“The Order of Friars Preachers, founded by St. Dominic, is known to have been established, from the beginning, for preaching and the salvation of souls, specifically”
From the Fundamental Constitutions of the Order of Preachers
It was specifically the preaching of the Dominicans that I came to know and love Saint Dominic and the Dominican Order.
I didn’t think I would end up becoming a Dominican priest when I first arrived at the University of Virginia as a young college student in 2005, but here we are - 2016. “You are a priest forever!” My eyes were set on having a career as a chemical engineer, getting married, and expanding a kingdom, a personal kingdom, full of wealth. That is, until my eyes became fixed on a young Dominican priest preaching in a pulpit in Charlottesville, Virginia. I was in awe. I was Catholic my whole life, nominally, though, but I had never heard preaching like this before: Jesus, grace, forgiveness, redemption, salvation, absolution. It was different from the “just try harder” message I got growing up. When it comes to the virtuous life and the attainment of heaven, “just try harder” is just hard to try. Only God can make us good because He is good! I needed to hear that. I wanted to hear that and much more!
I thank God every day for the Dominicans. And I pray that you will find something to be thankful for about the Dominicans at Saint Joseph’s Church! Maybe it’s the grace of their preaching. Maybe it’s the way you receive God’s mercy during the Sacrament of Confession. Maybe it’s the fraternity and charity that you see in the way Dominican community life overflows into the community life of the parish. With God’s grace, may we imitate Saint Dominic who spoke to God and about God: be thankful to God in your prayers, and be thankful about God with one another!
Fr. John Baptist Hoang, O.P.