For 800 years, the mission of the Order of Preachers has been to proclaim the Gospel to every corner of the world. We do this for one simple reason— that every soul may come to know and love Jesus Christ.
It was for this reason that St. Dominic de Guzman founded the Order of Preachers in 1216. Traveling through Spain and southern France with the Bishop of Osma, he encountered many confused people who believed that the physical world was evil and created by an evil god. Dominic saw the need for good preachers who could explain the truth of the Catholic faith and reconcile those who had fallen away.
As members of the Order of Preachers, we are called to follow in Dominic’s footsteps. We imitate his mercy and preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in and out of season. Our life in common, along with our time in study and at prayer, allows us to share the fruits of our contemplation and proclaim the good news to every land and nation.
The Dominicans have given the Church some of her greatest saints, including: St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Catherine of Siena, and St. Martin de Porres. We have spread devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary through the gift of the Most Holy Rosary, promoted the Holy Name Society and the Angelic Warfare Confraternity since their earliest days, and have exclusively served as Theologian to the Papal Household.
Dominicans are not afraid to preach the truth.
- Andrew - Snohomish, WA
I grew tremendously under the influence of the Dominicans. They instilled in me a love for the liturgy, the Eucharist, evangelization, and justice - and above all, love for Christ.
You can trust a Dominican priest to be sound theologically and intellectually challenging; while maintaining a pastoral concern for the people in his care.
Before meeting the Dominicans I had no real thirst to seek the Truth, and now seeking the Truth has become my life's work.
- Bayli - Deming, WA
The Dominicans have helped us immensely in our spiritual growth with their dedication...to praise, to bless, and to preach [the Gospel].
- Elpidio and Maria - Vallejo, CA
The Dominicans are the best preachers I've ever known.
- Erlinda - Benicia, CA
Our Dominican priests and brothers are true gifts!
- Frank and Jan - Oregon City, OR
Dominican preaching is a strong witness to the Gospel!
- Gena - Anchorage, AK
I attended the Newman Center in Salt Lake City over twenty years ago. It was there that I experienced a reconversion of my faith. I truly believe in the Dominicans' mission of training priests to be great preachers. People need to be inspired by the word of God.
- Gretchen - Ellensburg, WA
I've greatly appreciated the service of Dominicans through their orthodox defense of the faith, inspiring preaching, and ministry at parishes and on university campuses.
- Joe - San Diego, CA
Dominicans impressed me as thoughtful, educated and caring. They have an inordinate sense of the importance of community which coupled with their intellectual gifts is truly compelling.
- Kathleen - San Francisco, CA
Dominican preaching has changed my life and reaffirmed my eternal faith.
- Keiko - Brooklyn, NY
The Dominicans preach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus powerfully and knowledgeably. I need this! And so does the Church and the world!
- Keith - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Through intelligent debate and real understanding of human nature, Dominicans model a brave example of Christianity.
- Lindsy - Glendale, CA
The Dominicans welcome, educate, and console us. I love them all.
- Luisa - Los Angeles, CA
As I listen [to Dominican preaching] I understand more the meaning of the Word of God. They easily connect with the people.
- Lydecia - San Diego, CA
Because of the welcoming of Dominicans and my Dad, I have returned to the Catholic Church.
- Margaret - Eugene, OR
So much of who I am today is because of the love, patience, wisdom, and preaching of the Dominicans. They showed me how to be relentless in seeking the truth, and I will be forever grateful. I want future generations to have Friars walking alongside them, teaching them how to fight for Truth, as they taught me
- Mariam - Seattle, WA
Please continue to form orthodox priests and brothers to teach and defend the faith with conviction and love!
- Mario and Theresa - Anchorage, AK
The Dominicans show great love for the people they serve.
- Mark and Patricia - Fairfield, CA
We feel fortunate to be part of the St. Dominic Benicia community, and value the friendship and guidance of many wonderful priests and brothers… Thank you for continuing to draw and form great men into service.
