Today is the Feast of Our Holy Father S. Dominic; and although it is not kept as his principal Feast in the Dominican Family in the UK (the Feast of his Translation on 24 May is kept instead, because today, falling in the midst of the holiday season, is less convenient for many people) it is still a day on which minds are turned towards that great spirit who sought only to preach God’s word, and of whom it was said that he only spoke ‘of God, or to God’.
Next month will see the Holy Father in Great Britain to beatify Cardinal Newman; and it is interesting to note that Cardinal Newman, even before he became a Catholic (let alone an Oratorian) wrote that ‘My present feeling is that what the world, or at least England, wants as much as anything, is Dominicans’.
He was, admittedly, concerned that the Dominicans of his day had, in fact, lost their tradition; but he said that ‘even if it was a great idea extinct’ he could still say that ‘the idea I like exceedingly’.
Of course the idea was not extinct; and since Newman’s day the Dominicans have given the Church some of its greatest theologians and preachers; and certainly in England even a cursory glance will reveal such much-loved Catholic Preachers as Vincent McNabb, Bede Jarrett, and Timothy Radcliffe following in S. Dominic’s footsteps and preaching God’s word to His world . . . and one has only to look at Godzdogz to recognize that the younger members of the Order continue to aim high, and achieve great things; whilst in other parts of the Dominican Family the blogosphere will prove that S. Dominic’s influence and example remains alive and active.
At the end of this month, on 31 August the General Chapter of the Order of Preachers will meet in Rome to elect (on 05 Septmber) a new Master of the Order, who will be responsible for it, and in a more general way for the whole Dominican Family for the next nine years; and on this Feast of S. Dominic I do ask you to pray for the Order, and its new Master, whomever he may be, that the Order - and the DOminicam Family in general - may continue ‘To Praise, to Bless, and to Preach’.