"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

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fr. Brian Shanley OP Delivers Anniversary Address at Catholic University of America

As part of the events celebrating the 125th Anniversary of Catholic University, the Anniversary Committee and the School of Philosophy sponsored a lecture given by Dominican Friar, Fr. Brian Shanley OP on the Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Fr. Shanley, a friar of the Province of Saint Joseph, currently serves as the President of Providence College in Providence, RI. The lecture, titled, "Thomas Aquinas: Companion and Patron" focused on the central role of Saint Thomas as the patron of Catholic University. Fr. Shanley noted both the perennial and timely nature of Saint Thomas' patronage and then discussed the ways St. Thomas exemplified the search for truth, wisdom, and the desire for beatitude. Each of these, Fr. Shanley says plays a significant role in life of Catholic University and therefore Saint Thomas becomes not only a model for students and faculty, but a patron.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Eucharistic Adoration at the Dominican House of Studies

During the holy season of Lent, you are invited to Eucharistic adoration in the Dominican House of Studies Chapel from 4:15pm – 5:15pm on Mondays through Thursdays, beginning February 27, 2012. 

All are welcome to join us for adoration, and please feel free to stay for Evening Prayer at 5:30pm.

Fridays (during the academic year), there is a holy hour from 7-8PM which finishes with compline (night prayer) and the Salve procession.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Br. Athanasius of the "Holy Rapping"

Some might wonder what is the use of rap music in the Christian life.  After all, the beats and words are often far from edifying.  Yet, music has the power to convert minds back to the truths of the faith.  In the fourth century, St. Ephrem used music to convert heretics back to the faith:

"St. Ephrem, to minister a proper antidote against this poison [of heresy], composed elegant Catholic songs and poems which he taught the inhabitants both of the city and country with great spiritual advantage." (Butler's Lives of the Saints, July 9)

Even now, there is the possibility that rap music can appeal to a certain audience that isn't going to listen to Christian rock on a regular basis.  Aside from the Franciscan rapper, Fr. Stan Fortuna, C.F.R., there is a Dominican brother who breaks out a rap on occasion: Br. Athanasius Murphy, O.P.  He recently rapped about the Athanasian Creed at Theology on Tap in Arlington.  Go to 44:32 of the audio file to hear him fight back against heresy.  (on our provincial website listen to the whole thing to hear Fr. Austin Litke, O.P. speak about "Ancient Heresies and Their Modern Forms").

Diaconate Ordination at Dominican House of Studies

Those of you discerning a vocation are cordially invited to our Diaconate Ordination on March 10. Please RSVP to me if you will come due to space restrictions!  If you would like to come and are traveling a distance we will have a limited number of vocation candidates arriving on March 9 and spending the night.
The Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph
joyfully announce the Ordination of their Brothers

Dominic Joseph Bump, O.P.
Bernard Marie Timothy, O.P.
Matthew Carroll, O.P.
Albert Duggan, O.P.
Reginald Mary Lynch, O.P.
Ambrose Mary Little, O.P.

to the Order of Deacons
through the Imposition of Hands and Prayer of Ordination by

Most Rev. Denis J. Madden
Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore

Saturday, March 10, 2012
at ten o’clock in the morning

Priory of the Immaculate Conception
Dominican House of Studies
487 Michigan Ave, N.E.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Angelic Warfare: Fifteen Hail Marys with Petitions for Chastity

It was the ancient practice of the Confraternity to pray these fifteen Hail Marys by going through one’s whole psychology and offering a Hail Mary and a special petition for each one of the “powers of the soul.” 

Today, for those members who are seeking extra prayer for healing, deliverance, and growth in chastity and purity, the Confraternity offers the following fifteen petitions to go with each of the fifteen Hail Marys. 

A short form is included at the end.

Anyone, whether a member or not, should feel free to download this leaflet, print it out double-sided, and fold it in three parts to have their own leaflet with the special petitions. 

They make a good Lenten prayer practice.

If for some reason you have trouble downloading the document, email: vocations@dominicanfriars.org and we will email it to you as an attachment.

See also on this blog:
1. "Angelic Warfare Confraternity of St. Thomas"
2. "Angelic Warfare: An Effective Way to Live Chastity"
3. "Dominican Friars Travel to Franciscan University"

Google Doc Version of Leaflet (for download)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dominican Friars Traveling to Franciscan University

Fr. James Brent OP, Fr. Paul Keller OP, and I will be heading to Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio this weekend to lead a short 2 day retreat for the students called, "Love, Sex, and Angelic Warfare," concluding with an optional enrollment in the Confraternity of the Angelic Warfare of St. Thomas Aquinas.  I wish we could invite all of you, but the retreat is by reservation only and is already booked to capacity with 70 Franciscan University students.  Please say a prayer for our efforts and that the Lord will touch the hearts of those to whom we preach with the special grace of the holy season of Lent.
(click image to enlarge)

Fr. Paul Keller OP teaches at Mt. St. Mary's
of the West Seminary in Cincinnati
On Sunday, February 26 we will also be heading to the Newman Center at the Pittsburgh Oratory, where the Oratorians do such a great job at the University of Pittsburgh. We will be celebrating the 6PM student Mass at St. Paul's Cathedral. Fr. James will give a talk on forming your conscience and making a good Lenten confession afterwards at the "Catholic Action" event under the cathedral. You are invited to this.

