"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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dominican Summer Lecture Series in DC, PA, OH, MA, ME & NY

Each summer our student friars go out for their summer apostolates.  Tomorrow morning nine more will be hitting the road.  I hope to share with you a little of what they will be doing these next couple of months in our parishes, houses & priories around our province.    Here is the first update: 

Bro. Reginald Lynch OP will be exercising our itinerant charism of preaching & teaching with our Dominican Laity.  If you would like to come to any of his talks, please contact me and I will put you directly in touch with him for details.  If you scroll down I have included the schedule.  This would be an excellent opportunity for you and also a chance to meet Bro. Reginald.

Date                               Location
June 11 (Saturday)        St. Dominic's in Washington in District of Columbia
June 12 (Sunday)          Dominican Nuns Monastery in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
June 18 (Saturday)        St. Gertrude in Cincinnati, Ohio (also the location of our Novitiate)
June 25 (Saturday)        Boston, Massachusetts 
June 26 (Sunday)          Casco, Maine
July 9 (Saturday)           St. Vincent Ferrer in New York City (our provincial headquarters)
July 16 (Saturday)         Willow Grove, Pennsylvania
July 23 (Saturday)         Dominican Nuns Monastery in Elmira, New York
July 24 (Sunday)           St. Dominic's in Youngstown, Ohio

Bro. Reginald Mary Lynch OP
I would also add that Bro. Reginald and his 8 classmates will be making their Solemn Profession on August 13 here at the Dominican House of Studies.  All vocation candidates are invited, though you should contact me if you are planning to come as our space will definitely be limited.  Next academic year we will be over 80 friars here at the House of Studies.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Angelic Warfare Confraternity of St. Thomas Aquinas

The Angelic Warfare Confraternity is a supernatural fellowship of men and women bound to one another in love and dedicated to pursuing and promoting chastity together under the powerful patronage of St. Thomas Aquinas and the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Confraternity is an official apostolate of the Dominican Order.
‎"Today the word ecclesia militans (Church militant) is somewhat out of fashion, but in reality we can understand ever better that it is true, that it bears truth in itself. We see how evil wishes to dominate the world and that it is necessary to enter into battle with evil. We see how it does so in so many ways, bloody, with the different forms of violence, but also masked with goodness, and precisely this way, destroying the moral foundations of society."
                 —Pope Benedict XVI, May 22, 2012, Vatican City

I would like to recommend this website (www.angelicwarfareconfraternity.org) to you which our province is in the process of promoting. It has good resources which would be helpful for each of you in living out chastity according to your state in life. Fr. James Brent OP who usually speaks on our vocation weekends is the Director of the Confraternity. Our aspirants are optionally enrolled into this Confraternity during all of our vocation weekends.

Here is a description of it from their website. Taylor Marshall has a post about it which I also would suggest.

Here are the 2 daily prayers to also be said with 15 Hail Mary's: 
The Prayer to St. Thomas for Purity
Chosen lily of innocence, pure St. Thomas,
who kept chaste the robe of baptism
and became an angel in the flesh after being girded by two angels,
I implore you to commend me to Jesus, the Spotless Lamb,
and to Mary, the Queen of Virgins.
Gentle protector of my purity, ask them that I,
who wear the holy sign of your victory over the flesh,
may also share your purity,
and after imitating you on earth
may at last come to be crowned with you among the angels. Amen.

The Prayer of St. Thomas for Purity   (written by Dominican, St. Thomas Aquinas)
Dear Jesus,
I know that every perfect gift,
and especially that of chastity,
depends on the power of Your providence.
Without You a mere creature can do nothing.
Therefore, I beg You to defend by Your grace
the chastity and purity of my body and soul.
And if I have ever sensed or imagined anything
that could stain my chastity and purity,
blot it out, Supreme Lord of my powers,
that I may advance with a pure heart in Your love and service,
offering myself on the most pure altar of Your divinity
all the days of my life. Amen.
Here you will find the daily Angelic Warfare prayers with intentions. Those prayers are in audio form here:

Our Next Vocation Weekends at the Dominican House of Studies

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pilgrimage & Ordinations in Nation's Capital, et. al

Near Tabernacle in St. Dominic's Church in DC
There has been a lot of  web activity with our Ordinations to the Priesthood and the pilgrimage some of our student friars made through Washington DC for the Feast of the Translation of St. Dominic.  Here is a summary for those of you coming just now to my blog.

