A Dominican’s day—timeless and timely
Image: The community sings as they process out of church at the end of Mass. The non-ordained brothers wear the habit from which they get their popular name in England, Blackfriars.
What does a priest in a religious order do all day? The answer varies widely, of course, depending on the person and his community. But no matter how it is answered, the real truth may be just below the surface—that is, in the deeper meaning and context of what a priest does. What is the spirit behind his prayers, the sacraments he celebrates, his teaching, his preaching? And what is his community like? How do members of the religious community guide, support, and join him in all that he does?
As a Dominican, Father Robert Gay, O.P. belongs to a religious order that dates to the early 1200s when Saint Dominic began preaching and teaching the Christian faith. The Dominican order has since spread throughout the world and includes both men’s and women’s communities, as well as lay associations. The many Dominican religious institutes run high schools, colleges, and universities, and are immersed in diverse ministries beyond education.
As a member of Oxford, England’s Blackfriars Priory—a community involved in higher education—Father Gay’s daily responsibilities range from involvement in the lives of students, to teaching, to serving as bursar for Blackfriars Hall at Oxford University, his main job. His day is punctuated by the rhythm of morning, midday, and evening prayer and daily Mass. Through it all, he strives to live up to the community commitment: “preaching the love and mercy of God” in word and action.
Related article: vocationnetwork.org, I am a brother to 2,000 college students, Vision 2004.
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