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How Does Music Imitate Nature?

Oct 23, 2014

Fr. Anselm Ramelow, O.P., professor at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, gives a brief description of his lecture below:

That “art imitates nature” is not a widespread claim in contemporary aesthetics. Music in particular will be proposed as a striking counterexample to this claim, since music does not seem to represent or imitate anything. In this lecture, I am going to argue that, to the contrary, music does indeed imitate nature – and this in more than one way. It does so in three ways, corresponding to three senses of “nature.”

There are two typical contemporary outlooks that might agree that music imitates something. One would hold that music imitates phenomena that are already cultural (but not nature as contrasted with culture). As a cultural, postmodern relativism, this proposal is directly contradicted by the equally fashionable proposals of evolutionary biology. The latter theory claims that music is very much in continuity with nature and indeed entirely “natural.” It will be my contention that these outlooks misunderstand what it means for music to imitate nature, and that they understate the complexity of the interrelation of nature and culture in music. A proper understanding, on the other hand, can explain a number of musical features that would remain otherwise unnoticed or unintelligible.

FYI: If you are unable to attend, a link to a video of the lecture will be posted on the CUA website in a few weeks.

Posted by: Michael James Rivera, OP
Category: Theology Philosophy Events Study Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology News 

St. Jude Novena and Pilgrimage

Oct 15, 2014

Our annual novena to St. Jude begins on Monday, October 20th. Daily Masses will be held at the Shrine of Saint Jude Thaddeus at St. Dominic's Church in San Francisco, with Fr. Kieran Healy, O.P., serving as this year's novena preacher. The 11th annual pilgrimage in honor of St. Jude will be on Saturday, October 25th. More details can be found on the Shrine's website at

Posted by: Michael James Rivera, OP
Category: St. Dominic Priory, San Francisco, CA Events Prayer News 

Transitus of St. Francis

Oct 13, 2014

On Friday, October 3rd, our novices joined the Capuchin friars at the National Shrine of St. Francis in San Francisco to commemorate the Transitus (passing of St. Francis). Check out a slideshow of pictures and learn more about the connection between the Franciscans and Dominicans on the Novitiate Blog.

Posted by: Michael James Rivera, OP
Category: Novices Community Prayer Liturgy Vocations News 

Pray the Rosary!

Oct 6, 2014

--By Fr. Reginald Martin, O.P.

When Alan de la Roche established the Rosary Confraternity in 1470, he envisioned a number of free-standing associations inviting the laity to meditate on the gospel by praying the mysteries of the Rosary.

The mission of the Confraternity has changed little in five centuries, but its organization in the Western Dominican Province has evolved from a large number of parish-based groups (whose vitality was necessarily subject to a local pastor or director’s interest) to a single organization with more than 20,000 active members. Fr. Paul Duffner, O.P., undertook this reorganization in 1945, uniting the province’s individual parochial Confraternity associations into an “Archconfraternity.” 

The ministry was further, and significantly, enhanced in the early 1970s, when Fr. Thomas Feucht, O.P., wedded Light and Life to the Rosary BulletinLight and Life was a theological reflection Fr. Feucht began in 1968.  In 1969, at the end of the fiscal year, he pointed to a $50.00 bank balance and boasted, “This is the first publication of the Western Province to show of profit!” The Rosary Center publishes Light and Life six times a year, and it continues to serve as a pulpit for the province’s doctrinal preaching, and offers the province’s friends and Confraternity members the opportunity to contribute, spiritually and materially, to our life, education, and ministry.

The Rosary Center invites Confraternity members, and others, to draw more closely to the gospel by meditating on, and spreading, the gospel truths of the Rosary. The Center achieves these ends by shipping thousands of rosaries to foreign missions and by offering select devotional works – in every media – on the Rosary, the Blessed Virgin, and current developments in Roman Catholic theology and spirituality. The Center, thus, provides its friends the very best in traditional devotional material, and expands the audience for Province members’ new books, CDs, and DVDs.

The Rosary Center depends on the generosity of its many volunteers. These include individuals who make rosaries in their homes, as well as friends who regularly spend one or more days a week in the Center’s office. All will wish to acknowledge Fr. Paul Duffner, O.P., who directed the Rosary Confraternity for half a century, and who (at the tender age of 99!) continues to take a daily part in the Rosary Center’s activities, often performing the most humble tasks. His two books – revised essays originally published in Light and Life – are a fitting tribute to a long and productive priesthood, and a remarkable dedication to the gospel Good News of Mary’s Rosary.

Learn more at our website:

Posted by: Michael James Rivera, OP
Category: Rosary Center Prayer News 

Rosary Sunday Formation Appeal

Oct 3, 2014

Posted by: Michael James Rivera, OP
Category: News 
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Three Sisters as seen from St. Benedict Lodge, McKenzie Bridge, Oregon

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