A Dominican vocation is a calling to be a preacher, it’s a calling to laudare, benedicere, praedicare; to praise, to bless and to preach. The very purpose of the Order is proclamation of the Word of God, preaching the name of our Lord Jesus Christ throughout the world said Pope Honorius III in his Letter to Dominic and his companions dated 18 January 1221. Dominican preaching requires and illuminates approaches to formation. It seeks to be prophetic and doctrinal, marked by an evangelical spirit and sound teaching (LCO 99 §I), open to dialogue and yet not afraid to be critical. Our formation prepares preachers who will be zealous like the apostles and creative like the prophets. We are called to stimulate people’s desire to know the truth (LCO 77 §II) and to help the Church to find new ways to that truth (LCO 99 §II).
Preaching is not merely something a Dominican does; it is his entire life. Preaching, the perennial need to speak the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is the reason the Order exists, and is the driving force of every Dominican labor. The Primitive Constitutions points out that the Dominican Order “is known to have been established, from the beginning, for preaching and the salvation of souls, specifically.” This means that a Dominican is perpetually called outside of himself, outside of his familiar circles in society, and outside of his private interests to be known as a man transformed by the Gospel, a member of a brotherhood united by the mission to preach for the salvation of souls.