Who are the friars of the Western Dominican Province?
The friars are members of the Order of Preachers, AKA "The Dominicans". We serve as pastors and preachers in 9 parishes and 10 campus ministries, as scholars and teachers in 6 seminaries and graduate schools and 2 colleges, and as chaplains in hospitals and convents. We run a retreat center and a center for HIV-AIDS patients, and are also involved in 6 specialized preaching ministries – including the Catherine of Siena Institute. Friars of the Western Dominican Province work in 8 western states, Mexico, Rome, Kenya, and beyond.
The Order of Preachers was founded in 1216 by St. Dominic de Guzman in response to a then desperate need for informed preaching. Against a heresy which denied the dignity of our humanity, St. Dominic trained a group of preachers who would serve the Church in its affirmation of the world as the place where Christ is discovered. He adapted the structure monasticism so that his Friars, vowed to poverty, chastity, and obedience, were nevertheless free to move wherever their preaching was needed.
The Dominicans enjoy both contemplation and activity, apostolic and monastic traditions. Dominic fostered the discipline of study, so that what was preached would be part of the Church's sustained reflection on the mystery of Christ. And he began a tradition of spirituality that is rooted in community life, liturgical and common prayer, and personal meditation -- a spirituality which is meant to bear the fruit of an active apostolate.
And bear fruit it has: in the centuries since its origin, the Order has numbered among its members theologians, mystics, Doctors of the Church, workers among the poor, popes, saints, and innumerable men and women who have left less tangible traces of their work. What was new with St. Dominic has continued to call forth new members, with new hopes to address new needs.
For more information, visit our website at www.opwest.org.