Tag: Dominicans

Christian Faith and the Power of Thinking: A Collection of Essays, Marking the Jubilee of the Order

How do friars of the Order of Preachers — an Order founded around study, preaching, prayer and community — best commemorate eight-hundred years of their intellectual and spiritual tradition? Fr. Jay Harrington, OP, Regent of Studies for the Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great and Associate Academic Dean at Aquinas Institute of Theology (St. Louis, MO), invites the modern reader to glimpse into the lineage and tradition of the Dominicans through various lenses in his compilation, Christian Faith and the Power of Thinking: A Collection of Essays, Marking the 800th Anniversary of the Founding of the Order of Preachers in 1216.

In addition to his own chapter on the 13th-century Dominican, Augustine of Dacia, OP, Fr. Harrington includes the essays of Dominican friars from the Provinces of St. Albert the Great and St. Martin de Porres: Fr. Charles Dahm, OP; Fr. James Marchionda, OP; Fr. Thomas O’Meara, OP; the late Fr. Paul Philibert, OP; Fr. Scott Steinkerchner, OP; Fr. Benedict Thomas Viviano, OP; Fr. Mark Wedig, OP; and Fr. Richard Woods, OP. The authors treat their subjects with expertise, the fruits of the labor resulting from extensive intellectual work and practical ministerial application, and definitively within the charism of the Dominican Order.

Cantus Selecti OP – Selection of Fifty Dominican Chants

In this Jubilee Year of the Order of Preachers, I am happy to present this publication of a selection of about fifty chants particularly dear to the tradition of the Order. I am very grateful to the International Liturgical Commission of the Order for having prepared this edition with such great care.

Not long after its confirmation (1216), the Order benefited from the decision of Humbert of Romans, then Master of the Order, to promote the establishment of a common liturgy for the whole Order (1254). In this way a fundamental characteristic of the vocation of the Order was affirmed: to root its mission of preaching in a rich choral life, contemplative and liturgical. Since this time, the celebration, the listening, and the study of the Word of God have together bourn and nourished the preaching of this Word. This attentiveness of the Master of Order Humbert of Romans manifests, in my view, two constitutive elements of the “holy preaching” that Dominic wished to place at the service of the Church. On the one hand, this rooting in liturgical prayer was essential for the unity of life for each brother and each community. On the other hand, vowed to itinerant preaching, according to the mode of Jesus the Preacher, it was suitable for giving to the brothers the conditions necessary foster unity among all the communities.

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Fr Miguel Ángel del Río is the New Vicar of the Master of the Order

The Master of the Order, fr Bruno Cadoré had appointed fr Miguel Ángel del Río as his new vicar. He succeeds fr Vivian Boland who has been the vicar since November 2012. Fr Miguel is of the Province of Hispania and he is currently the Socius of the Master of the Order for Italy, Malta and the Iberian Peninsula

Fr Miguel was born in Barillos of Arrimadas (León) in 1970. He entered the Order in 1989 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1995. After his ordination, he studied Liturgy at the Pontificio Ateneo San Anselmo in Rome and obtained his doctorate in 1998.

He was prior of the Convent of Ntra. Sra. del Camino (León) for six years. Before his appointment, he was assigned to the Convent of San Esteban (Salamanca) and was a professor and secretary of the Faculty and School of Theology of San Esteban.

Dominican Art Exhibit in Australia

In 800 years of their history, many Dominicans (nuns, sisters, friars, and members of the laity) have been involved in the Arts. All over the world, art works by Dominicans are to be found in many churches, monasteries, Dominican institutions and places where Dominicans live and work.

To mark the 800th anniversary of the approval of the naming of the Order of Preachers – the Dominicans – various artists from around the world were invited to hang a piece of their work at the world headquarters for the Dominican Friars at Santa Sabina in Rome from late 2016 through to early 2017.

