The Place of Study in the Ideal of St. Dominic
February 19, 2012
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.