For the feast of St. Dominic, I asked several Dominicans what they would like people to know about the founder of their order, the Order of Preachers. These were responses I received in the order received.
From Timothy Radcliffe, OP, Blackfriars, Oxford:
I would say that one of the things that struck people about St Dominic was his joy. One has the impression that he delighted in talking to people, whoever they were. He had an immediate empathy with people, with their sorrows and joys. It was said that he laughed during the day with his brethren, and wept at night with God. This joy is the beginning of all preaching. The early Dominicans all compared the gospel to new wine, which makes you drunk!
From Thomas McDermott, OP, Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri
Here’s something that you might be able to use:
“Two distinctive features of Dominican spirituality are study and preaching. St. Dominic situated his religious communities not in the countryside, as in the case of monks, but in the center of university cities. Manual labor was replaced by study and the friars could be dispensed from attending parts of the Liturgy of the Hours for purposes of study. What were they to study? Truth–sacred truth. The motto of the Order is Veritas. Study was to inform the contemplative life of the Dominican friar and preaching, in all its forms, was the overflow. Another motto is, “To preach, and to share with others the fruits of one’s contemplation.” The official name of Dominican order is the Order of Preachers. Democracy has always been a hallmark of the Dominicans. Major and local superiors are elected by the friars themselves. General chapters of the Order take place every three years to respond to current needs and keep the Order’s legislation up to date.”
Here’s a good source for biographies of St. Dominic and other OP saints, http://www.domcentral.org/trad/
From Michael Fones, OP, Co-director, Catherine of Siena Institute
I would want people to know that he was in such love with God that it was said of him that “he was always either talking to God or talking about God.” I say this is a sign of his great love of God because we naturally want to be in conversation with our beloved, and he or she is always so much on our mind that we inevitably talk to others about them.
From Sr. Barbara Long, OP, Holy Cross Parish, Santa Cruz
St. Dominic’s ministry is as contemporary today as it was in the 13th century. Dominic realized that we need to meet people where they are at. He didn’t wait for people to come to him, but encountered them in the every day activities of their lives and shared the Gospel message.
My thanks to these and other dedicated brothers and sisters of St. Dominic for sharing your gifts and insights.Read More