"Go, sell what you have and give to the poor, then come and follow me!" Mt. 19:21

"Go, sell what you have and give to the poor, then come and follow me!" Mt. 19:21

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

New Provincial & Vocation Websites (and a new Hymnarium)




+ the other provincial website has a lot of great info as well: DominicanFriars.org

We have a new Hymnarium for our Province. Please help us spread the news about these new projects.

Monday, September 16, 2013

"Come & See" April 2014 Dominican Vocation Weekend

The next vocation weekend will be April 4-6, 2014 at the Dominican House of Studies in DC. Already it is half full. Plan ahead and contact the vocation director to reserve your space. In recent years our four annual vocation weekends at the Dominican House of Studies have each been full.  

Our first vocation weekend this year (September 27-29, 2013) was full two months before ...so plan ahead.
No matter where you ultimately go to serve the Lord, our vocation weekends are an excellent opportunity to learn more about religious life in general. These weekends are the fastest way to concretely learn a lot about the Order of Preachers (and our province) in a very short period of time.
Over 120 men pass through on our vocation weekends annually, not to mention many others who visit informally or other times during the year. If one of the four vocation weekends this academic year will not work for your schedule, it is possible to visit us another time (preferably during the week and during the academic year) either here in DC or at another house or priory of our province.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

"What is the Novitiate?"

Fr. Benedict Croell OP with 2013 novitiate class
Words plain and simple from Fr. James Sullivan OP, the Master of Novices for the Dominican Province of St. Joseph.

"In the Province of St. Joseph, novitiate is the normal beginning to a man's formation as a Dominican friar. To think of it as a year-long retreat would not be wrong, nor would it be wrong to think of it as a year-long boot camp. Novices learn how to pray, study, and share their lives together. They also need to learn how to walk (especially in the habit), eat in public, and live without e-mail and the internet. By its very nature the novitiate is testing out the Order and the Order is testing out the novice. Each is asking of the other: 'Does all of this really fit together?'

Fr. James Sullivan OP
Novice Master, w/friars

The greatest way to conceive of the novitiate and therefore to come to know its ultimate purpose is to understand it in terms of holiness of life. The goal of the novitiate is to provide the novice everything needed for him to be converted more profoundly to Christ by living the Dominican life. If this doesn't happen in the novitiate, why would anyone want to stay in the Order? If this does happen in the novitiate, how could anyone ever leave?"

Office of Advancement, Province of St. Joseph

+next Vocation Weekend at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington DC

Thursday, September 12, 2013

An Army of Friars: New 2013 Vocation Poster

With 70 friars in formation for the Dominican Province of St. Joseph (Eastern) in our novitiate at St. Gertrude Priory in Cincinnati and in the Dominican House of Studies in Washington DC, we felt the time has come to produce a vocation poster of the young ones!  So here it is.  Two hi-res PDF version 1 and PDF version 2 to print out (11 x 17 size paper) and help us spread the word.


Thanks to our Office of Advancement, this is the first time we have ever produced such a poster, which is being sent to our parishes and campus ministries.  Our vocation office also sent a smaller version of the poster to most of the campus ministries within the Province of St. Joseph with the help of our vocation committee at St. Gertrude parish.  If we missed your campus ministry, please do let us know!

Please remember to pray for this army of Dominicans in formation as they prepare to be Preachers of the Word for the "salvation of souls!"

For those of you who would like to help with our mission (mouths to feed and education), you can click here - thank you and continue to pray for vocations

Dominican Cooperator Brother

Dominican Cooperator Brother

Preaching the Gospel to the whole world

Do you have a desire to intensify your personal relationship with Jesus and to share this relationship in service to your brothers and sisters in Christ in the world today?
Are you interested in being poor, joyful, disciplined, learned, rooted in prayer and eager to live the life of a Dominican Cooperator Brother?
Are you interested in joining us in continuing the great tradition of the Dominican Order through contemplation and sharing the fruit of that contemplation in service to others?
Are you ready to take the risk of following the path and vision of St. Dominic in order to spread the Gospel message of true compassion and healing wherever people are in need?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, God may be calling you to become a Dominican Cooperator Brother!

Who Are We?

