Center of the institutional study of Our Lady of the Rosary Province, St. Dominic’s Priory Macau
Dominic included studying in his plan for the Order as a key element. Throughout his life, he carried the Gospel of St. Matthew and the Epistles of St. Paul, and he sent his brothers to various cities to study, to preach, and to establish priories and centers of learning, to aid the mission of the Church. In many ways, St. Dominic established a new form of religious life in the Church during his time. The study was not a novelty among religious, but it was new that a religious order would be founded in which study would be an integral part of realizing its goals.
The newly professed brothers take up the task of study with zeal and diligence. By studying, he realizes that he will be equipped to work for the salvation of souls in the Dominican way: by preaching the veritas of Christ.
In performing this duty of study, St. Thomas Aquinas stands out as the best teacher and model of all, whose teachings the Church acclaims uniquely, and whose presence in the Order enriches the intellectual life of the brothers. Consequently, the brothers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with his thought as well as continue to renew and enrich them with the constantly fresh riches of sacred and human wisdom.
To become a Dominican, it is not necessary to have genius abilities, but it is necessary to have perseverance, goodwill, and average ability. Students are gradually aware of an inner power that grows within themselves to bring the message of faith to souls eagerly awaiting it. While he may be an average student, his professors have brought him into contact with the brightest minds in the Church. His diligent study and application can qualify him adequately to exercise the apostolic ministry of the Order. The study, prayer, and healthy recreation are all part of the life of a Dominican student. Students are encouraged to persevere through the program of studies, and a variety of subjects are offered. A studious friar gains enlightenment strengthens his will and increases his oratory skills over time. Dominican studies differ from other religious studies in that they do not end with ordination. The Dominicans do not see the study as an end in itself but as a means to the Order’s special aim of preaching and bringing salvation to souls. For this reason, studying remains a lifetime duty so closely interlinked with that goal.
Our Lady of the Rosary Province has two communities of Students brothers One in Saint Albert Priory Hong Kong and another in Saint Dominic’s Priory Macau
Study as Religious observance
Love and self-devoted to assiduous study nourish contemplation and strong fidelity to live out your life according to the evangelical counsels. Although the very perseverance of studies demands to undergo challenges and difficulties make it is a form of self-denial or asceticism, as an essential part of our lives is religious observances ( LCO I 83). Therefore in the beginning Dominic founder an order of preachers study is indispensable for every apostolic activity, in place of the customary manual labors undertaken by monks.
Study and prayer
Our prayer and contemplation help to enrich the ministry of preaching the truth of the word of God. Likewise, the grace of preaching presupposes actual prayer life or contemplation, as Saint Thomas Aquinas says Dominican is called to hand on the fruit of contemplation, therefore, our way of prayer is not for the sake of contemplation alone, but to preach. Prayer is the most important source for all the preachers should have practice in their daily life. For us Dominican praying liturgy in common but private prayer is also important.
Dominican does not have a special way of prayer but imitates Dominic whose prayer is always simple and ecclesial. Our way of prayer is simple and has a goal of contemplation of the divine truth and building a close relationship with God (LCO 66 I ). Best and genuine contemplation is reading the scripture the word of God and the study the true wisdom.
Contemplation is closely related to study, the best source for our study is the divine revelation, in Dominican tradition contemplation embraces both prayerful meditation and love of study two complementary approaches to nourish one mind and one heart to the love of preaching the truth which is Christ himself. And so the study is the act of love, a way of searching Christ, and pondering the beauty and wisdom of the word of God. Contemplation serves our mission of preaching, therefore preaching is not the end of the order, but it is rather utmost necessity to that end, which is preaching and laboring for the salvation to souls, for without study cannot do anything either.
It is important to keep in mind that study is for us Dominican means to grow in love with the truth, through study, not all Dominican are necessarily expected to be scholars. We are the instrument of God, for he has given us the intellect to study and the right to use both our faith reason to find God leads to God for he is the giver of all truth, in the case we recalled, Aquinas is the best teacher and model (LCO 82 I), as children of God following Dominic’s footsteps we are thirst for truth, and opened minded from whomever or wherever we may be found, for we are the beggar of truth.
Saint Albert the Great teacher of Aquinas said the whole world is theology for us because the heavens proclaim the glory of God. It is through the study by seeking to understand things and each other, and the beauty of God’s creation, and admire his greatness, and become humble ourselves before him.