Press Releases

(St. Louis) Arriving late in the year 1510, Dominicans have been preaching and teaching in America for 500 years. Our legacy is significant as we began our ministry in the New World. The first friars were disturbed and confronted by the treatment of the Indigenous Peoples. They were seriously oppressed and pushed into submission by the Spanish who colonized their land.

The Dominicans, after studying the atrocities, decided to make a public denouncement of the treatment of the Indians through the form of a sermon. Each of the friars signed the document and Fr. Antonio Montesinos was commissioned to preach this sermon during Advent, 1511. The sermon was not preserved, but Bartolome de Las Casas incorporated an extract in his work, History of the Indies.

As members of the Dominican Family in the Americas, we will begin to commemorate this important anniversary through a webcast on Monday, November 21, 2011 at 7:00 pm. The program will focus on the past and present issues challenging the Dominican Family in America. Rumor has it that Fr. Montesinos may make an appearance. This presentation will be available for downloading as well as converted into DVDs.  Presenters will include James Barnett, O.P., Marcelline Koch, O.P., Margaret Mace, O.P., Chuck Dahm, O.P., and Toni Harris, O.P.

The community of Aquinas Institute of Theology will gather to experience this event, beginning with evening prayer at 4:30 pm in the Aquinas chapel, followed by a potluck dinner in Ascension Commons. The webcast program will begin at 7:00 pm in rooms 149/151. If you are interested in joining us, please send e-mail to


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