"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

Friday, May 31, 2013

The Musical Friars

These days of celebration of our six friars who were ordained to the Priesthood of Jesus Christ before the dispersal of the brethren for the summer to the priories & houses of our province have seen a combination of sacred music for the Liturgy, some folk music, and even jazz!

First things first, our Dominican Schola directed by Fr. James Moore OP (Western Dominican province) during a choir practice some days before the ordination:

Then did priests make offering of incense
and loaves of finest wheat to God
and therefore shall they be holy to their Lord
and shall not defile his most holy name. Alleluia.
~Sacerdotes Domini - William Byrd~

+see also during Tenebrae friars sing Filiae Jerusalem (Francesco Soriano (1549-1621)

Dominican Schola Cantorum in the choir loft at St. Dominic's Church for ordination:

Bros. Humbert Kilanowski OP and Vincent Ferrer Bagan OP cantors at the priesthood ordination:

After the ordination our friars' Jazz group called, "Instrumental Causality" entertained our guests for a post-ordination party:

Then the second act, a bit more informal was Bro. Timothy Danaher OP and Bro. Peter Joseph Gautsch OP on the banjo and guitar playing some Mumford and Sons!

We are grateful to God for the ordinations to the priesthood of our friars!
May the preach the Gospel for the salvation of souls!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Ohio Vocation Event: Dominican Rite Mass in Columbus

Sunday, August 4, 2013 at 2PM
St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Columbus

(click to enlarge)

A Missa Cantata, according to the Dominican Rite, will be celebrated on Sunday, August 4, 2013 at 2:00PM at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 280 N Grant Ave Columbus, OH 43215

Celebrant: Fr. Austin Litke OP, Assistant Chaplain at New York University

This Mass is open to the public and is the second public celebration of the traditional Dominican Liturgy in the Dominican parish of St. Patrick’s since Pope Benedict XVI’s issuance of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. In the calendar of the Dominican Rite, August 4 is the Solemnity of Our Holy Father, St. Dominic, which takes liturgical precedence over the Mass of Sunday (so Sunday obligation is fulfilled)

For men considering a vocation there will be a meal following the Mass with our friars, but you must RSVP.

For more info on the Dominican Rite click here

(click to enlarge)

Some have asked if we are "returning" to the Dominican Rite. On the contrary, we are moving forward. The Province of St. Joseph follows the Novus Ordo of the Roman Rite in all its priories, houses and parishes. A number of our friars (both priests & student friars) are carefully learning to celebrate the Dominican rite. As was said on our tutorial site, the Dominican liturgy is not to be understood as a rival to the Novus Ordo, which remains the Ordinary Form of the Mass, but as a supplement to enrich our liturgical life with the treasures of our tradition, consistent with the express wishes of the Second Vatican Council (Sacrosanctum Concilium 4). Other questions could be answered in a document recently written: Q&A: Ecclesiae Universae and the Dominican Rite.

For more information about the Dominican Rite check out Dominican Liturgy, a blog from a friar of the Western Dominican Province.

See also: Dominican Rite Tutorial

Dominican Rite Mass from our Dominican parish of St. Vincent Ferrer in New York City:

Friday, May 24, 2013

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Six Dominican Friars to be Ordained to the Priesthood

You are invited to our 2013 ordinations to the Priesthood in Washington DC!  We do have limited accommodations for those traveling greater distances. Contact Fr. Benedict OP for details.  Our Next Vocation Weekends at the Dominican House of Studies are already starting to fill.

Thursday, May 23 at 7PM at the Dominican House of Studies there will be a special holy hour for the ordinandi to which everyone is invited.

Friday, May 24 at 9:30AM Ordination
at St. Dominic's Church, Washington DC
(reception follows at the Dominican House of Studies)
-more evening events are scheduled for vocation candidates after reception

          First Mass (next day) with our Newly Ordained Priests
          at Dominican House of Studies chapel w/families, friends and friars on
          Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 8AM

          SUNDAY, May 26, 2013: 
                     FIRST MASSES schedule (click here)

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.

2013 Ordination class - click photo to enlarge

to the Priesthood of Jesus Christ
through the Imposition of Hands and Prayer of Ordination by
The Most Reverend Christopher Cardone, O.P.
Bishop of Auki, Solomon Islands

ORDINATION: Friday, May 24, 2013 at 9:30 AM


Bishop Chris Cardone OP - click to enlarge

Saint Dominic Church
630 E Street, Southwest
Washington, District of Columbia 20024

Here is a video from last year's priesthood ordinations. Check it out!

You are also invited to the August 10 Solemn Professions at the Dominican House of Studies and the August 15 Simple Professions at St. Gertrude Church in Cincinnati. Here is our last official vocation video made recently: 

Our Next Vocation Weekends at the Dominican House of Studies

Prep for Ordinations: Spiritual and Practical

Priesthood Ordinations are Friday May 24, 2013
at 9:30AM at St. Dominic's Church in Washington DC

Today many of our student brothers left this morning on an annual Pilgrimage of walking about 8 miles, praying for our ordinandi and visiting various churches throughout our nation's capital to coincide with the feast of the Translation of our Holy Father St. Dominic.  I wrote about this last year here.  This year, the feast day will also include our priesthood ordinations at 9:30AM at St. Dominic's downtown Washington DC. Everyone is invited!

