"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, May 23, 2012

Pilgrim Friars in our Nation's Capital

In anticipation of the Feast of the Translation of our Holy Father St. Dominic (May 24) a number of our student friars, Fr. Raymond Vandegrift OP (83 years old!) and I took a walking pilgrimage for about 8 miles through Washington DC with pilgrim stops and prayers at our parish St. Dominic's, St. Joseph's on Capital Hill and St. Matthew's Cathedral.  We carried a first class relic of St. Dominic with us. In each church one of the friars gave us a short "ferverino."
We were praying in a particular way for our five friars who will be ordained to the priesthood on May 25 - you are invited. I of course was praying for each of you and for an increase in vocations for the Dominicans.  In the churches we visited and the streets we walked, we prayed the entire Rosary, the Office of Readings, Midmorning Prayer (Terce) and Midday Prayer (Sext) and a Holy Hour with Vespers.  The rains came and we were drenched right after our last stop at the Cathedral - a true pilgrimage! - thanks be to God and our Holy Father Dominic.  May our brothers who will be ordained have a grace-filled priesthood and Dominican life!
As we passed by the Human Rights Campaign Headquarters in DC, we stopped and said a prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe that she would crush the head of the serpent and that the Light of Christ which shines in the darkness will show the way to protect traditional Christian marriage and values.

(the Washington Times photographer caught us walking on the streets of DC so keep your eyes open for photos.)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Election 2012

"Will you vote the values that will stand the test of fire? Some things are more important than high gas prices or a faltering economy. They are life, marriage and freedom. This November, Catholics must stand up and protect their sacred rights and duties."

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Five Friars to be Ordained to the Priesthood for Eastern Province Dominicans

Five of our friars will be ordained to the priesthood on May 25 at St. Dominic's Church, downtown Washington DC - you are invited.  Pictured here with the ordinandi, is their student master, Fr. Joseph Alobaidi OP (L) and Fr. Ken Letoile OP (R), the prior of the Dominican House of Studies.

O Lord Jesus Christ, great High Priest, we thank you for calling our Brothers, Jerome, Jordan, Augustine, Michael and Justin to Your holy priesthood. Lead them in Your unerring footsteps; so that they may become priests who are models of purity, possessors of wisdom and heroes of sacrifice. May they be steeped in humility and aflame with love for God and man. Make our brothers apostles of Your glory and great preachers of Truth for the salvation of souls.
(click on photo to enlarge)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Saints in the Way of St. Dominic

In our aspirancy guidelines to assist you to prepare yourself to possibly enter novitiate, we recommend that you get to know our older brothers and sisters who walked in the way of our holy father St. Dominic. These are only some of the many blesseds and saints of the 800 year tradition of the Dominicans. Ask their intercession together with the Queen of all the Saints, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and entrust your vocation to her to protect it and nurture it through deeper prayer and God's grace.

