"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

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