Our Next Vocation Weekends at the Dominican House of Studies

Yesterday the brothers in our schola prepared the ordination booklets and had another schola practice.
(click on image to enlarge)

Yesterday about 15 of our student friars went onto the National Mall with guitar and banjo and sang and passed out prayer cards to hundreds of people.  It was a chance to engage all the visitors to Washington DC and to share the Good News of our Lord! It is amazing what a smile and greeting can accomplish for the New Evangelization!
(click image to enlarge)

Below here is the image on the prayer card, and the text further down: 
Come Holy Spirit, Creator blest, and in our hearts take up thy rest.
Come with thy grace and heavenly aid to fill the hearts which though hast made.
Lord, we praise you for creating us and for restoring us in Christ.
Thank you for sending us your Holy Spirit to be our advocate and guide.
May this same Spirit comfort us in our affliction, sanctify our souls, provide for our needs
(include your personal request) and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Pope Francis Addresses the Masses on the Vigil of Pentecost

Here is a major address to the Church from our great Pope Francis.  May the Holy Spirit inspire the Church in the New Evangelization!

Starting from his own conversion story, the Pope laid out the full spread of his impressions on the state of the Church, and his vision for the road ahead, tying together in the process the threads which have marked his two months on Peter's chair.  (source)

Friday, May 17, 2013

From Novice to Priest: Ordinations in the Dominican Vicariate of East Africa

One of the great joys I have had as a Dominican Friar was being novice master for our East African Dominican Vicariate.  Our mission (Nyumba ya Mtakatifu Martino de Porres, "St. Martin de Porres Priory") is close to Lake Victoria in Western Kenya in a town called Kisumu.

Our current student master, Fr. Andrew Hofer OP, was there at the same time. He served as our Regent of Studies for our vicariate and he taught Theology to our student friars and many other religious in Nairobi at the Catholic University of East Africa and Tangaza College.

During our time in Kenya, we had young men in our novitiate from the countries of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Southern Sudan, Angola, Mozambique & Zimbabwe (at the time other OP vicariates would send their men to us).

Three of these friars (Bros. John Baptist Ssemugabi OP, Leo Simon Itabara Mwenda OP, Thomas Nicholas Odhiambo OP), for whom I was novice master, will be ordained to the priesthood and transitional diaconate on Saturday, May 18 at St. Theresa's Cathedral (Kibuye) in downtown Kisumu, Kenya.  I made a quick call to them this morning and wished them every blessing.

(click image to enlarge)

Each of these young men are very talented. From the moment they entered the novitiate, years ago, they wanted to give everything to the Lord and to preach the Gospel for the salvation of souls.

I wrote about our vicariate's ordinations last year when another two of my former novices were ordained, Fr. Cleophas OP and Fr. Gideon OP.

This has proven well when they preached during a Eucharistic-centered retreat that we have been doing in our vicariate called "UZIMA" which is the same retreat as YOUTH 2000 internationally. This retreat has been led by our friars in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda about 15 times for thousands and thousands of young people.  A number of young men and women who attended these retreats are now priests, brothers and sisters in religious life in East Africa. The Lord planted deep seeds of conversion in their hearts. For some amazing photos click here.

YOUTH 2000 was taken to East Africa with the huge support and translating expertise of a great missionary priest from Poland, Fr. Wojciech Adam Kościelniak (his FB page) as well as generous parishioners from our parish, St. Gertrude in Cincinnati, where our novitiate is located.

This was one of my favorite songs that all the youth
"sang like there was no tomorrow" in perfect harmony (my rough translation below).

~rough translation Nimeonja Pendo Lako
(fixed by my good friend, Fr. Wojciech)
*check out his excellent blog: Kiabakari Snippets

Nimeonja pendo lako, nimejua u mwema
I have tasted your love, I have known your kindness

Nitakushukuru nitawainua wote wakusifu wewe
I will thank you, I will lift up everyone to praise you

Nitawaongoza vyema waimbe kwa furaha
I will lead well everyone to you with joy

Nitakushukuru nitawainua wote wakusifu wewe
I will thank you, I will lift up everyone to praise you

Ukarimu wako (Bwana) na huruma yako (wewe)
Your generosity, oh Lord, and Your mercy

Msamaha wako (Bwana) na upole wako (wewe)
Your forgiveness Lord and your gentleness

Umenitendea wema usiopimika
You have done unmeasurable goodness to me

Nitakushukuru nitawainua wote wakusifu wewe
I will thank you, I will lift up everyone to praise you

If you want to see the Swahili words with the song:

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Phenomenology of the Vows: Obedience

Professor Edmund Husserl
*see also:

As Virgil and Beatrice were to Dante, so Edmund Husserl has been our guide to the three evangelical counsels. We have seen how his notions of intentionality and givenness enrich our understanding of what the vows offer to us and how we relate to them. Along the way we have also discovered other parts of Husserl’s philosophical project, such as the phenomenological reduction and the process of transcendental bracketing—the removal of all that is contingent and inessential in search of what is true. It is finally time to turn to obedience, the counsel according to the Dominican Constitutions that is pre-eminent among the counsels:
“By obedience a person dedicates himself totally to God and his actions come closer to the goal of profession, which is the perfection of charity. Everything else too in the apostolic life is included under obedience (LCO 19.1).”
And yet what seems more counter-intuitive to today’s culture than obedience? Isn’t that something for children and young people living at home? Why do grown men, Dominican friars, make this promise of obedience, including poverty and chastity under its yoke? Once again, Husserl can be of help.