August 2 - Blessed Jane of Aza (mother of St. Dominic)
August 17 - St. Hyacinth
August 18 - Blessed Mannes (brother to St. Dominic)
August 23 - St. Rose of Lima
August 28 - Holy Father Augustine
September 4 - Blessed Catherine of Racconigi
September 6 - Blessed Bertrand of Garrigue
September 18 - St. Juan Macias
September 22 - Hyacinth Serrano Lopez & Companions
September 28 - St. Dominic Ibañez & Companions
October 4 - Holy Father Francis
October 5 - Blessed Raymund of Capua (spiritual director to St. Catherine of Siena)
October 7 - Our Lady of the Rosary (more)
October 9 - St. Louis Bertrand
October 19 - Blessed Agnes of Jesus
October 27 - Blessed Bartholomew of Vicenza
October 30 - Blessed Terence O'Brien & Blessed Peter O'Higgins (17th C. Irish Martyrs)
November 3 - St. Martin de Porres
November 7 - All Saints of the Order of Preachers
November 15 - Saint Albert the Great
November 24 - Saint Ignatius Delgado & Companions
November 25 - Saint Catherine of Alexandria
December 1 - Blessed John of Vercelli
December 16 - Bl. Sebastian Maggi
December 22 - Anniversary of the Approval of the Dominican Order
January 4 - Saint Zdislava
January 7 - Saint Raymond of Peñafort
January 15 - Saint Francis de Capillas & Companions
January 18 - Saint Margaret of Hungary
January 28 - Saint Thomas Aquinas
February 4 - Saint Catherine de Ricci
February 13 - Blessed Jordan of Saxony (Patron of Dominican Vocations)
February 18 - Blessed John of Fiesole (Fra Angelico)
February 24 - Blessed Constantius of Fabriano
April 20 - Saint Agnes of Montepulciano
April 28 - Saint Louis de Montfort
April 29 - Saint Catherine of Siena
April 30 - Saint Pius V
May 5 - Saint Vincent Ferrer
May 8 - Mary's Patronage over the Order of Preachers
May 10 - Saint Antoninus
May 13 - Blessed Imelda
May 21 - Blessed Hyacinth Marie Cormier (more)
May 29 - Blessed William Arnaud & Companions
June 4 - St. Peter Martyr & see also: The Blessings of St. Peter Martyr (& more)
June 8 - Blessed Diana and Blessed Cecilia
June 10 - Blessed John Dominici
June 18 - Blessed Osanna of Mantua
July 4 - Blessed Pier Georgio Frassati
July 9 - St. John of Cologne
July 22 - St. Mary Magdalene (Patroness of the Dominican Order)
These come from Bro. Peter Martyr Yungwirth OP's Dominican Saints 101 series, though incomplete right now, I wanted to get it up now. I will continue to update it as he adds them for the rest of the liturgical year.
Dominican Saints and Blesseds (Nashville Dominican Sisters)
Holy Dominicans (vocation booklet from Province of St. Joseph)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


You are invited for our next Vocation Weekends for the 2012-2013 Academic Year at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington DC. The weekends will be: 

September 28-30, 2012
November 9-11, 2012
February 1-3, 2013
April 5-7, 2013

These weekends are already filling up so plan now and reserve your space by contacting the vocation director.  But no need to wait until then...You can plan to attend one of our Summer 2012 Vocation Events.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

March for Life in Rome

Earlier today, Dominican friars from the Angelicum marched in the 2nd Annual Italian March for Life took place in Rome. It began at the Colosseum, went past the "Birthday Cake" (i.e. the monument to Victor Emmanuel), and then ended by the Castel Sant' Angelo right near the Vatican.
Fr. Dominic Holtz OP (Central Province), Chaplain of the Angelicum,
with the university's banner at Rome's March for Life

One thing that is significant about this event is that they started by the Colosseum. Long a place for the martyrdom of Christians, including Ss. Ignatius of Antioch and Telemachus, it could be seen as a shrine to the best and worst of life. In the Colosseum, gladiatorial fights represented one of the worst parts of Ancient Roman culture, and yet the martyrdom of Christians represented one of the greatest witnesses of the meaning of life. The Christians martyrs gave a witness to what it really means to live a life full of charity.

So too can this be seen with the Italian March for Life beginning at the Colosseum. The tragic issue of abortion, legal in Italy since 1978 brings the pro-lifers to the Colosseum. Yet, they come to witness to the beauty and dignity of every human life. Their witness shows, in our own age, what a life of love is built on - sacrificial love.

Below is a slideshow of the event:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Holy Preaching: Fr. Carleton Jones on the Mission of the Order

Drawing on his vast experience as preacher and pastor, Fr. Carleton Jones, O.P. delves into the act at the very heart of Dominican identity: Holy Preaching. During the Weekend of Mar 30-April 1, the most recent Vocations Weekend at the House of Studies, Fr. Carleton presented the following conference. Fr. Carleton says, simply put, Dominicans exist to preach the Gospel of Christ for the salvation of souls. He examines how Dominican preaching focuses on doctrine and works to illuminate the mysteries of the faith. Fr. Carleton was an ordained Episcopalian priest for fourteen years prior to his own entrance into full communion with Rome. Giving examples from his own priesthood, including his recent work with Mount Calvary Anglican Rite Catholic Parish which was just recently received into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church, Fr. Carleton illustrates the dynamic response Dominican preaching brings to the chaos of our times.
See also:
Fr. Carleton Catholic Radio Interview (audio)
Fr. Carleton on Bl. John Henry Newman (part I) (part II) videos
Fr. Carleton on Venerable Fr. Michael McGivney (video)

Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe

This July 12-17, 2012 I will be the chaplain for a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.

