "zeal for the salvation of souls" continues to be fulfilled through the many friars who even today bring the Gospel to distant lands (and in our case here in East Africa to also establish the Order in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Southern Sudan).
3 1/2 years ago I left this land when I finished my 5 year assignment as Novice Master for our Dominican Vicariate of Eastern Africa. I am now accompanying our provincial on visitation and will return 22 February. It has been very emotional for me to visit and see my former novices, now deacons, preparing for priesthood. The Lord has done so much to build up the work of the Order here.
Much has changed in the infrastructure of our missions here; we have a new Dominican House of Studies (St. Dominic's House) in Nairobi for our 18 student brothers, 6 novices and 5 postulants. We recently built a new school for a project for children who are victims of HIV/AIDS (run by Sisters). Our parish in Nairobi, St. Catherine of Siena, is preparing to build a church. I had high hopes to send you updates but it looks like this is all I will be able to accomplish for now! More photos will appear in edited form on Dominican Daily once I am back.
Though I am half way around the world, you all are in my thoughts and prayers that the Lord will give each of you the courage to move ahead in the next step of discerning your vocation.
In particular I am remembering those of you considering asking for an application for next year's novitiate class. The deadline for receiving an application for entry into this summer's novitiate class is 15 March, 2011. If you think the Lord may be calling you to be in the next novitiate class, we should schedule the application interview.
Please continue to pray for Fr. Brian and myself as we continue our visit of the 34 friars who work and live here in our Dominican missions! PLEASE PRAY FOR THE WORK OF THE ORDER OF PREACHERS HERE!