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August 10, 2021, Adrian, Michigan – In some popular artwork, St. Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers, is depicted is walking along a road, carrying his shoes as he sets off on his preaching mission. Yet, the theme for the Dominicans’ Jubilee Year marking the 800th anniversary of his death might seem unlikely to many: “At Table with St. Dominic.”
Sister Patricia Walter, OP, theologian and former Prioress of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, spoke about a powerful symbol of St. Dominic’s friendship with his brothers and sisters: the Mascarella table, featured in the earliest depictions of him. Her presentation, “St. Dominic: An Invitation to the Table for All in Friendship,” was live streamed on August 4, 2021, the anniversary of St. Dominic’s death. Her talk was part of a series of monthly presentations sponsored by the Spirituality Committee of the Adrian Dominican Sisters.
In her talk, Sister Patricia emphasized St. Dominic’s “deep capacity for friendship,” which scholars said could be one reason the Order of Preachers came into being. In forming the Order, St. Dominic drew help and support not only from nuns and the Friars, but also from benefactors, clerics, individuals, and entire families. “The Order was made up of friends from all walks of life,” Sister Patricia said. “It was and is a holy preaching.”
Pointing to St. Dominic’s capacity for friendship, Sister Patricia reminded listeners that he followed in the footsteps of Jesus himself, who showed his own welcoming sense of friendship when he washed his disciples’ feet on the night of the Last Supper. “Jesus reveals the true goal of his ministry,” Sister Patricia said. “He invites the disciples to move from a domination paradigm to a friendship paradigm,” where all are treated with dignity and love, she said. “In friendship we realize we are one with each other and with God.”
Watch Sister Patricia’s entire presentation below.
Artwork in feature image at top: "St. Dominic and the Sisters" by Helene O'Connor, OP
July 16, 2021, Adrian, Michigan – In the monthly presentation offered by the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Spirituality Committee, three Dominican women from the 13th Century dramatically shared their experiences and the ways in which they modeled “Dominican spirituality at its feminine best.”
“Today, in this 800th year since [St. Dominic’s] death in 1221, and in a period of time in which we are pondering our future, it is fitting that we look back to our beginnings and glean what we can from this long-ago period,” said Sister Cheryl Liske, OP, host of the July 7, 2021, live streamed presentation. Sister Cheryl researched the lives of the women of Prouilhe, the first Dominicans, many of whom were “rescued” from the Cathar heresy and lived in community in Prouilhe, France, as followers of St. Dominic. Their home eventually became the first Dominican monastery.
The presentation brings to life three of the first Dominican women in Prouilhe: Guilhelma, the first Prioress, portrayed by Sister Lorraine Réaume, OP; Lady Raimonde, Sub-prioress, portrayed by Sister Mary Soher, OP; and Ermengarde, an Oblate (lay woman) of Prouilhe, portrayed by Mary Lach, Director of Associate Life. In the presentation, the early Prouilhe Dominicans emphasize their anonymity in history, their experiences in the early days of the Order, and their contributions to the early life of the Dominicans, the Order of Preachers.
Watch the video of the presentation below.