Although this website of the ECLDF is primarily a European website, sometimes it is good to take a look across the borders. For the 800-year Jubilee the Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great in the United States (one of the four American Provinces, covering the states of Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming) wrote 52 short articles, which are free to use, e.g. in parish magazines. Below is a sample and a link to the inserts.
The Four Pillars
When St. Dominic first approached the pope about founding an order that “would be called and would be an Order of Preachers,” the pope replied, “Why would I want to found an order of bishops?” Obviously Dominic won him over, but the pope had a point.
Bishops are the official preachers of the Church, and even if in St. Dominic’s day other people didn’t preach so much, now we have clergy and laity preaching all of the time: So what’s so special about Dominican preaching? What’s essential about our charism, the gift we bring to the Church?
From the beginning of the Order, “The Holy Preaching” referred not just to the act, but to the community itself. Dominicans identify four pillars or characteristics that make our life distinctive: prayer, common life, study, and ministry.
The internal dynamism of living these values together is what constitutes the Holy Preaching, whether that happens in the pulpit or not. It’s no accident that we’re not called the Order of Homilists! Those who need the Gospel most are the least likely to be in Church, so our mission is not only to the faithful, but to the faithless and fallen away, who might never be moved by a homily but can be profoundly convinced by a way of life.
Father Dominic McManus, OP