In case you did not know, we now offer optional enrollment in the Angelic Warfare Confraternity at all of our vocation weekends.  And happy Mardi Gras!  I am praying for you that the Lord will help you with the grace of a deeper conversion during this holy season of Lent. Please pray also for us!

Vocation Video Surpasses 10,000 Views

Last year we made this vocation video from St. Gertrude Church and Priory where our novitiate is located. It is called "Leaving All Thing Behind."  This YouTube version has just exceeded 10,000 views.  Between YouTube, Vimeo and GloriaTV, it seems we have almost 20,000 views. Thanks be to God!
Information for our next vocation weekend can be found here.
It is more than half full so let me know if you would like to come!

Last email I sent to the men discerning with us can be found here.
If you would like to be on my updates, let me know.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Place of Study in the Ideal of St. Dominic

from the blog of one of our friars in Rome, Fr. Pius OP:

The Prior of our convent of Ss. Sixtus and Clement here in Rome recently found a small booklet from 1960 by the famous American Thomist, Fr. James A. Weisheipl, OP. The pamphlet, entitled The Place of Study in the Ideal of St. Dominic argues for the centrality--and the uniqueness--of the life of study in the Dominican Order. In Fr. Weisheipl's words:

Dominic had a new conception of religious life. Its purpose was the preaching of sacred doctrine and the salvation of souls. The sublime office of preacher had never before been the goal of any Order. Preaching belonged by divine right to bishops, the authoritative teachers of sacred doctrine. Dominic was given authority to establish preaching as the goal of his Order by the universal bishop of Christendom, the Holy Father. In order to attain such a goal, Dominic took the three means he knew as a Canon Regular, namely solemn vows, regular life with its monastic observances and solemn recitation of the divine office. To these the added the new element of study; this was necessitated by the special goal of preaching. Study, therefore, was the new feature in St. Dominic's way of life.

You can read the short pamphlet by clicking on this Google Docs version of the PDF: The Place of Study in the Ideal of St. Dominic.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

East African Dominicans Ordained to the Holy Priesthood

Today in Nairobi, Kenya we had two friars ordained to the holy priesthood of Jesus Christ:  Fr. Cleophas Ushindi OP (Tanzanian) and Fr. Gideon Muchira OP (Kenyan).  Fr. Gideon and Fr. Cleophas were among my first novices when I was Novice Master in Kisumu, Kenya so it is a huge gift from the Lord for me to see them now ordained and following in the way of our Holy Father St. Dominic as priests!
This photo of our student brothers was taken at St. Dominic priory in Nairobi when I
was there with my provincial last year.  Bro. Cleophas (now Father) is lower front row
far right and Fr. Gideon is back row, 3rd from the right.  Please pray for our friars
and our mission in East Africa that the dream of St. Dominic will be realized.  Would you
be willing to be sent to our Dominican Missions if you enter the Order of Preachers?

Photos from the first Mass:

Monday, February 13, 2012

Dominican Saints 101: Blessed Jordan of Saxony

"...nay, it often happened that so many thronged in at one time that habits could not be provided as fast as they were required"

Today an excellent post for the patron of Dominican Vocations, Blessed Jordan of Saxony, successor of St. Dominic, went up on the provincial website. Please pray for vocations!
Blessed Jordan, Patron of Dominican Vocations, pray for us!

*see also the Prayer to Bl. Jordan for Dominican Vocations &
another post on Bl. Jordan and the intercession of the OP Nuns & Sister

latest updates from the vocation office

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Insulting and Dangerous to Believers' Rights

With the courage needed to preach the Gospel in these difficult times, Archbishop Charles J Chaput OFM Cap. of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia rejected the Obama administration's attempt to revise its contraception mandate, saying the rule remained “insulting” and “dangerous” to believers' rights.
“The HHS mandate, including its latest variant, are belligerent, unnecessary and deeply offensive to the content of Catholic belief,” he wrote in a Feb. 12 Philadelphia Inquirer column.
See also CNS report of it.
Fr. Philip Neri Powell OP of the
Southern Dominican Province talks
about this very frankly. Check it out!

Friday, February 10, 2012

“America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance-it is not."

And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach?  (Romans 10:14)

Below are a few prophetic words of wisdom from the great preacher, Archbishop Fulton Sheen, passed along to me from a young man discerning his vocation.  They seem especially apropos for problems we are facing in our country right now (though they were written in 1931!).   May the Lord raise up many friar preachers of Truth (Veritas) through the intercession of our Holy Father, St. Dominic to lead all to the splendor of Truth who is Jesus Christ and Him crucified!

“America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance-it is not. It is suffering from tolerance. 

Tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded. 