- Michael - Benicia, CA
What I most appreciate about the Dominicans is their joyful and unwavering defense of the Truth, and their annoying tenacity at making sure we understand (and make) distinctions!
- Michelle - Eastsound, WA
Dominican friars have been one of the largest influences on my faith, particularly while participating in their campus ministry at the University of Washington. Spending such a formative time with priests who not only openly and clearly preach the truth, but are also relatable models of how to live the Catholic faith, has taught me how to be an authentic Catholic young adult and show the beauty of God's love to others.
- Mikaela - Puyallup, WA
The Dominicans had a major influence on my learning and owning my faith while in college.
- Mikaela - Puyallup, WA
The Dominican priests helped me through the dark days of my father's passing, illness of a college friend, and loved ones coming down with cancer. Most of the outcomes can't be described other than miraculous! I feel the Dominicans have shown me a path that "turbo-charged" my faith through prayer, and how I can be helpful to others through prayer and corporal acts of mercy. This is something I have never thought could be possible until I witnessed it for myself.
- Mitzi - Antioch, CA
I have become a much stronger Catholic because of the preaching and writing of the Dominicans. I am so grateful for them.
- Nancy - Antioch, CA
We appreciate how Dominicans are committed to Mary, the Church, and defending the truth.
- Nick and Joy - Kirkland, WA
Dominicans taught me Truth, and have directed and inspired me in my personal spiritual life.
- Pat - Napa, CA
The first Mass I attended at a Dominican parish was so refreshingly orthodox and sacred, that I remained at that parish. More than educational, they provide and encourage so many catechetical opportunities to help us grow in our faith.
- Ronald and Toni - Anchorage, AK
We are so grateful for the tireless efforts of the Dominicans who serve us!
- Sarah - Anchorage, AK
The Dominicans impressed us with their consistent dedication to teaching the true faith. I cannot begin to describe the energy and focus these men bring to their work. The ministry that so many Dominicans have provided for my family has left us with a debt that could never be repaid, but we shall try.
- Sarah - Anchorage, AK
We appreciate the lively intellect of Dominicans and their comprehension of sacred texts. They discuss insightfully the internal life with God.
- Suzanne and Peter - Anchorage, AK
I just received your email with the link to "Catholic Spiritual Resources During the Coronavirus Outbreak" -- it is wonderful, much needed, and very much appreciated! In difficult times, the Sons of Dominic really do shine!
- Tara - Washington DC
Dominican friars awakened my faith as a college student through their ministry at the Catholic Newman Center.
- Tom - Littleton, CO
We appreciate the Dominicans for their charism of preaching and defending the truth of the faith.
- Tom and Mary - Ventura, CA
During my wife's life-threatening illness, I discovered the depth of my spirituality that Dominican friars have so graciously given me.
- William - Benicia, CA
We love our Dominican priests and their commitment, hard work, prayerfulness, and preaching.
- Christopher and Theresa - Los Angeles, CA
May God bless [the Dominicans] for bringing the Gospel to a world suffering from spiritual and intellectual poverty. Thank you for giving us hope.
- Daphne - Bellevue, WA
It is not for nothing that the Dominicans enjoy the nickname “God’s Hounds.” Their theological precision, liturgical reverence and pastoral solicitude, all informed and undergirded by a true love of Our Lady, have made them soul hunters of the best pedigree, even after 800 years. By the grace of God, may they have another 800!
- Christopher Check, President, Catholic Answers - San Diego, CA
[Dominicans] speak the truth from the pulpit and make it relatable to the average person.
- Mark and Patricia - Fairfield, CA
Holy Mass, devoutly prayed, with thoughtful and truthful homilies, matter more than ever. The Dominican mission is more important than ever.
- Anonymous Friend - Idaho
I just love and appreciate all the Dominican priests for their holiness, intelligence, preparation, and friendliness.
- Anonymous Friend - Washington State
Priests, Brothers, Nuns, Sisters and Laity
In the Dominican family there are several branches. Although independent of one another in terms of governance, they all share in the charism of preaching, and are united under the Master of the Order of Preachers.
