Life of Père Jandel Published
June 2, 2015
In time for the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Order of Preachers, New Priory Press has recently published The Life of Père Jandel. Written by his longtime secretary and confidant, Bl. Hyacinthe-Marie Cormier, this biography provides a first-hand account of the man whom Bl. Cormier compared to Bl. Humbert of Romans and Bl. Raymond of Capua. By detailing Jandel’s profound inner life, Bl. Cormier helps explain why Jandel was chosen to lead the Friars Preachers in reform and how he set about accomplishing it. In this way, Bl. Cormier provides a living example of the principals and methods that he considered to be essential to authentic Dominican spiritual life. It serves as an example of what authentic Catholic reform looks like — and what sort of person a reformer is. The Life of Alexandre-Vincent Jandel, now for the first time in English, complements Bl. Cormier’s other major work, Instructions for Novices. This edition includes a new Introduction and four Appendixes:
- An essay on the debate between Henri-Dominique Lacordaire and Jandel about regular observance in the Order
- An essay on Lacordaire’s idea of the Dominican Order
- An essay on Jandel’s idea of the Dominican Order
- Excerpts from Bl. Cormier’s Life of Bl. Raymund of Capua, focusing on his work of reforming the Friars Preachers
The work is the fruit of many years collaboration between the Province of St. Joseph and the Province of St. Albert the Great. The project was organized by Ezra Sullivan, O.P., who also wrote the Introduction and Appendixes, including an essay on the Lacordaire-Jandel debate about “regular observance.” George Christian, O.P. and his late brother, Richard, translated the work from French. Andrew McAlpin, O.P. of New Priory Press helped oversee the production, while Albert Judy, O.P. completed the editing. Provincials from both provinces gave their permission for the book’s publication. In a time when the Dominicans are beginning a new revival, The Life of Père Jandel may prove inspiring and instructive. The book is available at the New Priory Press website and on Amazon.com.