Dominican men and women sponsor 19 colleges, universities and graduate schools in the United States, and this summer, 200 representative faculty, administration professionals, and students met at Molloy College, sponsored by the Amityville Dominican Sisters on Long Island, for the 13th Biennial Colloquium of Dominican Colleges and Universities. Our question: What does it mean to be a Dominican school of higher education?
"In my opening keynote address on 'The Compassionate Testimony of Missionary Disciples', I referred to an appeal in 2001 by the friars of the worldwide Dominican Order inviting young people into our preaching Movement: 'We encourage the young people of our Movement to live even more deeply the ideal of St. Dominic in their own lives, and to make a heartfelt commitment as young preachers in the Church, by word and example, with compassion and mercy'," said Fr. Heille, O.P.
In his recent apostolic exhortation on "The Joy of the Gospel", Pope Francis has made a similar appeal, using the expression "missionary disciples" to convey this call to all the baptized to live a way of life that preaches: "All the baptized, whatever their position in the Church or their level of instruction in the faith, are agents of evangelization. . . . [W]e are always 'missionary disciples'." He also said: "We have to regard ourselves as sealed, even branded, by this mission of bringing light, blessing, enlivening, raising up, healing and freeing. All around us we begin to see nurses with soul, teachers with soul, politicians with soul, people who have chosen deep down to be with others and for others."
"I think these sentiments really capture the essential goal of a Dominican education," explains Fr. Heille, O.P.
- Fr. Gregory Heille, O.P., Academic Dean