The Friars, both priests and cooperator brothers, profess the vow of obedience and embrace poverty and chastity. While priests are ordained for the ministry of the Sacraments, brothers minister according to their talents and abilities in other ways. Ministries among the Friars include itinerant preaching, parish and campus ministry, teaching in schools and universities, catechetical formation, social work, health care, the arts, internal administration, and much more.
The very first foundation by St. Dominic was the monastery of nuns at Prouille, France. Nuns are cloistered, usually entering a monastery and remaining there for the rest of their lives. Like the friars, they profess the vow of obedience and embrace poverty and chastity. In addition to the Liturgy of the Hours, Mass, and devotions such as perpetual adoration, their days are marked by silence, the necessary climate for contemplation and continuous prayer, for the world and the success of the friars’ preaching. Many communities support themselves by producing hosts for Mass, as well as vestments and other religious articles.
Sisters are active, vowed religious women who are organized into individual congregations. The basis of all their activity is the primary ministry of preaching, although it may manifest itself in many forms: missionary work, teaching, social work, and so on. Like the other branches of the Dominican family, the sisters pray the Liturgy of the Hours, observe a regular practice of prayer and study, and live in community.
Very early in the foundations of the Order, groups of lay people began to associate with the friars and nuns. These associations grew into what we now call the Dominican Laity. They are called to preach in the secular sphere, the marketplace, or wherever their station in life finds them. They make promises to follow the Rule and Statutes of the Dominican Laity, which include meeting on a regular basis, studying, and praying the Liturgy of the Hours. They engage in active ministries such as: service to the poor, teaching, writing, and spiritual counseling. They endeavor to live lives of simplicity and generosity.
Pope Honorius III issued two documents which established the Order of Preachers. Religiosam vitam (included below) was promulgated on December 22, 1216, followed shortly thereafter by Gratiarum omnium largitori.
Honorius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to the beloved sons Dominic, prior of St. Romanus in Toulouse, and his brethren, both present and future, professed in the regular life. In perpetuum.
It is fitting that apostolic protection should be extended to those choosing the religious life, lest temerarious attacks should possibly turn them away from their purpose or, God forbid, destroy the vigour of the sacred religious institute. Wherefore, beloved sons in the Lord, we benevolently assent to your just requests. We take the Church of St. Romanus in Toulouse, where you have given yourselves to the service of God, under the protection of St. Peter and our own, and we secure it with the present written privilege.
In the first place, indeed, we decree that the canonical Order which is known to be established according to God and the Rule of St. Augustine in the said Church should be inviolably preserved forever.
Moreover, that whatever possessions and whatever goods the said church at present justly and canonically possesses or shall be able, the Lord granting, to acquire in the future through the concession of the popes, the liberality of kings or princes, the offerings of the faithful, or other just means, should belong firmly and inviolably to you and your successors. Among these goods, we have deemed it well to name the following: the place itself where the said church is situated, with its properties; the church of Prouille with its properties; the estate of Caussanel with its properties; the church of St. Mary of Lescure with its properties; the hospice in Toulouse, called “the Hospice of Arnold Bernard,” with its properties; the church of the Holy Trinity in Loubens, with its properties; and the tithes which, in his good and provident liberality, our venerable brother Foulques, the bishop of Toulouse, with the consent of his chapter, has given you, as this is more explicitly contained in his letters.
Also let no one presume to exact or extort from you tithes from the fruits of the lands which you cultivate with your own hands or at your own expense, or from the produce of your animals.
Moreover, you may receive and keep, without opposition from anyone, members of the clergy or the laity who are free men and unencumbered by debt, who flee from the world to enter the religious life.
Furthermore, we prohibit any of your brethren, after they have made profession in your church to depart from it without the permission of their prior, except for the purpose of entering a stricter religious institute. If one should leave, let no one dare to receive him without the authorization of a letter from your community.
In the parochial churches which you hold, you may select priests and present them to the bishop of the diocese, to whom, if they are worthy, the bishop shall entrust the care of souls, so that they may be responsible to him in spiritual matters and to you in temporal matters.