I visited the shrine as a student brother.  (a friend of mine who runs this tour company has been asking me for years to be a chaplain for them) Now this is about the only chance I will have to go. Would you like to come?

Here is list of various vocation events that will take place this summer in our province as well as my travels in case you would like to meet. It would be good for you to plan to come to at least one of these vocation events to "keep the fire burning" with your consideration of a Dominican vocation.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mary's Patronage over the Order

On May 8th, the Dominicans celebrates Mary's patronage over the Order.  (click here to see the prayer said on this day).  There is one particular story, recounted by Blessed Cecilia who knew St. Dominic that really shows this:

"[St. Dominic] was rapt in spirit before God and saw Our Lord and the Blessed Virgin sitting at His right. It seemed to Blessed Dominic that Our Lady was wearing a cape of bright blue, the color of sapphire. As Blessed Dominic looked around, he could see religious of all the orders but his own around the throne of God, so that he began to weep bitterly and stood far away, not daring to approach the Lord and His mother. Then Our Lady motioned for him to come near. But he would not dare, until Our Lord Himself also called him. Then Blessed Dominic cast himself before them weeping bitterly. But Our Lord told him to rise, and when he did, Our Lord asked him, 'Why are you weeping so?' 'I am weeping because I see all the other orders here but no sign of my own.' And the Lord said to him, 'Do you want to see your Order?' and he answered, 'Yes, Lord.' Then Our Lord, putting his hand upon the shoulders of the Blessed Virgin, said to Blessed Dominic, 'I have entrusted your Order to my Mother.' Then he asked him again, 'Do you still wish to see your Order?' and again he answered 'Yes, Lord.' Then the Blessed Virgin opened the cape which covered her and spread it out before Blessed, Dominic, to whom it seemed vast enough to cover the entire heaven and, under it, he saw a large multitude of the brethren. Then prostrating himself, Blessed Dominic gave thanks to God and to Blessed Mary His Mother." (Miracles of St. Dominic, 7)

Thanks be to God for giving us His Mother to watch over and protect us!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Fr. James Brent OP, Director of the Angelic Warfare Confraternity & AUDIO Prayers for Download

"If we can destroy his chastity, we can destroy his vocation." These were the words of the brothers of the young Thomas Aquinas who went to great lengths to stop him from becoming a Dominican friar and priest.
Fr. James Brent OP, who teaches at the Catholic University of America, is the director of the ancient Confraternity of the Angelic Warfare of St. Thomas Aquinas for the Eastern province Dominicans. Each province has it's own director the confraternity.  The Angelic Warfare Confraternity is a powerful spiritual weapon to live chastity in your life regardless of your vocation.

Here you will find the daily Angelic Warfare prayers with intentions. These prayers are in audio form here below.  Or download the MP3 file here for your player.

See Also:
What is the Angelic Warfare Confraternity?
Official Daily Prayers for those Enrolled
15 Petitions to accompany the 15 Hail Mary's
Testimonials of the Angelic Warfare Confraternity

Surrender to the Spirit, Growth in Chastity (Fr. James Brent OP)

Sense of Despair for Those Considering a Vocation?
Many young men today look at the current state of their lives in regard to chastity and quickly become discouraged in regard to responding to the grace of a vocation of poverty, chastity and obedience as a priest or religious. It would be important not to give up! Fr. James says in the audio clip above,

