Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How do Dominicans Differ From Other Groups in the Church?

There are three main groups of people in the Catholic Church.
First there is the largest group, the lay faithful. Their role in the Church is to engage in temporal affairs and bring the message of the Gospel into the secular world. They do this in the family, in work, in the political sphere, and so forth.
The second group is the ordained priests. They are consecrated by the Sacrament of Holy Orders to carry out apostolic ministry for the salvation of people, mostly in parishes and diocesan organizations. These are the priests that you are accustomed to come in contact with. They live in a diocese with the bishop as their immediate superior. They are known as ‘secular priests’.
Ordained priests may also be ‘regular priests’ because they follow a ‘regula’ or rule. They do not belong to a diocese but to the universal Church and are at the disposal of the Pope to go where and when he asks. They belong to the following group.
The third group in the Church is consecrated persons, either female or male; the latter may be either priests or brothers. They are more commonly known as ‘religious’. Their specific, but not exclusive, characteristic is to be like Christ who was chaste, poor and obedient. Of course, all people are meant to have these characteristics but consecrated people undertake to live this way of life which is common to all the baptized, in a more intimate and personal manner.
Dominicans belong to ‘regulars’ and the consecrated sections. As such they differ from secular priests and from other Orders, Congregations or Institutes of priests.
There are more than a hundred different Orders and Congregations in the Church. These differ from one another because they see a particular aspect of Christ’s life which they seek to follow. St. Dominic saw Jesus as an itinerant preacher. He intended to have the priests who would follow him spend their time in preaching and in preparing through study to spread the word of God by word of mouth, by the pen, by other modern methods of communication.

By Fr. Paschal Tiernan OP.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Persistent Voice

A vocation to be a Dominican can begin with this whisper of a persistent voice within. At time most would like this voice to go away. This voice like a favorite tune in the mind stay with us like a leach. Some of us are afraid of the voice and it may take a long time for us to tell this to someone else. The person we would most like hesitate to tell this to is our mother or father. This may be because we may think that telling then may hurt them. So candidate tell their parents when the "coast is clear." They may also wish that it blow away and it never does.

A wide spectrum of responses can come from those who tell about this persistent Voice. Many may claim that they had some inclination of this fact. Some on the other hand may be astonished and not supportive. The majority of parents are displeased. This can be the reason for the late information by candidates.

In view of these occurrences candidates begin to debate in there their minds and with others about this situation. Am I going to act on this voice or not. All this service to limit the mind to make a choice. If they do not act the voice move form a whisper to a shout. This voice animates the candidate into the Dominican life to priesthood/brotherhood, ministry and beyond. One never get rid of this whispering voice. To solve this problem one need to act on this voice and become a Dominican. One may find out that Dominican may not be the choice or go some where else. It is not for us not to listen to the voice of God.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Is It For Me?

By Fr. Michael Kissanne, O.Carm,

As Vocation director, I have come to realize that one persistent question that seems to arise in the heart and soul of each candidate I work with is: "Is this for me?" This is a good question for a suggest vocation prospects think and pray about the following questions. It would also be helpful to discuss them with a spiritual director.
1. Have I experienced God's love in my life?
2. Do I feel good about myself?
3. Do I easily adapt to changing situations in my life?
4. Do I actively practice the Catholic faith?
5. Do I participate in my parish?
6. Does the gospel message excite me?
7. Am I looking for a way to share my gifts and talents with others?
8. Do I desire a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ?
9. Am I willing to offer my life for the mission of Jesus Christ and the Church?
10. Do I working with people and do I get along with men and women from all walks of life?
11. Do I want to make a positive difference in the lives of others?
12. Do I sense a call from God to some specific walk of life?

If you can answer the above questions in the affirmative, the life of a religious may be for you!