Friars Take to the Streets (Washington Times Photos)
Dominican Friars Pilgrimage (Washington Times Video)

ORDINANDI 2011 (photos & bios with an Ave Maria sung by our own Dominican Schola)
Ordination 2011 Invitation (you all are invited, contact me if you will come)

Other posts that I hope you have not missed:
The Surprises of Divine Providence: Blessed Hyacinth Marie Cormier OP  (an excellent homily by Fr. Thomas Joseph White OP)
Q & A: Ecclesiae Universae and the Dominican Rite  (our friars will begin training this summer to learn the Dominican Rite of the Mass)

There is, of course, a lot more at our provincial website:  www.DominicanFriars.org

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Q & A: Ecclesiae Universae and the Dominican Rite

Q & A: Ecclesiae Universae and the Dominican Order
- concerning the Dominican Rite in the Province of St. Joseph
(see also the post on our provincial website)

I. Background

Q: What is Universae Ecclesiae?
A: Universae Ecclesiae is an Instruction issued by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesiae Dei, on the application of the Apostolic letter Summorum Pontificum.
Q: What is Ecclesiae Dei?
A: Ecclesia Dei is a Pontifical Commission originally established by Bl. John Paul II in 1988.  It was originally given the task of “collaborating with the bishops, with the Departments of the Roman Curia and with the circles concerned, for the purpose of facilitating full ecclesial communion of priests, seminarians, religious communities or individuals until now linked in various ways to the Fraternity founded by Archbishop Lefebvre, who may wish to remain united to the Successor Peter in the Catholic Church".  
Q: But didn’t the Pope lift these excommunications in 2009?  Does Ecclesia Dei still have a role?
A: Yes.  In the 2007 Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum, the Pope expanded the role of the Commission, affirming that "the same Commission, beyond the faculties which it already enjoys, with exercise the authority of the Holy See, supervising the observance and the application of these dispositions."   The same Apostolic Letter of the Holy Father provided that the Commission "would have the form, the tasks and the norms which the Roman Pontiff should wish to grant it."
Q: What is Summorum Pontificum?
A: Summorum Pontificum is an Apostolic Letter issued Motu Proprio by the Holy Father in 2007.  It affirmed the unity of the Roman Rite of the Church, and recognized the Missal originally promulgated by our brother Pope St. Pius V (and subsequently issued by Bl. John XXIII) as the extraordinary form of the one Roman Rite.
Q: What did Summorum Pontificum do?
A: Primarily, Summorum Pontificum granted to all priests the right to say the extraordinary form of the Mass in private (Mass celebrated without the people).  It also gave stable groups of the lay faithful the right to request Mass said in the extraordinary form, and encouraged pastors and bishops to accept such requests.   
Q: Why did the Pope issue Summorum Pontificum?
A: The Pope issued Summorum Pontificum for three reasons:  (a) to offer to all the faithful the Roman Liturgy in the Usus Antiquior, considered as a precious treasure to be preserved; (b) effectively to guarantee and ensure the use of the forma extraordinaria for all who ask for it, given that the use of the 1962 Roman Liturgy is a faculty generously granted for the good of the faithful and therefore is to be interpreted in a sense favorable to the faithful who are its principal addressees; and (c) to promote reconciliation at the heart of the Church.
Q: Doesn’t this detract from the authority of the Second Vatican Council by calling into question its liturgical reforms?
A: As Pope Benedict XVI indicated in the transmittal letter accompanying Suommorum Pontificum:  “This fear is unfounded.  In this regard, it must first be said that the Missal published by Paul VI and then republished in two subsequent editions by John Paul II, obviously is and continues to be the normal Form – the forma ordinaria – of the Eucharistic Liturgy.  The last version of the Missale Romanum prior to the Council, which was published with the authority of Pope John XXIII in 1962 and used during the Council, will now be able to be used as a forma extraordinaria of the liturgical celebration.  It is not appropriate to speak of these two versions of the Roman Missal as if they were ‘two Rites’.  Rather, it is a matter of a twofold use of one and the same rite.”

