Order of Preachers

  • Permalink Gallery

    22nd December – 800th Anniversary of the Approval of our Order

22nd December – 800th Anniversary of the Approval of our Order

Today we unite with all our Dominican brothers and sisters throughout the world in giving thanks for the life and example of our holy father, Dominic and for all his followers over the past 800 years. On the 22nd December 1216 he obtained Papal approval for his vision of an Order of Preachers. May we his sons and daughters continue to bring the love, light, joy and hope of Christ to the people of our times.More information on Order of Preacher and 800th Jubilee can be found here

Novena to St Dominic 2015 – Day 7

Pope Francis has announced that the coming year-2016 will be a year dedicated to the Mercy of God for the whole Church, and by a happy coincidance our Order is celebrating the 800th Jubilee of its foundation. Reading through the Libellus and other documents of these early days I find that one of the most frequently mentioned characteristics of St. Dominic is his compassion, again and again we read of his long night vigils as he struggles with God to have Mercy on all His children, especially his most wayward ones.   Mercy Mercy, he cried, Lord have mercy on your children. What will become of sinners ?Dominic could resonate with the beautiful lines from the poet on mercy and this was surely his way of thinking and his way of seeing life.               “The quality of mercy is not strained—-it droppeth like the gentle dew from heavenUpon the place beneath:  it is twice blest;——-it blesseth him that gives and him that takes”                                                                                                                        ShakespeareSt Lukes’ Gospel on the Proddigal Son would have been especially dear to Dominic. It is said that he pondered with Mary the Word of God and St Paul’s letters that he always carried with him, knowing them almost by heart.    We can see him pleading with and sharing the full depth of this story with the man in the inn as they talked and argued all night  long, and also with the sinners who were drawn to him, as they sensed that here was a man who would listen to their story and understand their problems, and sinfullness.—I will arise and go to mt Father—I have sinned […]

Novena to St Dominic 2015 – Day 4

St Dominic and the RosaryToday we reflect on our Dominican tradition of devotion to the Holy Rosary and we quote from a letter (September 1985) by Fr Damian Byrne OP when he was Master of the Order. The Dominican legend of the Rosary – “The barren land”The order was born into a barren land: dichotomized humanity, with flesh warring against the spirit, with woman downgraded and life itself despised, was unable to accept the reality of the Word made flesh, dwelling in the midst of us. There was only one answer, and it was summed up in the simple words: “Hail… the Lord is with you… you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son…” (Luke 1: 28-31).Whatever critical historians may have to say about the Legend of the Rosary, it bears witness to the charismatic gift entrusted by the Church to the Order of Preachers, a gift which we must exercise by reason of profession, by our legislation and by the constant exhortation of the See of Rome.The Legend, as such, is worth recalling in these days of renewed insistence on our preaching ministry: After much fruitless labour, tradition has it that the Mother of God appeared to Dominic in the forest of Bouconnenear Toulouse: “Wonder not that until now you have had such little fruit from your labours. You have spent them on a barren soil, not yet watered with the dew of divine grace. When God willed to renew the face of the earth he began by sending down the fertilizing dew of the Angelic Salutation. Preach my Rosary composed of one hundred and fifty Aves, and you will obtain an abundant harvest.”True devotion to MaryIt places Mary in her […]

Novena to St Dominic 2015 – Day 3

In the Fundamental Constitution of the Order we find the phase “following in the footsteps of the Saviour, speaking among themselves or their neighbours, either with God or about God.”  In the Process of Canonisation the Brethren indicated that this was wholly characteristic of Dominic their founder – frequently repeating that he “only spoke to God or about God.”Yet this formula is not a creation of Dominic – he borrowed it from the founder of the Order of Grandmont, St Stephen of Thiers: The virtuous man should always speak of God or with God; for in his prayer he speaks with God and with his neighbour of God”This sentence makes clear how the synthesis of the two aspects of Dominican life operate together, and transcend all dualism.  Our life will have all the more unity, when our activity is rooted and flows from our union with God.St Dominic was a person who was undivided in himself, because he was open to all.  He was open to all because the one love that is the source of all – the form of all and the end of all – is one in him and in all.  He was capable of experiencing the truth that we are completely rooted and grounded in God’s love.The following quotation from Love and Living by Thomas Merton is relevant here: “Christianity is a religion of the Word.  The Word is Love, but we sometimes forget that the Word emerges first of all from silence.  When there is no silence, then the one Word which God speaks, is not truly heard as Love. Then only ‘words’ are heard. ‘Words’ are not Love, for they are many and Love is […]

Novena to St Dominic 2015 – Day 2

On this second day of our Novena in honour of St. Dominic, I cannot help calling to mind one of the great outstanding qualities of St. Dominic, namely, that of his zeal.  The dictionary describes it as ’an  intense enthusiasm for a cause’, and those belonging to the family of St. Dominic are only too well  aware how well this description fits his intense enthusiasm for the salvation of souls.So much so that he spent his nights and much of his day in prayer, pleading for their salvation, even to the point of offering himself to be cut in pieces to be placed at the gates of hell to save poor sinners.  This reminds us of the words of Jesus in St. John’sGospel (Ch.2) ‘Zeal for your house devours me’.Oh, how zealously St. Dominic laboured to bring Christ’s mercy and healing to the people of his time – surely in our day he longs even more  to reach out to our needy sisters and brothers, which he does, through the ministry of his many sons and daughters in every part of the world – for those caught up in drug and alcohol addictions, in sexual abuse, slave trading, human trafficking, abortion of innocent babies in the womb and suicide to mention only some of the desperate needs that plague our world in this new millennium.  It was to bring the compassion and healing of Jesus to such needy peoples that St. Dominic founded his Order –  specifically for their salvation.  We read in the Book of Numbers (Ch.25)  ‘the Lord said to Moses: ‘Phinehas the priest, has turned my wrath away from the children of Israel my people, because he was the […]

Novena to St Dominic – 2015 – Day 1

  Jesus said to His disciples: “The kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea that brings in a haul of all kinds.” Mt 13:47The opening words of the Gospel reading we heard today at Mass seemed to me to be a very fitting description of the Order of Preachers – and providential, that we have been given these words at the beginning of our novena to St Dominic.In its almost 800 years of life, the Order of Preachers has proven itself to be like the dragnet Jesus spoke about – attracting to itself people of all kinds, rich in diversity; of every shape and size; from every corner of the earth – and each one has found in it a home; a place where they feel welcome and to which they belong; and a place where they have discovered they can be free to be themselves; a place of mercy where they have found acceptance and love – the beginning, perhaps, of eternity?We know that St Dominic was inspired primarily from the hours he spent in contemplation at the foot of Christ’s Cross; that his sole prayer for himself was that he be given the gift of perfect charity.  The shape of the Cross is the shape of the greatest commandments we have been given by the Lord Jesus: that we love God with all our heart and soul; with all our mind and strength; and that we love our neighbour as ourselves.  When Jesus had His arms outstretched on the Cross, His embrace of humanity was without limit; without condition and with the capacity to enfold in His mercy everyone who went to Him and sought Him there … and […]