Charism



Can an 800 year-old Religious Order 

possibly be relevant in this ‘post-modern’ world?

If you are talking about the Dominican Order, 
the answer is emphatically - “YES”!

Why?
 Because St Dominic, in founding the Order of Preachers in the early 13th century, built it on the great rocks of perennial significance.
  • The salvation of souls
  • Fidelity to the Doctrine of the Church
  • Truth and integrity of life in witnessing to the Gospel
  • A spirituality and life-style in harmony with classical Catholic tradition.
 Who will try to say that in our days, souls are not being lost: that the Church is not being scorned and ignored; that religious lies and heresy are not rampant and that millions of people are not ‘chasing the wind’ of materialism and false ideologies?

Most of what is needed to remedy such gigantic ills lies in the concept of St Dominic’s Order with its catch-cry “to praise, to bless, to preach”, its self-descriptive purpose - “to contemplate and to give to others the fruits of contemplation, and its great standard “Veritas - Truth”.

What are the features of the way of life 
laid down by St Dominic?
Monastic Observance
The Dominican lives under the discipline of Monastic Observance deliberately chosen by St Dominic as the context for his Order with its round of prayer and preaching. The discipline of the common life and the daily routine of monastic-type silence, prayer and devotional practices creates an environment in which contemplation is possible, fraternal charity can flourish and God’s will can be wholeheartedly pursued.

Study and the Intellectual Life:  
The Order was established by the Church as an order of preachers.  St Dominic built into the legislation of the Order conditions which would both demand and facilitate life-long study for each of its members - not study for its own sake but study of the things of God and of all knowledge that may deepen and enrich human experience and bring about the salvation of souls. 

Liturgical Life:
The celebration of the Sacred Liturgy is counted among the chief functions of  the Dominican vocation. St Dominic was a man of the Church and his whole spiritual thrust was a liturgical one. He has built into the fabric of his Order’s legislation and customs his love for the full and dynamic celebration of Divine Liturgy.

Apostolate:
The Dominican is called to be an apostle, preaching the Gospel by word, but more especially by personal example and witness. The Church has always taught that the prayer, penance and witness of a religious man or woman is his or her primary apostolate.

This is especially true for the Dominican. St. Dominic knew, rightly, that the effectiveness of the external work of preaching depended on the true spirituality and integrity of life of the preacher.

So, prayer, study, preaching, liturgy, monastic observance, community and the apostolate of preaching: the essence of Dominican life and spirit consists largely in an ordered integration of all these elements.
Saints of the Order
The Dominican ideal has had an almost infinite variety of embodiments. In the Dominican calendar of saints there are over a hundred and ten saints and "blesseds" each one with their own special gifts within the Dominican charism among them great saints such as:
St Catherine of Siena -
one of the principal patrons of our community

  • St. Dominic - the apostolic contemplative
  • St. Thomas Aquinas - great "angelic" Doctor of the Church.
  • St. Catherine of Siena - Dominican tertiary and Doctor of the Church.
  • St. Hyacinth - Missionary
  • St Raymond - Canonist
  • St. Peter - Martyr
  • St. Pius V - Reforming Pope
  • St John (Fra Angelico) - artist.
  • St. Rose of Lima - Dominican tertiary and mystic.
  • St. Vincent Ferrer - preacher and wonder-worker.
  • St. Martin de Porres - servant of Christ in the poor.
The list goes on and on. It is a mixed collection - men and women, clergy and laity; some famous, some hidden and obscure; united around a love for Truth which comes from God and leads to God.