Contemporary Dominican artists use a variety of mediums and techniques in their work and cover many different themes. Some works depict Dominican saints and those beatified, while others feature topics and themes a round Dominican prayer and spirituality. At the same time, other Dominican artists paint landscapes or portraits and yet others create abstract works on canvass, in sculpture or in stained glass.

Some of these works, such as those by Fr Kim En Joong OP, are now beginning to be discovered in Australia. The Korean born Dominican who lives in Paris, has won many awards for his work which are to be found in many churches, cathedrals, monasteries, and galleries in Europe. Early in 2017 an exhibition of his work will be held in the Vatican. His work has, till now, never been exhibited anywhere in Australia.

Pope Francis Homily at Closing Mass of Dominican Jubilee

The Word of God presents us today two opposite human scenarios: on one hand the ‘carnival of worldly curiosity’ and, on the other, the glorification of the Father through good works. And our life always moves between these two scenarios.

In fact, they exist in every age, as Saint Paul’s words to Timothy demonstrate (cf. 2 Timothy 4:1-5), and also Saint Dominic and his first Brothers, who moved between these two scenarios 800 years ago.

Paul warns Timothy that he must proclaim the Gospel in the midst of a context where people are always looking for new teachers, myths, different doctrines and ideologies … “Prurientes auribsu” (2 Timothy 4:3).

Dominican friar sings on the streets of Manhattan

“I want the Church to go out into the streets,” declared Pope Francis at a youth gathering in Argentina. “I want us to defend ourselves… from all that which means being closed up in ourselves. Parishes, schools, institutions are made in order to come out.”

The Dominicans of the province of St. Joseph took heed.

So, Blackfriar Films — the province’s media division — hit the streets of New York City with Fr. Austin Dominic Litke, Fr. Bob Koopman, O.S.B., and Leah Sedlacek as they performed a new arrangement of the beautiful 17th-century hymn “The Call,” composed by George Herbert and later made famous by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Scenes were filmed at the Brooklyn Bridge, Our Lady of Good Counsel parish, Grand Central Station, Columbus Circle, and the Staten Island ferry.

Aquinas: Homily for Saturday, January 28, 2017

(Listen to today’s homily, “Humility” by clicking the links above.)
Saint Thomas Aquinas is arguably the most important theologian in the Catholic Church. His writings are unparalleled. There is no one who has written more effectively than this doctor of the Church. This is not because he was a Dominican, as wonderful as that is. Rather, it was due to his ability to understand both the natural and supernatural world. Using the writings of Aristotle, he was able to synthesize disconnected areas.

But it was the faith of Aquinas that was, in fact, most important. When asked by the Lord what he sought, he said, “non nisi te”, nothing but you. Saint Thomas Aquinas was first a mystic. The important foundation for him was a powerful relationship with God. As brilliant a man as Saint Thomas was, cultivating a relationship God was most important. God was first.

In fact, it is in this context that the phrase often uttered by frustrated philosophy students and seminarians, (what he wrote was straw) must be understood. Saint Thomas Aquinas appreciated the beauty of his work. But when what he wrote was compared to his experience of God, it was no contest. God was so much more brilliant, beautiful, powerful and loving. It was in that context, that the work of Aquinas was straw. Perhaps the message for today is to see that like Saint Thomas Aquinas, we should desire nothing but God too.

The Closing Mass of the Jubilee: Preparations – Part 1

On 21 January at 4 pm in the Lateran Basilica, Pope Francis will preside over the closing Mass of the Order of Preachers’ 800th Anniversary, an important event which should not only direct our thoughts toward the Order’s history but nourish us for the future as well. Since every Eucharist is the celebration of the Church – in this case particularly one of the Dominican Family – it is good to prepare well for such an event so that we may truly celebrate together, in the fullest sense of the word, remembering that the liturgy is not only about who the celebrant is or who gets to sing in the choir, but rather that it engages and expresses the entire Church with the richness of diverse roles and vocations! Let me thus explain some particularities of this unique celebration.

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