"Is there anything that can be done?  There is!  As Catholics we, by the grace of God, have handed on to us in our Tradition, an extremely powerful supernatural weapon that is at our disposal for fighting sexual temptation, for overcoming it, for growing in the virtue of self-control, self restraint, temperance, and a good, pure, healthy, holy mind, that becomes a kind of second nature: chastity. We have been given a weapon and it is the Angelic Warfare Confraternity."
a poem from member of the Confraternity:

In Honor of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Most Angelic angel-
Girded Doctor caught fast
In high heavenly
Ecstasy so pronounced.
You boldly chased with
Burnished brand the scantily-
Clad broad of brothers’
Mischief. A single
Singed cross—signed upon

Your lonely cell door.
Tempted no more after
Lone, bold, and failed
Assault; for Almighty
God, eternally on
His high throne, and Our
Blessed Virgin Lady
Saw it seemly fit and
Right to girdle chaste
Virtue divinely tight
Upon your waste with
Which to keep hold.

St. Thomas to be
Now Saint Thomas, if you
See it meet and just to
Share please your hard won
Victory and the angel’s
Gift with me, I would be
Eternally indebted
To thee.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Blessed Hyacinth M. Cormier OP: The Advantages of Religious Life

"After you have made yourself known and have pondered the points set out for you, if your attraction remains, and if the Fathers consent to accept you into their community, your desire for a more perfect life indeed comes from God. You have there sufficient signs of a vocation; there is every reason to conclude that you will find in the religious state great advantages during your life, at the hour of death, and after death. St. Bernard has encapsulated all these advantages in these words: 

'He who embraces the religious life lives more purely and in a more holy manner than in the world; he falls more rarely into sin; he rises more promptly from his falls; he walks with greater attentiveness on the road to salvation; he receives more heavenly graces and consolations; he rests in God with greater security; he dies with great trust; in purgatory, he is purged more quickly of his faults, and he receives a more abundant reward in heaven.' [Hom.in illud Matth. XIII, "Simile est"]

These are the counsels I felt I needed to give you first of all concerning the religious state in general. I pray that the Lord may enlighten you concerning His most holy will. If He allows you to hear His voice, do not block the ears of your heart, but follow the insights and the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, in spite of the reluctance of nature. Tell yourself very seriously: What would I wish I had done at the hour of my death; on the day of my judgment? Right now, do what you need to so that later you will have accomplished it. It is a question of a happy or an unhappy eternity; at any moment, you could die and appear before the supreme Judge. Do not delay too long, and do not be ungenerous concerning your own soul."      

-excerpt from Vocation: Instruction of Novices by Fr. Hyacinthe-Marie Cormier OP, trans. George G. Christian OP & Richard L. Christian, 2011
See also:
The Surprises of Divine Providence (by Fr. Thomas Joseph White OP)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

End of the Semester Celebration with Ann Arbor Dominican Sisters at CUA

Happy Feast of St. Athanasius!  To celebrate the end of classes and to gear up for exams, some of our friars had lunch with Sr. Maria Frassati OP and Sr. Stephen Patrick OP (Ann Arbor Dominicans) who study at the Catholic University of America and assist with the campus ministry.

Study is an observance for Dominicans.  Unfortunately those still in their formal studies have to take exams.  Say a prayer for the sisters and friars as they prepare for next week.

Those of you who still are students, you all are in our prayers as well.  This prayer is one of the best to make before you study - written by St. Thomas Aquinas.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Praying for Vocations in the Eternal City

Fr. Pius Pietrzyk, OP wrote me from Rome and said he will offer a Mass (in the Dominican Rite) for vocations to the Order of Preachers  at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore on the Feast of St. Pius V (old calendar: May 5) where the remains of St. Pius V are located.  If you are in Rome and would like to attend, please email me:  vocations@dominicanfriars.org   Fr. Pius is studying Canon Law at the University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome where a new Rector was recently installed.  Thank you Fr. Pius!  Please pray for vocations to the Order of Preachers.

UPDATE: HERE ARE THE PHOTOS (n.b. the altar where St. Pius V's remains are located is being restored, so they had to use this altar)