Dominican Cooperator Brothers in the Order of Friars Preachers are men consecrated to the Word who believe our vocation is rooted in our baptism and given full expression through our Solemn Profession. We are men who have freely, without condition or limitation, heard and responded to God's call to come preach with Him.
We believe that our lived expression of the Dominican vocation, through the vows of obedience, poverty and chastity, is centered in, and radically dependent, on a common life devoted to prayer and liturgy, study and scholarship, preaching and other ministries, and especially by caring for one another in community.
We  are committed, courageous, free, happy and holy. We freely endure suffering and loss and willingly become vulnerable in our personal transformation in order to cooperate with God’s Word and then share this Word with our brothers in community and with the world.
We are inheritors of Dominic’s vision and the charism of our Order. We model the life and ministry of Saints like Martin dePorres and Juan Macias who cared for their brothers and the unwanted of their day.

Our Dominican vocation:  What does it mean to have a vocation as a Dominican Cooperator Brother?  The vocation of the Dominican Brother is at the very core of  Dominican Life. Modeled after St. Dominic, our life is:
  • centered in our universal call to holiness and our mission within that call to bring ourselves and others into an intimate relationship with Jesus.
  • a mystery unfolding which provides a unique witness that all Dominican Friars, both ordained and non-ordained, are first and foremost consecrated religious bound together as "friars" (brothers) by our common religious profession.
  • through our vows, the means by which we become full inheritors of St. Dominic’s vision and unrestricted sharers in the charism of his Order. What is unique about the ministry of the Dominican Cooperator Brother? Our ministry is joined with that of our priest-brothers,
  • the dynamic expression of St. Dominic’s vision. It empowers us to enter into the lives of people and travel to places wherever the Holy Preaching is desperately needed.
  • exciting, challenging and life-giving because it is imbued and driven by the power of God’s Word. Our lifelong commitment through the vows and regular observance together with  our various ministries cooperate with this Word to transform our hearts and minds, as well as those of our brothers in community, and all those to whom they are sent.
  • preaching from many pulpits, Brothers respond not merely with words - but with the Word of God that lives in our hearts.  We are called by Divine Providence to be contemplative preachers in the Third Millennium and are, by profession, committed and obligated to the Holy Preaching, to one another and to the whole world.
The Formation Program for Cooperator Brothers:
The formation program for men who are called to Dominican life and ministry as Cooperator Brothers consists of several phases:

The Aspirancy

This provides the opportunity for interested men to discern their vocation while remaining at home and in their current employment or career activities. The length of this phase depends on the needs of the individual and the assessment by the Director of Vocations. During this phase, suitable aspirants are invited to formally apply for admission to the Province. CLICK HERE FOR ASPIRANCY GUIDELINES
The Novitiate
If the aspirant is accepted by the vocation council and provincial, a two week residential program immediately precedes the beginning of the Novitiate.The Novitiate is the formal beginning of Dominican life during which the novice comes to a better understanding of his vocation as a Dominican Cooperator Brother, the nature of Dominican life and ministry, liturgy and prayer, and the history of the Order.  The novice is clothed with the Dominican habit at the beginning of the Novitiate. At the conclusion of this one year period the novice petitions for permission to make Simple Profession of Vows, for a period up to three years.

Ministry Formation Program

This builds on the foundation began in the Novitiate and focuses on the continued preparation for community life and ministry. Student cooperator brothers will participate with student clerical brothers in a common formation program for Dominican life and mission under the direction of the Master of Students and his assistants that includes preaching, the common life, study, spiritual direction, living the evangelical counsels, liturgy and prayer, and pastoral competencies and behaviors of public ministers..
The specific formation program for ministries of cooperator brothers, i.e. preaching, community and professional (described below), is under the direction of the Master of Cooperator Brothers who is charged with the responsibility to assess the interests and competencies of the Brothers and to facilitate their preparation for ministry in collaboration with the Master of Students, the Prior Provincial and the Regent of Studies.
The Ministry Formation Program extends for five years following the completion of the Novitiate. Three years following First Profession of Vows, Brothers petition again to make Solemn Profession which binds them to the Order for life.
Ministries of Cooperators Brothers: Responding to the mission and needs of the Province of St. Joseph, the Church and the talents of the brother, three options for ministries may be pursued:
  • 1. Preaching Ministries: religious education programs, catechetical formation, campus and parochial ministries, retreats and workshops, lay evangelization, pastoral counseling; 
  • 2. Community Ministries: financial management and supervision, maintenance and services of buildings and properties, health care of the brothers, food service management, sacristans, musicians, liturgical planners, stewards of devotional shrines;
  • 3. Professional Ministries: social work, counseling, health care services, administration and management, teaching, pastoral administration, communications media and the internet, artistic design.