II. Universae Ecclesiae

Q: So is Universae Ecclesiae another legislative document like Summorum Pontificum?
A: Not quite.  Universae Ecclesiae is an “Instruction”, not an Apostolic Letter.  
Q: What is an “Instruction”?
A: Under the Code of Canon Law, “Instructions clarify the prescripts of laws and elaborate on and determine the methods to be observed in fulfilling them. They are given for the use of those whose duty it is to see that laws are executed and oblige them in the execution of the laws. Those who possess executive power legitimately issue such instructions within the limits of their competence.”  (CIC, Can. 34§1)  
Q: Does this mean it has no legal effect?
A: The Instruction is not itself law, but clarifies and elaborates upon the law established by the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum.  It is an authoritative interpretation of the law contained in the Apostolic Letter
Q: Why did the Ecclesia Dei Commission issue this document?
A: When he issued Summorum Pontificum in 2007, the Pope asked for bishops to send an “account of their experiences” to him in three years.  This Instruction is meant to respond to some of the difficulties and concerns raised by the original Apostolic Letter.
Q: So, what does this new Instruction say?
A: In an accompanying letter, the Commission briefly summarized the Instruction:  After some introductory remarks and historical type (Part I, ch. 1-8), the Instruction first makes explicit the duties of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (Part II, nos. 9-11).  Next, in accordance with Summorum Pontificum, it clarifies the rules and regulations (Part III, nn. 12-35), primarily those relating to the jurisdiction of their diocesan bishop (Nos. 13-14). Then, the Instruction discusses the rights and duties of the faithful who make up an coetus fidelium (Nos. 15-19), and how a priest may be considered qualified to celebrate the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite (sacerdos idoneus, nos. 20-23).   The instruction also regulates some issues pertaining to liturgy and ecclesiastical discipline (Nos. 24-28), indicating in particular the rules governing the celebration of Confirmation and Holy Orders (Nos. 29-31), the use of Breviarium Romanum (n. 32), of the liturgical books of the religious orders (No. 34), the Pontifical Romanum and the Rituale Romanum (35) which were in force in 1962, and the celebration of the Sacred Triduum (33).