We decree further that no one may impose new and unjust exactions on your church, or promulgate sentences of excommunication or interdict on you or your church without a manifest and just cause. When, however, a general interdict shall be laid on the whole territory, it will be permitted to you to celebrate the divine office behind closed doors, chanting in a low voice, not ringing the bells, and excluding those under excommunication and interdict.
The sacred Chrism, holy oils, the consecration of altars or basilicas, and the ordination of clerics who are to be promoted to holy orders, you shall obtain from the bishop of the diocese, so long as he is a Catholic and in grace and communion with the most holy Roman See and is willing to impart these to you without any irregularity. Otherwise, you may approach any Catholic bishop you may choose, provided he be in grace and communion with the Apostolic See; and armed with our authority, he may impart to you what you petition.
Moreover, we grant this place freedom of burial. Let no one, then, place an obstacle to the devotion and last will of those who choose to be buried there, provided they are not excommunicated or under interdict. However, the just rights of the churches from which the corpses are taken must be safeguarded.
When you, who are now the Prior of this place, or any of your successors shall go out of office, no one shall be appointed by secret craftiness or violence; but only he whom the brethren, by common agreement, or whom those brethren who are of more mature and sound judgment shall choose to elect according to God and the Rule of St. Augustine.
Furthermore, the liberties, ancient immunities, and reasonable customs granted to your church and observed up to this time, we ratify and command that they shall endure inviolably for all future time. We decree, therefore, that no one may rashly disturb the aforementioned church, take away its possessions or, having removed, keep them, diminish them, or harass them by any kind of molestation, but all these goods shall be preserved intact entirely for the control, sustenance, and use of those for whom they have been granted, saving the authority of the Apostolic See and the canonical rights of the diocesan bishop.
If, therefore, in the future any ecclesiastical or secular person whosoever, having knowledge of this our document, shall rashly attempt to contravene it, and if, after a second or third admonition, he refuses to correct his fault by fitting satisfaction, let him forfeit the dignity of his power and honor; and let him know that he shall stand guilty of the perpetrated evil before God’s judgment and shall be denied the most sacred Body and Blood of our God and Lord, our Saviour Jesus Christ, and shall, at the last judgment, be delivered to strict vengeance. Nevertheless, may all those who uphold the rights of the said place have the peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, receive the fruit of good action here on earth, and, before the Just Judge, receive the rewards of eternal peace. Amen, amen, amen.
I, Honorius, Bishop of the Catholic Church.
Perfect my steps in your ways. Fare ye well!
[Then follow the signatures of eighteen cardinals.]
Given at Rome at St. Peter, by the hand of Ranerio, Prior of Santo Fridiano in Lucca, Vice-Chancellor of the holy Roman Church, on the eleventh of the kalends of January [December 22], the fifth indiction, the 1216th year of Our Lord’s Incarnation, the first year of the Lord Pope, Honorius III.
Special Celebrations of the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus
January 3: Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Titular Feast of the Province)
January 28: Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, O.P.
February 7: Memorial of Deceased Parents
April 29: Feast of St. Catherine of Siena, O.P.
May 5: Memorial of St. Vincent Ferrer, O.P.
July 22: Memorial of St. Mary Magdalen (Co-patroness of the Order)
August 8: Solemnity of St. Dominic de Guzman, O.P. (Founder of the Order of Preachers)
August 28: Feast of St. Augustine
September 5: Memorial of Deceased Benefactors
October 4: Feast of St. Francis of Assisi
October 7: Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary
October 9: Memorial of St. Louis Bertrand, O.P. (Co-patron of the Province)
October 28: Feast of Sts. Simon and Jude
November 3: Feast of St. Martin de Porres, O.P.
November 7: Feast of All Saints of the Order of Preachers
November 8: Memorial of Deceased Members of the Dominican Family
November 15: Feast of St. Albert the Great, O.P.
November 24: Memorial of St. Catherine of Alexandria (Co-patroness of the Order)
December 12: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Co-patroness of the Province)