Please Come Preach with us 

For nearly eight hundred years, Dominican Cooperator Brothers, impelled with the power and grace of the Eucharist, the Sacrament of Charity, have followed the vision of St. Dominic and “gone forth into the whole world to proclaim the good news to all creation” (Mk 16:25). As Dominican Cooperator Brothers we freely and generously bring to others the gifts of our presence and our lives vowed to the Order’s mission of evangelization through preaching. The greatest gift we as Dominican Cooperator Brothers are privileged to bring to the encounter with others is the very person of Jesus in the Eucharist made flesh in them. In your discernment please listen patiently, pray persistently, then come and preach with us!

+ click here for the next vocation weekend at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington DC

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

St. Dominic and the Rosary

The Rosary

The rosary is a method of prayer which engages the whole person, body and soul. Words are recited, beads fingered, scenes imagined, affections awakened, doctrines pondered and virtues willed. Like the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the rosary is threefold, because of its joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries.

The rosary is a devotion for the simple and the intellectual, the young and the old, the busy and the free, the lay and the religious. A blessed Rosary is a sacramental that can be carried around, held or kissed, even when not recited. It can be prayed in community or alone, as a whole or in part.


The Rosary includes the perfect prayer which our Lord taught to the Apostles, the Our Father. It also includes the Hail Mary, which draws from pivotal events recorded in Scripture. It praises God and helps His People in need. Certainly, the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours are superior forms of prayer, but the Rosary is called “Our Lady’s Psalter” because, instead of 150 Psalms, it has 150 Hail Marys. The Rosary is the only method of prayer which is celebrated throughout the universal Church with a Liturgy, namely, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.


In ancient times, there was a custom of counting prayers with pebbles in a bowl. Eventually beads were strung together to count them. On the other hand, illiterate monks and nuns, instead of memorizing the Psalms, used to recite 150 Our Fathers, probably in groups of 50. In the 14th century, Christians used a “string of Paternosters.” Around 1400, Dominic of Prussia combined 50 Hail Marys with phrases referring to Jesus and Mary. It was called the “Rosarium” or Rose Garden. Alan de la Roche, O.P. (1428-79), who did much to spread the Life of Saint Dominic, may have confused him with this monk of the same name. Another monk, Henry Kalkar divided the Hail Marys into decades separated by Our Fathers. In the 16th century, the Doxology or Glory Be was added, as well as the second half of the Hail Mary. At this time also, in 1573, the Dominican pope, Saint Pius V instituted the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. In 1716, Clement XI made the feast universal. It is now celebrated every year on the 7th of October.
There have been other traditions that were assimilated or faded away. In some places, for example, the leader of the Rosary would declare a different mystery for each Hail Mary! Although the Church generally settled on fifteen mysteries, there has been a trend in recent years to emphasize other events in the Gospels. It almost seems like a defect to ignore the Flight to Egypt, the Baptism of Jesus, His temptations in the desert, His teaching and ministry, the Transfiguration, and the Last Supper to mention a few (though some of these can be seen in John Paul II's Luminous Mysteries). Still, the fifteen mysteries do not exclude meditation on these other events (and filled out with the Luminous Mysteries). They are not rigid partitions. Likewise, the division into joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries may appear to be somewhat artificial because one can find these three properties throughout the fifteen mysteries, nevertheless, the categories themselves foster profound insights into our relationship to God. There are today a few firmly established forms of recitation, with one dominating form, but the development of the Rosary, guided by heaven, continues. For instance, Our Lady of the Rosary, as She identified herself at Fatima in 1917, asked the young visionaries to include a new prayer after each decade, "O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell; lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of Thy Mercy."


There is a legend that our Lady appeared to Saint Dominic to give him the Rosary, to teach him how to pray it and to commission him to propagate the devotion. This story was circulated by Saint Louis-Marie Grignon de Montfort, the great Marian priest of the Dominican Third Order. The story is also mentioned in several papal encyclicals and in other authoritative sources, but it lacks historical evidence. It may indeed be true, but there is no documentation from the early 13th century to prove or disprove it. On the contrary, the meticulous depositions taken from eyewitnesses to investigate the life of Saint Dominic during his canonization process, although they mention many of his miracles and revelations, say nothing about the Rosary (although testimony during the process for canonization told of how St. Dominic told the brethren that Our Lady did appear to him). Historical records, in fact, tell us a different story about the origin of the Rosary, saying that it developed in stages.  With its emphasis on the Incarnation, certainly the Dominicans' preaching of the Rosary has played a significant role in rooting out heterodox influences on the Catholic Faith in our own day.  The Holy Rosary continues for Dominicans and for the whole Church to be a popular form of prayer. May our Lady of the Rosary pray for us and for the New Evangelization!