II. Universae Ecclesiae & the Order of Preachers

Q: Is there anything new in the document?
A: Yes.  The instruction clarifies a number of issues, a few which affect the Dominican Order specifically.
Q: What does the document say that impacts Dominicans?
A: The primary impact on the Order is seen in this statement in the Instruction: “Members of Religious Orders are permitted to use their own liturgical books in force in the year 1962” (Sodalibus Ordinum Religiosorum licet uti propriis libris liturgicis anno 1962 vigentibus.)
Q: How does that affect the Dominican Order?
A: From its very beginning, the Dominican Order maintained its own liturgical customs, rooted in (but distinct from) the prevailing Roman Rite.   In 1962, the Order still had its own Liturgical Books, including the Dominican Missal and Breviary.  
Q: Does this mean that now any Dominican priest may say the Dominican Rite?
A: In the same way as priests of the Latin Church who desire to say Mass according to the Missal of Bl. John XXIII must be qualified (ideoneus) to say Mass in the extraordinary form, Dominican priests who wish to celebrate Mass according to the Dominican Rite must be qualified.  
Q: What does it mean to be qualified?
A: The Instruction says that any priest not impeded from saying Mass under canon law is considered qualified.  He should also have knowledge of the ars celebrandi of the form of the Rite he is celebrating.
Q: Doesn’t a priest need to know Latin?
A: With regards to the Latin language, it is only necessary that a priest be able to pronounce the words correctly and understand their meaning. (necesse est ut sacerdos celebraturus scientia polleat ad verba recte proferenda eorumque intelligendam significationem).  
Q: So, does a priest need to prove he is qualified every time he says the Dominican Rite?
A: No.  The instruction makes clear that a priest who presents himself to say Mass in the extraordinary form is presumed to be qualified.  In a similar way, priests who present themselves to say the ordinary form (whether in English or Latin) are presumed qualified, and need not evidence their qualification.
Q: Don’t we need the permission of our local superior or the Provincial?
A: “The faculty to celebrate sine populo (or with the participation of only one minister) in the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite is given by the Motu Proprio to all priests, whether secular or religious (cf. Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, art. 2).  For such celebrations therefore, priests, by provision of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, do not require any special permission from their Ordinaries or superiors.”
Q: So what about a public Mass (Missa cum populo)?
A: A public Mass would be subject to the same regulations as any other public Mass said in a parish church or priory.  Just as the pastor or prior has the right and obligation to oversee public Masses said under his jurisdiction, the same is true with regards to Mass said in the Dominican Rite.  Even so, pastors and superiors should not discriminate between the two forms of Mass.  
Q: Does this mean that a Priory could decide on its own to use the Dominican Rite regularly as its conventual Mass?
A: No.  Summorum Pontificum makes clear if a religious community wants to use the extraordinary form “often, habitually or permanently” as its conventual Mass, it must first receive the approval of the Major Superior (i.e., the Prior Provincial).
Q: What would prevent a group of friars from separating themselves from the conventual Mass in the ordinary form so that they could celebrate Mass in the extraordinary form instead?
A: Deliberately absenting oneself from the conventual Mass and choir is contrary to the laws and customs of the Order.  Our own Constitutions make clear that the brethren are obligated to attend (and priests encouraged to concelebrate) the daily conventual Mass.  “All brothers are bound to the celebration of conventual Mass and Liturgy of the Hours in choir.  Everyone shall be mindful of this common obligation.”  (LCO 63)
Q: What about the other liturgical books of the Order, may a Dominican priest use those, too?
A: Yes.  The Instruction makes clear that the permission extends to all of the liturgical books of the Order in force as of 1962.
Q: If Dominican priests are permitted to say the Dominican Rite, may they also celebrate Mass according to the Missal of Bl. John XXIII?
A: Yes.  A Dominican priest may celebrate Mass according to the Missal of Bl. John XXIII, so long as he is qualified to do so.

II. Training in the Dominican Rite

Q: Are priests required to learn to say Mass in the extraordinary form (either the Missal of Bl. John XXIII or the Dominican Rite)?
A: No.  But the Pope has encouraged all pastors to make Mass in the extraordinary form available to stable groups of the faithful.  In addition, one of the Pope’s aims in issuing Summorum Pontificum is that the two forms of the one Roman Rite would influence each other, which would seem to require knowledge of both forms.
Q: Does the Instruction say anything about training in the extraordinary form?
A: Yes.  In the new Instruction, Ordinaries are strongly requested (enixe rogantur) to offer their clergy the possibility of training in the ars celebrandi of the extraordinary form.
Q: What about seminarians?
A: The strong request for training to be offered applies especially (potissimum) to Seminarians.
Q: But this request only applies to Bishops, right?
A: No.  This strong request is made to all “Ordinaries”.  In canon law, “Ordinaries” include “major superiors of clerical religious institutes of pontifical right … who at least possess ordinary executive power.”  Priors Provincial in the Dominican Order are “Ordinaries” under the law, and so this request applies to our Province as well.
Q: Shouldn’t we wait for guidance from a Provincial Chapter first?
A: The 2010 Provincial Chapter has addressed this issue.  The Chapter stated in an ordination that the Province should provide:  “optional education in the celebration of the Dominican Rite of the Mass, for use in private. This is to be done without prejudice to LCO 59, II and CIC can. 902.”
Q: Have other Provinces done any training with the Dominican Rite?
A: In the Western Province, a for-credit class in the Dominican Rite is offered to the Dominican Students of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology.
Q: How will such training be provided in the Province of St. Joseph?
A: In the past, and with the confirmation of the Prior Provincial, matters dealing with the Dominican Rite have fallen to the Provincial Liturgical Commission.  That Commission will work to make available training in the ars celebrandi of the Dominican Rite to all friars who may desire such.  In addition, the Provincial website (http://www.op-stjoseph.org/preaching/dominican_rite/home/) provides text and videos to explain how to say a low Mass in the Dominican Rite.

