Today 3 Providence College alumni made their simple vows as Dominican Friars. After a year of novitiate in Cincinnati, Br. James Mary Ritch, OP, ’08, Br. Stephen Mary Ruhl, OP, ’15, and Br. Damian Marie Day, OP, ’15, and their 5 classmates made simple vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. The brothers will now go to study philosophy and theology at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC.
August 15 has traditionally been the day that the Dominicans make simple vows since it was on this day in 1217 that St. Dominic sent out the first group of Dominican friars to travel all throughout Europe to preach for the salvation of souls. It was thought that St. Dominic was foolish in sending out the relatively small group of friars. Yet a supernatural wisdom guided his actions, and through divine providence the Dominican Order grew rapidly. In a similar manner, at the end of the novitiate year, which consists largely of intense discernment and prayer, Dominican friars today make their vows on August 15 and are sent on for a period of study and pastoral formation. God-willing the brothers persevere, this period of formation leads up to solemn vows in 4 years and, for those on the track for the priesthood, another 1 or 2 years more before priestly ordination.
A number of PC alum and a current PC student attended the Mass of Simple Profession at St. Gertrude’s to support and pray for their friends.
Please keep Brothers James, Stephen, and Damian in your prayers.
Today 3 Providence College alumni made their simple vows as Dominican Friars. After a year of novitiate in Cincinnati,... MORE
By guest blogger Keith Lee ’18
I often take going to a Catholic and Dominican school for granted. It is not until I speak with friends from other colleges that I remember how lucky I am to have so many opportunities to grow in faith offered each day—Mass, adoration, confession. The simple presence of the chapel on campus serves as a calming influence and reminds me to keep God first. One of my favorite services offered on campus is Lauds with the Dominican community. Before coming to Providence, I had never participated in prayer with any religious order. I remember the first time I went early on during my freshman year. One of the Friars got up and welcomed the group of students I was with and assured us that we would always be welcome to pray alongside the Dominicans at any time. He further reminded us that the Friars are always praying for the students. Despite the initial confusion of altering between sides in chants, bowing, and sitting, I thoroughly enjoyed my introduction to Lauds and felt welcomed by the Friars.
Amidst the business of college life, there have sadly only been a few times when I returned to the Priory for prayer. Knowing what a blessed opportunity I have to pray with such a faithfully devoted community, I really want to try and deepen my prayer life by attending Lauds more regularly. This Lenten season, one of my promises is to attend morning prayer and Mass at the Priory a few times each week. Getting out of bed a few hours earlier is never an easy feat, but starting my day off in a peaceful and contemplative state has been a much-needed improvement in my life. I find that spending time in silence followed by the prayer recitals has given me a fresh outlook each day. When I do not go the Priory, my morning prayers are usually said in my dorm while I am getting ready or while I am walking to breakfast. In these cases, my mind becomes easily distracted and is drawn away from the Lord. However, in the small chapel alongside the Friars, I can more deeply concentrate and reflect. Throughout the rest of the day, the short time spent in deep prayer helps me to keep God at the center of my activities and interactions. I feel reenergized in my faith and am better able to be merciful and compassionate in my actions. I hope that being diligent in my attendance of morning prayer will lead to refined habit that I can continue throughout the rest of my time at Providence.
By guest blogger Keith Lee ’18 I often take going to a Catholic and Dominican school for granted. It is... MORE