August is for Dominicans

September 1, 2012

August was a big month for the Order of Preachers.  It began with the feast of Bl. Jane of Aza, the mother of St. Dominic.  A week later, the Order celebrated the feat of our Holy Father Saint Dominic on August 8.  We also had the feast days of St. Hyacinth of Poland, St. Rose of Lima, Bl. Mannes, the brother of St. Dominic.  For our Province, it was also the month were we accepted many new novices, where the outgoing novices took their first profession of vows, and where our brothers made their final profession of the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. The Pope and St. Dominic In the current calendar, St. Dominic’s feast day fell on a Wednesday, leading our Holy Father the Pope to focus his Wednesday audience on our Holy Father St. Dominic.  Pope Benedict said of St. Dominic, “St. Dominic was a man of prayer. In love with God, he had no other aspiration than the salvation of souls, especially those who had fallen into the snares of the heresies of his day. An imitator of Christ, he radically embodied the three evangelical counsels, uniting to the proclamation of the Word a witness of a life of poverty. Under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, he advanced along the way of Christian perfection. At each moment, prayer was the force that renewed and rendered his apostolic works increasingly fruitful.”  He concluded his audience describing St. Dominic and his postures of prayer:  “St. Dominic prays standing, bowed down to express humility; prostrate on the ground to ask pardon for his sins; kneeling in penance to participate in the sufferings of the Lord; with arms outstretched gazing at the crucifix to contemplate Supreme Love, his gaze turned toward heaven, feeling drawn to the world of God. Thus, there are three forms: standing, kneeling, and lying prostrate on the ground — but always with one’s gaze turned to the Crucified Lord.”  The Holy Father’s entire talk can be found on our Provincial website. To Putting Off the Old Man and Putting on the New On the feast of St. Dominic, 13 men received the habit of St. Dominic and began their year-long novitiate at our Priory of St. Gertrude in Cincinnati, OH.  In the Rite of Vestition, the men each enter the chapel, making a prostration before the Prior of the novitiate house.  After speaking to them about the importance of the novitiate and the nature of religious life, the Prior and the Novice Master vest each man in the white and black habit of St. Dominic.  As part of the ritual of vestition, they each received a new name in the Order.  You can see photos of the brothers and their new names at the Vocation Director’s blog. A slideshow of the pictures from vestition is available online.  Please pray for these men, as they discern their vocation to religious life and to our Province of St. Joseph, and please also pray for the Novice Master and friars of that novitiate priory, as they form these men in Dominican life and discern whether they are called to a life with us. Joined to the Order by Profession After the year-long novitiate, 10 of our brothers have made their first profession of vows.  These brothers make temporary vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience for three years.  At the end of that time, they and the Order will discern whether they will make their life-long vows.  The Mass of Solemn Profession took place at the parish church attached to our Priory of St. Gertrude, where our novitiate is located, in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Fr. Brian Mulcahey, the Prior Provincial of St. Joseph’s Province, received the vows of the brothers in place of the Master of the Order.  You can read Fr. Brian’s homily from the Mass on our Provincial website. Usque ad Mortem (Until Death) On Saturday, August 11th, four of our student brothers, Br. Thomas More Garrett, Br. John Maria Devaney, Br. Sebastian White, and Br. Gabriel Joseph Torretta, made their Solemn Profession of Vows in the Priory Chapel of the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C.  Surrounded by fellow Dominican Friars, family members, and friends, they made profession of the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience usque ad mortem (until death).  Pictures of the event are available online.  Their vows were received by the Very Rev. John Langlois, O.P., Socius and Vicar of the Provincial.  You can read Fr. Langlois’s homily from the Mass for Solemn Profession on our Provincial website.  Our four newly-Solemnly Professed friars will continue their education and formation in Washington as they prepare for eventual ordination as deacons and then as priests.  Please keep them in your prayers. You are a Priest Forever Kindly Light Media, a ministry of the Province, has been working on its latest project, “You are a Priest Forever”.  While Kindly Light is not quite done shooting the interviews, you can see a rough cut of Fr. Augustine Marie Reisenauer, O.P.’s vocation story through the web. The DVD will be available by the first week in September. To be sure that you don’t miss the debut of the video, make sure you are signed up to our mailing list (sign up by entering your email and clicking the Join Now! button to the right).  This new video is being produced through the generosity of our benefactors. The Dominican Rite and St. Dominic Before the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, we Dominican friars celebrated almost exclusively our own ritual of Mass and the Divine Office.  Pope Benedict XVI has now called for wider knowledge and use of the older Rite of Mass, including our own Dominican Rite.  Under the Church’s calendar, the feast of St. Dominic is currently celebrated on August 8, but for many centuries before the Second Vatican Council it was celebrated on August 4.  In honor of St. Dominic, Fr. Pius Pietrzyk, OP celebrated the Sung High Mass (Missa Cantata) according to the ancient Dominican Rite on the feast of St. Dominic, August 4, 2012, at the church of St. Patrick in Columbus, OH.  The brothers from the House of Studies served as acolytes for the Mass.  Also in attendance were our former novices, who have since made their first profession.  Pictures of the Mass can be seen by clicking here. Architecture Inspired by St. Dominic In June of this year, Providence College, a ministry of the Province of St. Joseph, began construction on a new academic building, the Ruane Center, which will house the Department of Humanities.  The center is meant to express the College’s commitment to the humanities.  Recently, David Brussat of the Providence Journal wrote an article on the new building, explaining some of the classical sources that influenced its design.  In the article, Mr. Brussat speaks about the nature of Catholic architecture:  “Beauty is the good, the right and the true made visible. In its history, Catholicism long reflected this overarching faith in its church design.”  Lamenting much of the ugliness of modern ecclesial architecture as the “Church of St. George Jetson”, Mr. Brussat praises the collegiate Gothic design of the new building.  “The Ruane Center will thus perform a role common to the humanities, that of mediating between authority (here of man under God) and reason.”  The full article can be seen on the Providence Journal website, on the Architecture Here and Now blog. Conclusion Although Summer means slowing down a bit in many places, the Dominicans of St. Joseph Province stay busy.  And we will try to keep you updated on all the activities of our friars.  To stay informed, keep visiting our Provincial website.  It’s the best way to know the major events of the life of the Province, to learn more about our Dominican history, and share in some of the homilies and writings of our friars.  Heeding our Holy Father’s call to use all forms of modern communication, we also have the iDoms App, which brings you Dominican news, video, and audio from around the world to the convenience of your tablet or smartphone.  You can also follow us on Facebook and TwitterSign up now for the regular journal of our Dominican student brothers, Dominicana. You can even get on-line access.  For those of you who prefer ordering the old-fashioned way, send a check (with your name and address) for $15 (for a one-year subscription) to the Dominicana Editor, 487 Michigan Ave NE, Washington, D.C. 20017.  You can also send a gift subscription. In his words to the Bishops of the United States, who made their five-year visit to the Pope earlier this year, he reminded them of the importance of fostering the vocation or men and women to religious life.  “The urgent need in our own time for credible and attractive witnesses to the redemptive and transformative power of the Gospel makes it essential to recapture a sense of the sublime dignity and beauty of the consecrated life, to pray for religious vocations and to promote them actively.”  We thank you for all of your prayers for our Province, for the abundant fruit it has provided in vocations and in the strengthening of our ministries. May the Lord continue to bless all of the citizens of our nation, that we may be ever freer to follow him with our whole hearts.  And may we all work and pray to build up the kingdom of God in our country and among the people of the United States. Sincerely yours in Christ, Fr. Gabriel Gillen, O.P. Executive Director Dominican Foundation

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