The Pilgrimage in Our Nation's Capital!

Dominican Friars on the Mall in Washington DC

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Novice was Sent to Preach: "Many were Converted and Three Entered the Order"

UPDATE:  Translation of St. Dominic Pilgrimage 2012

Today (May 24) is the Feast of the Translation of the Body of our Holy Father, St. Dominic.

"[...]The blessed father was very humble, loving, kind, compassionate, patient, sober, zealous for poverty and for the salvation of souls, and a lover of all religious and religious orders. In himself he kept the Rule strictly. He never returned curse for curse, but blessed those who cursed (1 Pet. 3:9).

When the podesta of Bologna and a great number of the citizens of Bologna together with the Master of the Order and the Provincial of Lombardy opened the new tomb and the coffin where the bones of the blessed Dominic were, a wonderful fragrance came out, such that they all said that nobody had ever smelled anything like it. 'I smelled it myself and was present when this happened.' 

The witness said that when he was a novice and had no skill in preaching, because he had not yet studied Scripture, the holy father told him to go to Piacenza to preach. He excused himself, but he spoke so charmingly that he induced him to go, saying that the Lord would be with him and would put words in his mouth. God did in fact give him such grace in his preaching that many people were converted and three entered the Order."  (from Canonization Process of St. Dominic: Testimony of Brother Buonviso, 13th c.)

Yes, even the novices were sent to preach!  Such is the confidence in God's grace for the Order.  A Dominican itinerant preacher once told me when I was a student friar in California: "Take every opportunity you have to preach. You must exercise the charism of the Order of Preachers!"

You can click on the image to the right to catch the various posts on the Dominican History blog. You also will find an audio excerpt from the homily of our Provincial, Fr. Brian Mulcahy OP at St. Vincent Ferrer on the Translation of St. Dominic.

The only thing I will add to these inspirations, in case you missed it, I did a recent post on St. Dominic about his relics and some more recent discoveries concerning his physical characteristics which I pray will help you to know our founder better.

See also  the English friars at Godzdogz who have a post on St. Dominic for today's feast.

Here is a video from our friars' pilgrimage in 2011 through Washington DC in honor of this Dominican feast! 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Resources for Men Discerning a Vocation with the Dominican Friars

Friars in choir at the University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome
I just set up a website:  Order of Preachers Vocations Resources for those of you discerning with us. I just sent this out to all the men via my email updates. If you did not receive it, check your spam box, or it could be that you are not on my list.

These resources are not exhaustive, but include one short article written by one of our student friars and two others about spiritual direction by a Spanish Dominican from the Angelicum in Rome & Fr. Jordan Auman OP.

Also located on this blog are some core documents of the Order of Preachers that will help you know more about the Order.

Our "Aspirancy Guidelines" also have a reading list and other ways to move ahead in your discernment.   For an understanding of what it means to be an "Aspirant" for our Province please click here.

Let me know what you think. I hope they help you.

