By Maria Bohan, Interim Communications Manager
This week’s “Embracing Faith” article will focus on Embracing Faith through Inspiration.
Yesterday, we celebrated one of the year’s most important events for members of the Dominican Family.
Monday, August 8, was the feast day of St. Dominic de Guzman, founder of the Order of Preachers, or Dominicans.
St. Dominic’s life is an inspiration to many Catholics, especially the Sisters of St. Dominic of Blauvelt, who, as women religious of the Dominican Order, vow to live by the Dominican motto to praise, to bless, and to preach the Word of God.
St. Dominic was born in Castile, Spain around 1170 to noble parents. While traveling through Europe, he discerned a need for a group of itinerant preachers who could bring the good news of the Lord exactly where people needed it.
In 1216, St. Dominic’s Order was sanctioned by Pope Honorius III. Soon after that, St. Dominic founded centers for the order in Paris and Spain, including near the Universities of Paris and Bologna. These centers became schools of their own, teaching theology. This began the Dominican tradition of education, in which the Blauvelt Dominicans have followed since the congregation’s founding.
Starting in 1879, the Blauvelt sisters educated the children in their care at St. Dominic’s home. In 1903, the first teaching invitation was accepted by the Blauvelt Dominicans to minister at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Chicago, IL. This invitation was followed by those from schools in IL, NY, NJ, FL, RI, Jamaica, West Indies. In 1952, the Blauvelt Dominicans founded Dominican College (now Dominican University) to serve as a teacher preparation program for the sisters, but now it is open to applications from anyone interested in furthering their education.
St. Dominic is known as the joyful friar. Even those who spoke to him after having done wrong came away from the conversation happier. Upon his death on August 6, 1221, his deep faith in God had inspired the faith of countless others.
800 years later, St. Dominic’s Order has remained a powerful force for good in our world. To have built something that has existed for so long shows the strong intelligence, leadership, and above all, faith of St. Dominic. His life will continue to inspire the Sisters of St. Dominic of Blauvelt, members of the Dominican order, and lay people for centuries to come.