Tolerance is an attitude of reasoned patience toward evil … a forbearance that restrains us from showing anger or inflicting punishment. Tolerance applies only to persons … never to Truth. Tolerance applies to the erring, intolerance to the error. (…) 

Architects are as intolerant about sand as foundations for skyscrapers as doctors are intolerant about germs in the laboratory. Tolerance does not apply to Truth or principles. 

About these things we must be intolerant, and for this kind of intolerance, so much needed to rouse us from sentimental gush, I make a plea. Intolerance of this kind is the foundation of all stability.”
-Archbishop Fulton Sheen, "A Plea for Truth"

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Liturgy and Apostolic Preaching

In the Fifth Week of Ordinary Time, we find this prayer (the Prayer after Communion):

O God, who have willed that we be partakers
in the one Bread and the one Chalice,
grant us, we pray, so to live
that, made one in Christ,
we may joyfully bear fruit
for the salvation of the world.
Through Christ our Lord.

There a some striking things here.  This prayer presents a clear connection between the transformation in which we are "made one in Christ" and the task of preaching in which we "joyfully bear fruit for the salvation of the world."

The task of the Christian life is conformity to Christ so that we might share in the Divine life.  When we receive Holy Communion, we are given the chance to enter into communion with God Himself.  Jesus gives us a share of Himself, which ends up consuming us (as St. Augustine writes in his Confessions) and turning us into Himself.  Moreover, this union with Christ then becomes the force behind preaching.  Those who are made one with Christ are likewise made one with the Church, and from that unity they are able to spread the Truth, who is Christ and which is lived in His Church.

In this, we see real apostolic preaching: "It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables....We will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word" (Acts 6:2, 4).  The apostles were joined to the Lord and to one another through prayer, and from that contemplative gaze on Christ, they were able to effectively preach "for the salvation of the world."

As this week continues, please know that all of you who are discerning remain in our prayers, and may your participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass be a means to make you faithful to Christ in whatever way He leads you.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dominican Materialism Explained

Br. Bonaventure Chapman, O.P., a student brother at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC was recently interviewed on Sacred Heart Radio's Son Rise Morning show.  He clarifies how material things are not only good but can even be elevated by grace.  Yet, this is different than a misinterpretation of the goodness of material things, in which materialism becomes the be-all end-all of life.  A right view of understanding material things includes realizing that there is something beyond the physical world which helps us to order all our physical actions as well as properly use the goods of the world.

Br. Bonaventure had written on this in December on Dominicana Blog (a new blog from the student brothers of the Dominican House of Studies), in an article titled "Dominican Materialism."

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Anniversary of the Deceased Parents of the Order

Today marks the Anniversary of the Deceased Parents of the Order.  In a post last fall, Br. Ambrose wrote about how great it is to die as a Dominican.  Well, that extends to our parents as well. 

Each year, Mass is offered on Feb. 7 for the repose of the souls of our deceased mothers and fathers.  Each week, one of the Conventual Masses in each of our priories and houses around the world is offered for the deceased brothers, sisters, benefactors, familiars, and mothers and fathers of the friars for the same intention.  Moreover, each week five decades of the Rosary are also offered by every friar.  In other words, parents who give their children over to the Order then receive a gift back - a regular share in the Order's prayers and supplications, each week and every year.

What a grace it is to die not only as a Dominican but also as a parent of a Dominican.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Next Vocation Weekend Half Full - March 30-April 1, 2012

Fr. Alejandro OP of Holy Name Province praying at the Angelicum in Rome
Our next vocation weekend (March 30 - April 2, 2012) at the Dominican House of Studies is already half full.  This is the last vocation weekend for this academic year.  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).

For more information, check out the Facebook page for the Province of St. Joseph. Also of interest to those discerning is this recent essay by Archbishop J. Augustine DiNoia, OP: ”Why are there so many Dominican vocations?”

If you are just coming to this blog for the first time, here is the last email I sent out from our vocation office.  If you would like to be on our email updates, contact us!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Dominican Spirituality: Principles & Practice (a "must read")

Here is a gem on the Dominican Spiritual life which I would strongly recommend. It is not long and it all is on-line here on our website.  Dominican Spirituality: Principles & Practice by Fr. William Aquinas Hinnebusch OP lays out a basic understanding of our life.

As you may know the Hinnebusch family had 7 Dominicans.  Fr. Fred is still the example of regular observance for all of us here at the Dominican House of Studies - never missing an office or rosary!
This book is linked together with a lot of other great things worth reading about our life to deepen your knowledge of St. Dominic and the Order of Preachers.
Fr. James Cuddy OP, Chaplain at Providence College

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dominican Saints 101: St. Catherine de Ricci OP

Bro. Peter Martyr OP has just posted a link on St. Catherine de Ricci on our provincial website. She was a great mystic and a contemplative nun with a tremendous love for Christ crucified.  He has linked also, the Dominican Devotion to the Passion according to St. Catherine de Ricci sung by the friars of the Irish Province.  Check  it out!

If you missed it, my last post has lot of info you should see.  Say a prayer for the men attending our next vocation weekend (Feb. 3-5).
Provincial Website
Provincial Facebook
Student Brothers Blog

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