                       Prayers and blessings!
                                   Fr. Benedict OP

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Levitating Blessed Hyacinthe-Marie Cormier OP

May 21 was the Dominican feast of Blessed Hyacinthe-Marie Cormier OP.
Tomb of Bl. Hyacinthe-Marie Cormier OP at Angelicum

His body is in the high altar of the chapel at the University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome which he founded by moving the university to the Dominican Monastery of Sts. Sixtus e Dominic, when he was Master of the Order of Preachers. These photos were taken on his feast last year.

Perhaps little known (we do not boast of such things typically), unless you talk with the friars at the Angelicum...when Blessed Hyacinthe-Marie prayed before the Blessed Sacrament, he was seen numerous times to levitate.

Painting of Bl. Cormier OP at Angelicum
1) Dominican History blog has a post about him today with more photos.
2) Also Fr. Thomas Joseph White OP (Director of the Thomistic Institute) preached an excellent homily about Bl. Hyacinthe-Marie, showing his connection with the Dominican House of Studies.

+ + +

Speaking of Rome, in case you missed it, I just posted a story about the Clericus Cup here.  A little "holy competition" has the Dominican friars and students at the Angelicum very excited about the possibility of taking it all!

This might be especially timely and (as some are already saying) might be due to the powerful prayers of Blessed John Paul II, our most distinguished alumnus of the Angelicum!

May these two holy saints pray for each of you that you may respond generously to God's call in your lives.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A More Intense Preparation: The Retreat for Ordination to the Priesthood

When our four friars...   (their bios/photos)
          Rev. Bro. Hyacinth Marie Cordell, O.P.
          Rev. Bro. Ignatius John Schweitzer, O.P.
          Rev. Bro. Ezra Sullivan, O.P.
          Rev. Bro. Austin Dominic Litke, O.P.
...were ordained to the Diaconate last year (video), it was only the start of what the Lord was to accomplish in their lives.  

Tonight we had commencement in our chapel within Solemn Vespers. Archbishop Pietro Sambi (Apostolic Nuncio to the United States) was the celebrant and gave the various degrees to the students who completed their studies at the Dominican House of Studies.

Now that the festivities are over, our four brothers have already left to start a more intense preparation: their Retreat for their Ordination to the Priesthood which will take place one week from today on May 27, 2011 in our Nation's Capital.  To become a Priest of Jesus Christ - truly an awesome gift from the Lord!
Please remember our brothers in a special way during these important days as they prepare spiritually for what God will accomplish by configuring them more intensely to Jesus Christ as a Priest.

Henri Lacordaire OP

To live in the midst of the world with
no desire for its pleasure...

To be a member of every family
yet belonging to none...

To share all sufferings; to penetrate
all secrets; to heal all wounds...

To daily go from men to God to
offer Him their petitions...

To return from God to men
to offer them His hope...

To have a heart of fire for charity
and a heart of bronze for chastity...

To bless and be blest forever.
O God, what a life, and it is yours,
O Priest of Jesus Christ!
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + 

I leave you here with some photos from last year's ordination (2010):

prostration during the litany of the Saints during Ordinations (2010)
Praying the Litany of Saints for Ordinandi (2010)
Archbishop DiNoia & Acolytes praying for Ordinandi (2010)

The sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred by the laying on of hands followed by a solemn prayer of consecration asking God to grant the ordinand the graces of the Holy Spirit required for his ministry. Ordination imprints an indelible sacramental character. (CCC 1597)

The moment of Ordination to the Priesthood for Fr. James Brent OP (2010)
The moment of Ordination to the Priesthood for Fr. John Chrysostom Kozlowski OP
Vesting with Stole & Chasuble (2010)
Dominican Schola in the choir loft at St. Dominic's Church during Ordinations (2010)
Newly Ordained Fr. James Brent OP
Newly Ordained Fr. John Chrysostom Kozlowski OP
Venite Adoremus!