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Our Way Of Life

Our Way Of Life

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What is a Dominican Friar?

Every Dominican is a contemplative preacher. Stephen of Salanhac, O.P., once described the Dominican friar as “a canon by profession, a monk in austerity of his life, and an apostle by his office.” Although an apt illustration, Stephen’s words require a fuller explanation.

Dominicans are not quite canons regular (as are the Norbertines), but we do find great joy in the prayerful recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours. All of our priories and communities pray the Divine Office in choir, offering our praise to God throughout the day.

Dominicans embrace a life of Gospel poverty and simplicity, just as Benedictine or Trappist monks do, but we are not bound to one cloister. As followers of the Rule of Saint Augustine, and exhorted by Saint Dominic’s last will and testament, we “hold all things in common"— as did the first disciples in the Acts of the Apostles.

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Offering our lives to preach the Gospel

Finally, Dominicans share in the office of the apostles by proclaiming the Gospel in every time and place – evangelizing, combating heresy and error, and performing the spiritual works of mercy – but Dominicans are not diocesan priests.

Nourished by our life in common, plus many hours at study and prayer, Dominicans offer our very lives for the sake of preaching the Gospel. What we receive from the Lord, we pass on to others; sharing the fruits of our contemplation, so that all may come to know and love God.

So what, then, is the Dominican friar? He is a contemplative preacher.

Suggested Reading: Early Dominicans by Fr. Simon Tugwell, O.P.

The ministry of the Dominicans has had a profound impact on my life, and we need more of them! That’s why I pray for more vocations to the Dominican Order in the Western Province! “The harvest indeed is great, but the laborers are few!”
- Dayn - Seattle, WA
I look forward to giving hope to the people of God. Despite the challenges that life brings, I want to assure everyone that Christ, in His divine mercy, loves them.
- Fr. Pius
In a new way, I can say that I belong to God. With the utterance of a few words, I became a son of St. Dominic, a brother to a family of preachers, and a joyful slave to our merciful King and His blessed mother.
- Br. Andrew Thomas
When I returned to my seat among friends and family I felt different: I now belonged totally and completely to God. No longer could I say that there was any part of my life that is not His. (On the day of his First Vows)
- Br. Nathaniel Maria
I'm delighted that vocations are up and the quality of the candidates are so good!
- Anne - Rio Vista, CA