What in Husserl’s thought would correspond to obedience, the pre-eminent counsel? This must be his principle of all principles:
“No conceivable theory can make us err with respect to the principle of all principles: that ever originally preventive intuition is a legitimizing source of cognition, that everything originally offered to us in 'intuition' is to be accepted simply as what it is presented as being, but also only within the limits in which it is presented there (Ideas I, section 24).”
Everything given to us in intuition, everything perceived, is presented according to its own mode of disclosure: we do not dictate terms to the objects we find in the world. This is not a form of naïve realism: what you see is what you get. To see things as they are in themselves requires hard phenomenological work; we must follow the difficult and delicate steps of the phenomenological reduction. Husserl offers an example:
“I have a particular intuition of redness, or rather several such intuitions. I stick strictly to the pure immanence; I am careful to perform the phenomenological reduction. I snip away any further significance of redness, any way in which it may be viewed as something transcendent, e.g., as the redness of a piece of blotting paper on my table, etc. And no I grasp in pure ‘seeing’ the meaning of the concept of redness in general, redness in specie, the universal ‘seen’ as identical in this and that. No longer is it the particular as such which is referred to, not this or that red thing, but redness in general (The Idea of Phenomenology, 44-45). 
Seeing something as it is in itself means stripping it of all the contingent and non-essential elements. It means looking close at the thing as it is given to consciousness as an intentional object. Seeing in this way is no mean feat, nor is it a normal daily occurrence!

The vow of obedience is similar: If we want to be free we must obey. The Catechism links freedom with obedience in this way:
“The more one does that is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to ‘the slavery of sin (CCC 1733).’”
The Dominican Constitutions similarly stress the need for obedience in the achievement of freedom:
“Because obedience ‘plants the roots of self-discipline in our hearts’ it is of the greatest benefit to that freedom of spirit characteristic of the children of God, and disposes us to self-giving charity (LCO 19.3).”
Pope Honorius III and St. Dominic
- L. da Ponte

The vow of obedience is an offering of one’s freedom in return for a greater freedom in the service of the highest good: God’s will. When a friar takes the vow of obedience he is offering himself as an instrument of God under the direction of his superiors. We again meet the structure of intentionality: obedience is for something, it is for the apostolic life in fulfillment of the God’s call. Although easily misunderstood, obedience is not a negation of freedom, but a development of authentic freedom in serving the good, serving God in a particular way. Obedience is not against freedom, but for it!

The notion of givenness also illumines obedience because when the vow is lived out one receives something, or rather, someone:

 “Through obedience, we imitate Christ in a special manner, Christ who always obeyed the Father, for the life of the world. We are thus more closely united to the Church, to whose building we are dedicated, for its common good and that of the Order (LCO 18.1).”

Just as the other vows give the religious Christ in a special way (the poor Christ, the chaste Christ), the vow of obedience gives him Christ as obedient to the Father, the one who St. Paul speaks of when he says:

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:5-8).”    
Obedience unites the friar to Christ who always followed the Father’s will. But this obedience is not easy, especially given the assumptions about freedom and maturity in the world today. It is difficult to imagine that others know better than you do about what is right and wrong, yet it is nevertheless true! We do not see the world correctly unless we are trained to see it correctly, with the eyes of faith, and obedience is the primary lesson in the school of vowed learning. With obedience we learn to order our desires and passions rightly towards true and authentic goods instead of fleeting and apparent ones. Like the method of phenomenology, this kind of seeing takes patience and practice; it is by no means an easy task. But the promise of both phenomenology and obedience is surely worth the effort: to see the world as it is and to know one’s proper place in it according to God’s will.

Because Husserl has been our guide on this journey it is appropriate to end with a passage from another journey, Dante’s Paradiso. In Canto III Dante meets Piccarda who inhabits the first circle of Heaven. In response to his question about whether she has any desire to move to a higher place she says: 
Paradiso Canto II.49 - 
G. Doré

“For it is of the essence of this bliss
    to hold one’s dwelling in the divine Will,
    who makes our single wills the same, and His,
So that, although we dwell from sill to sill
    throughout this kingdom, that is as we please,
    as it delights the King in whose desire
We find our own. In His will is our peace:
    That is the sea whereto all creatures fare,

     Fashioned by Nature or the hand of God.”

In God’s will is our peace, for obedience gives us Christ, and everything else along with him.

*see also: