Formation: Aquinas Mini-course

Next month is our Advent retreat, so there won’t be any formation. In the new year we will be starting a mini-course on St Thomas Aquinas, an important Dominican saint, theologian and philosopher. Through understanding how he thought about God and human beings we hope to be better able to serve the gospel in our own age.


There will be three sessions, running over three months, as we look together at different aspects of Thomas’ life and works:

  • Aquinas : the man and his works
  • Aquinas on God
  • Aquinas on human beings

Formation material and reading will be provided as we go along. At this stage, however, here is some recommended reading for people who would like it before next year:

  • Brian Davies OP’s Aquinas is an ideal short introduction, and very accessible.
  • Denys Turner’s Thomas Aquinas : a Portrait is longer, but insightful and engaging.
  • Herbert McCabe OP’s God Matters is a good example of what modern thinking in the tradition of Aquinas looks like (particularly the first three chapters).


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All Saints OP

As Dominicans we keep feast days additional to those in the usual (‘general’) calendar of the Church, celebrating people and events of particular significance to us in the Order of Preachers.

Today we recall all the saints of the Order, all those whose souls enjoy the vision of God’s glory as they await the resurrection, whether they have been officially canonised or not. We see in them people who have, by God’s grace, lived our way of passing on the fruits of prayer and study, people who have preached the good news of God’s love in Jesus Christ.



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This Advent and Christmas: Dominican month for peace

One of the last actions of the previous master of the Order, Bruno, was to propose that the annual Dominican month for peace focus on India. You can read his letter about this here.

The European Lay Dominican website adds:

The Dominican Month for Peace will start on the First Sunday of Advent (1 December), run for the whole of December and culminate on the Church’s World Day of Peace on 1st January.

Our Dominican brothers and sisters in lndia are working a lot with the youth. Many forms of violence against young people are prevalent at so many levels of the huge and complex lndian society. Our focus in the 2019 Dominican Month for Peace will be on countering this violence, in the form of deprivation and abuse, against children, women and “tribals” (indigenous people).

In these struggles many Dominicans are present as in these two Dominican projects:
1. The Dominican Project Bloom for street children in Nagpur; and
2. The Dominican Family Safe Childhood Project to train trainers to address child sexual abuse.

You can find resources to help observe the month of peace here on the European website

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The Divine Office

During the next formation session we will be focusing on our praying of the Liturgy of the Hours.

The Liturgy of the Hours, also known as the Divine Office, is the daily prayer of the Church. It is prayed by all priests and deacons, as well as by members of religious communities.

Made up primarily of psalms, canticles (especially the great gospel canticles taken from the beginning of Luke’s gospel), and scripture readings, there are five daily parts of the Office:

  • The Office of Readings
  • Morning Prayer (sometimes called Lauds)
  • Prayer during the day
  • Evening Prayer (sometimes called Vespers)
  • Night Prayer

The Church talks about Lauds and Vespers as the ‘hinges’ of the day. At either end of its day, the mission of the Church is held before God in prayer.

Lay Dominicans are asked by our rule to pray Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer daily. We should find a regular time and place to do this. We can, of course, say more, but there is a danger of setting ourselves unrealistic targets – we are lay people, often with work and families.

Praying the Office can be difficult at first – how do I find the right pages? Which day is it? (Note that the Dominican Order has its own calendar, you can order a yearly version to use praying the Office here).

As with so many things the best way to learn how to pray the Office is by doing it, saying Morning and Evening Prayer daily (aloud, or ‘in your head’). You can buy a simple Morning and Evening Prayer book. Or you can pray along with the Office on the web app Universalis (which is a great way to get your head round how the Office fits together).

Modern approaches to prayer are often obsessed with feeling the right way, with being authentic, with meaning every word – the Office can seem difficult with this mindset. We’re easily distracted; perhaps the words don’t fit with how we feel or what we want to pray for. But this reminds us of something important. As Catholics we never pray alone. We are in real communion with millions of other people worldwide. We share the prayer of the Church with them. They carry us when we are distracted. We rejoice for others when they are happy. They mourn with us when we are sad.

In any case, the Office is a bit like a drip feed. Bit by bit, without us even noticing, we get soaked in the words of scripture, they become second nature to us. And that prepares us to be what, as Dominicans we are called to be, preachers of the Word.


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The website lives!

Our fraternity has, over the past few years, remained active and grown in numbers. Unfortunately – as regular browsers of this site will know – we haven’t been able to find a member to look after the blog.

This has now changed – Simon Hewitt has agreed to take over the running of this site.

There will be occasional posts of interest to members of the fraternity and to enquirers. The blog will also be a useful port of call for enquirers. People who are thinking about exploring the Lay Dominicans in London can also email Lorna Archer here.

Thank you for your patience.

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Litany of Dominican Saints and Blesseds

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the heavenly Father, have mercy on us.
God, the heavenly Father, have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Pray for us.
Holy Mother of God,
Holy Virgin of Virgins,
Saint Michael,
Saint Gabriel,
Saint Raphael,
Saint Joseph,
Saint John the Baptist,
All you holy angels and archangels,
All you holy patriarchs and prophets,
All you holy apostles and evangelists,
All you holy martyrs,
All you holy virgins and widows,
All you holy men and women,
Saint Mary Magdalene,
Saint Catherine of Alexandria,
Saint Augustine,
Holy Father Francis,
Blessed Jane of Aza,
Blessed Reginald of Orleans,
Holy Father Dominic,
Holy Father Dominic,
Blessed Bertrand,
Blessed Mannes,
Blessed Diana,
Blessed Jordan of Saxony,
Blessed John of Salerno,
Blessed William and Companions,
Blessed Ceslaus,
Blessed Isnard,
Blessed Guala,
Blessed Peter Gonzalez,
Saint Zdîslava,
Saint Peter of Verona,
Blessed Nicholas of Paglia,
Saint Hyacinth,
Blessed Gonsalvo,
Blessed Sadoc and Companions,
Blessed Giles,
Saint Margaret of Hungary,
Blessed Bartholomew of Vicenza,
Saint Thomas Aquinas,
Saint Raymond of Penyãfort,
Blessed Innocent,
Blessed Albert of Bergamo,
Saint Albert the Great,
Blessed John of Vercelli,
Blessed Ambrose,
Blessed Cecilia,
Blessed Benvenuta,
Blessed James of Varazze
Blessed James of Bevagna,
Blessed Benedict,
Blessed Jane of Orvieto,
Blessed Jordan of Pisa,
Blessed Emily,
Blessed James Salomonio,
Saint Agnes of Montepulciano,
Blessed Simon,
Blessed Margaret of Castello,
Blessed Augustine Kazotic,
Blessed James Benefatti,
Blessed Imelda,
Blessed Dalmatius,
Blessed Margaret Ebner,
Blessed Villana,
Blessed Peter of Ruffia,
Blessed Henry Suso,
Blessed Sibyllina,
Blessed Anthony of Pavonio,
Saint Catherine of Siena,
Blessed Marcolino,
Blessed Raymond of Capua,
Blessed Andrew Franchi,
Saint Vincent Ferrer,
Blessed Clara,
Blessed John Dominic,
Blessed Alvarez,
Blessed Maria Mancini,
Blessed Peter of Castello,
Blessed Andrew Abellon,
Blessed Stephen,
Blessed Peter of Geremia
Blessed John of Fiesole,
Blessed Lawrence of Ripafratta,
Blessed Anthony della Chiesa,
Saint Antoninus,
Blessed Anthony Neyrot,
Blessed Margaret of Savoy,
Blessed Bartholomew of Cerverio,
Blessed Matthew,
Blessed Constantius,
Blessed Christopher,
Blessed Damian,
Blessed Andrew of Peschiera,
Blessed Bernard,
Blessed Jane of Portugal,
Blessed James of Ulm,
Blessed Augustine of Biella,
Blessed Aimo,
Blessed Sebastian,
Blessed Mark,
Blessed Columba,
Blessed Magdalen,
Blessed Osanna of Mantua,
Blessed John Liccio,
Blessed Dominic Spadafora,
Blessed Stephana,
Blessed Adrian,
Blessed Lucy of Narni,
Blessed Catherine of Racconigi,
Blessed Osanna of Kotor,
Saint Pius,
Saint John of Cologne and Companions,
Blessed Maria Bartholomew,
Saint Louis Bertrand,
Saint Catherine de Ricci,
Blessed Robert Nutter,
Blessed Alfonsus and Companions,
Saint Rose of Lima,
Saint Dominic Ibáñez and Companions,
Blessed Agnes of Jesus,
Saint Lawrence Ruiz and Companions,
Saint Martin de Porres,
Blessed Peter Higgins,
Saint Francis de Capillas and Companions,
Saint Juan Macias,
Blessed Terence O’Brien,
Blessed Ann of the Angels,
Blessed Francis de Posadas,
Saint Louis de Montfort,
Saint Francis Gil,
Saint Matteo Alonso,
Blessed Peter Sanz and Companions,
Saint Vincent Liem,
Saint Hyacinth Castañeda,
Blessed Marie Poussepin,
Blessed George,
Blessed Catherine Jarrige,
Saint Ignatius Delgado and Companions,
Saint Joseph Diaz and Companions,
Saint Dominic An-Kham,
Saint Valentine Berrio-Ochoa and Companions,
Blessed Jean-Joseph Lataste,
Saint Francis Coll,
Saint Arnold Janssen,
Blessed Hyacinthe Cormier,
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati,
Blessed Bartolo Longo,
Blessed Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas,
Blessed Josefina Sauleda Paulis and Companions,
Blessed Buenaventura García Paredes and Companions,
Blessed Celestino José Alonso Villar and Companions,
Blessed Enrique Izquierdo Palacios and Companions,
Blessed Maria Ascension of the Heart of Jesus,
Blessed Michael Czartorysky,
Blessed Julia Rodzinska,
All you holy Dominicans, Pray for us.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Let us pray

God, source of all holiness, you have enriched your Church with many gifts in the saints of the Order of Preachers. By following the example of our brothers and sisters, may we come to enjoy their company forever in the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.


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Dominican Youth Movement pilgrimage

Dominican Youth Pilgrimage

Two members of the English Dominican novitiate, Br Matthew and Br Jordan, will be leading the way to Canterbury this summer. Join them on pilgrimage, or support them by your prayers.

More details on the pilgrimage on their Facebook page, here.

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