Religious Sign Value

Just a few weeks ago, a man approached me as I marched with my brothers and sisters up Constitution Avenue. “Hey! I was curious … who are you guys?” Having commonly fielded this question, I answered, “We’re called Dominicans. We’re … Continue reading

The Glory of the Hidden Stars

He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world (Jn 1:8-9). The cold keeps many from wondering at a January night sky where every star, … Continue reading

Whistler’s Mother

On this great feast day, when we remember the good and solicitous Virgin of Guadalupe, I am reminded of another, no less familiar, image. The reader may well identify the black-clad lady portrayed above as the mother of James Abbot … Continue reading

Sainthood: A Place That I Will Show You

Today we are a week away from our big All Saints Vigil celebration here at the Dominican House of Studies. As we prepare for this event, it occurred to me to ponder what it means to be a saint, and … Continue reading

To the Parents of a Black Sheep

Every family seems to have someone who sticks out above the rest, for better or for worse. It is not uncommon today to have parents who consider one (or more) of their children to be the “black sheep” of the … Continue reading

In the Breach

One of the homeless men in the basement was snoring. Loudly. Some years before I entered the Dominican Order, in the middle of a Confirmation class I was teaching, one student announced that he didn’t really believe in the Real … Continue reading

You Shall Be a Sign for Them

Poor Ezekiel. Obedient to God’s request, the prophet packed a bag, dug through a wall with his hands, and, in the evening, scrambled through that hole and wandered off into the darkness while other people looked on. Many of them … Continue reading

Divine Election

When the Gospels record the calling of the Twelve, none of them offers us the qualifications of the Apostles. Nowhere do we find a collection of resumes or CVs that explain to us why Jesus chose those Twelve men. Apart … Continue reading

Prenups with God

A few months ago, thirteen friars, including myself, made solemn vows. We offered everything to God, including all our possessions. But before the big day, a few friends and family members made some startling suggestions. Some counseled me to keep … Continue reading

The Priesthood and Spiritual Maternity

The vocation to be a spiritual mother for priests is largely unknown, scarcely understood, and, consequently, rarely lived, notwithstanding its fundamental importance. It is a vocation that is frequently hidden, invisible to the naked eye, but meant to transmit spiritual … Continue reading

Letter to My Brother

Hey Brother, So, we’re off. It’s one day after Pentecost and we’re getting a taste of the apostolic life, jumping into cars and hopping onto planes. Sorry I didn’t catch up with you before departure day. Summer assignments arrive so … Continue reading

GPS pro Anima

I was speaking with someone recently who confessed that, even when she knows where she is driving, she’ll use her GPS. “I like having a voice there talking to me,” she explained with a sheepish laugh. “It keeps me company.” … Continue reading

A Voice I Did Not Know

God never appeared to me and told me in clear and audible words what I was supposed to do with my life. He never told me to be a Dominican. Or maybe He did, and I just didn’t recognize His … Continue reading

Buried in the Prairie

Today I will be burying my grandmother. After 96 years of life, she returned to the Lord in the early morning of Easter Sunday. Despite the sadness, everyone in the family, every branch in that great tree, thought to themselves, … Continue reading

Martha or Mary?

To pray or do good? This seems to be the dilemma of anyone trying to live a Christian life. On the one hand St. Thomas Aquinas says that “the contemplative life is more excellent than the active,” but on the … Continue reading

What are you?

“So, what ARE you, anyway?” This is a question Dominicans get asked frequently. People don’t expect to see a bunch of young and joyful men wearing 13th-century garb—who are not play actors. I typically give the answer that we are … Continue reading

Moved to Remain

I have never mended a net. It seems like a tedious enterprise. As of now at least, there is no talk of the Dominican House of Studies entering into a net-mending apostolate, and for that I am grateful. In this … Continue reading

Advent Conference Audio: Mother Teresa

Dominicana is happy to offer this audio recording of “Jesus Messed Everything Up.” It was given by Br. John Thomas Fisher, O.P. as part of the 2016 Advent Conferences at the Dominican House of Studies. Series flyer with more information … Continue reading

Advent Conference Audio: Louis and Zélie Martin

Dominicana is happy to offer this audio recording of “And They Sought Him.” It was given by Br. Josemaría Guzmán-Domínguez, O.P. as part of the 2016 Advent Conferences at the Dominican House of Studies. Series flyer with more info found … Continue reading

Becoming a Saint

Saints drive me crazy at times. Praying The Litany of Dominican Saints and Blesseds or reading Saint Dominic’s Family by Sr. Mary Jean Dorcy is both very inspiring but also depressing. The saints we rightly celebrate accomplished many great works … Continue reading

Mirrors of Mercy

Dominicana is happy to offer this audio recording of “Mirrors of Mercy,” a reflection given at last night’s Vigil of All Saints by Br. Irenaeus Dunlevy. The vigil focused on readings from four saints: John Chrysostom, Catherine of Siena, John Paul … Continue reading

The Unkempt Man

Brother’s having a really rough day. He wakes up at 7:08 am, throws on his habit, bounds bleary-eyed down two flights of stairs, and makes it to the chapel as the lector finishes the first reading. After Mass, Brother finishes … Continue reading

The Shackles of Love

In the 2007 movie Juno, a married man waiting to adopt a child gets cold feet. He not only backs out of the adoption, but he also leaves his wife. While he’s working toward this decision, he laments that his … Continue reading