Another Vocation Weekend at Dominican House of Studies
September 19, 2014
September 19–21 marks the first of four vocation weekends at the Dominican House of Studies this year. More than twenty-five young men will make their way to DC for a closer look at the Province of St. Joseph and the Dominican way of life. The weekend is a busy one: plenty of prayer, discussion, lectures, silent meditation, and, of course, recreation with the friars at the House. Friars from within and without the House will be presenting on various topics, including Dominican spirituality, preaching, history and vocation. In a brief interview, Fr. Benedict Croell, OP, Vocations Director for the Province, fielded a few questions concerning vocation weekends: What is your main objective for a vocation weekend? The Lord Jesus is calling many young men to follow Him in the way of our holy father, St. Dominic. We want to give these men the chance to “Come and See” (Jn. 1:39). I believe these weekends are a service to the Church. Some of the men who come have little or no experience of religious life. They may have only read about it. To walk into the Dominican House of Studies with almost 90 friars is an experience of Catholicism most of them have never had. Our objective is to help them hear the Lord’s Call in peace within the context of our common life. What is the most important part of a vocation weekend? Certainly the time the men spend in prayer (both liturgical and personal) is the most important. It is the Lord who calls, and ultimately He will give them the grace to respond. After that, our Friday evening events set the tone for the weekend. We have vespers, dinner, a holy hour with compline, and a talk on our charism followed by recreation with all the friars. Believe it or not, by then they have experienced our fraternity and the joy the brothers have in living this life. It all becomes a real possibility for them. What do you wish people knew about a vocation weekend? We have about 100 men passing through four vocation weekends every academic year. A number of them come from our campus ministries, parishes or Providence College. Others visit us at other times and during summer gatherings around our province. I think people would be pleasantly surprised that I can barely keep up with the correspondence of all the men contacting me! Really it is quite extraordinary how much interest there is. I would ask all of you reading this to keep praying for vocations to the Order of Preachers – it is working! Is there any place people can go to learn more about your work and vocations to the Province? A lot of what happens in our office of vocations was laid out in a recent interview I did for the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS). In answer to Fr. Benedict’s request, please pray for the men visiting at the Dominican House of Studies this weekend, as well as for those who may be interested in the Dominican religious life! For more information about vocation weekends, head on over to the vocations website at opeast.org.