Stephen of Salanhac, O.P., once described the Dominican friar as “a canon by profession, a monk in austerity of his life, and an apostle by his office.” It’s a life dedicated to praise to bless and to preach. Such an onerous calling requires that the Dominican life requires prayer, poverty, community life, study and preaching. Our vocation is contemplative, communitarian and missionary. Its source is a thirst for God and a desire to preach the compassion and friendship of God, directed towards the fullness of justice and peace, a desire established and formed by God’s grace.
We consecrate ourselves to Christ and the service of the Church through the evangelical counsels of poverty, obedience and chastity. In professing the evangelical counsels we seek to be conformed to Christ obedient, poor and chaste. The brothers are united through obedience, joined in a higher love through the discipline of chastity, dependent more closely on one another through poverty.
Our deepest human desires – for autonomy and achievement, for marriage and family life, for property and satisfying work – are distinct but it is helpful to consider them together and in our profession we name only obedience. We profess obedience to God, to Mary, to St Dominic, to our superiors, according to the institutions of the Order, including therefore our characteristic form of capitular government.
In addition to these we nourish ourselves by life in common, study and prayer and preaching which are the pillar on which the edifice of Dominican life is built on.