Gift for a Brother


#1

I wasn’t sure what subheading to stick this under, but I have a good friend who has become a Dominican brother recently (old friends, we went to uni together) Anyway I have at times traditionally given him small gifts at his birthday or Christmas like a book or something funny (a gag gift.) you know, something small that could go in the mail.

Anyway I was thinking about this year and think, well what could a Dominican need/use, what is an appropriate Christmas gift? Like after all these years I feel like sending him a fun mystery novel to read would seem… Unserious… But maybe I should just treat him as i always have? Or should I get him something more Catholic? Or maybe even more practical, like a gift card to a book store (Dominicans don’t exactly have tons of spending money, right?)

So lemme just cut to the chase. What’s a good gift for a new friar?

Thanks


#2

If he is Irish, perhaps he may appreciate “How the Irish Saved Civilization” By Cahill. Our priest got that book once, and he was raving about it. In short, my thought is that if you want to go serious, a nice book would probably be appreciated.


#3

As a Dominican, he will have entered into a vow of poverty and will be unable to have any possessions whatsoever. Any gifts he receives, no matter how small, will have to be turned over to his superior. That being said, the superior may decide to keep the book in some sort of a common library for all who live in whatever place he resides with his other brothers.


#4

Well traditionally Dominicans are permitted the use of any books they receive, other things are likely to go into common use but books are oftern kept by the individual brother. Its because of the Charism of study.


#5

[quote="SgtSchultz, post:3, topic:297213"]
As a Dominican, he will have entered into a vow of poverty and will be unable to have any possessions whatsoever. Any gifts he receives, no matter how small, will have to be turned over to his superior. That being said, the superior may decide to keep the book in some sort of a common library for all who live in whatever place he resides with his other brothers.

[/quote]

I think you misunderstand the vow of poverty.

Firstly, as a Dominican Novice, you do not take any vows. But make a commitment to live them. Vows are taken at first profession. (Upon conclusion of novitiate year).

Also, you are not required, at least not in the Dominican order to hand over your possessions. The poverty is more about letting go of material attachment. I know many dominicans with ipads, phones, laptops etc...as these are all necessary to spreading the gospel in the modern world.

My advice is to buy something that is practical and useful or perhaps a small novelty item.

Nothing too extravagant.


#6

Thank you for that advice. I was thinking of sending a blank journal, a set of stationary so he could write home, or even just a simple set of dominos as I know he likes to play them and it might be fun to do so with some of the other brothers. I think any one of those things would be small and thoughtful but not at all extravagant.

Again, thanks for your input!


#7

[quote="Cecilia123, post:6, topic:297213"]
Thank you for that advice. I was thinking of sending a blank journal, a set of stationary so he could write home, or even just a simple set of dominos as I know he likes to play them and it might be fun to do so with some of the other brothers. I think any one of those things would be small and thoughtful but not at all extravagant.

Again, thanks for your input!

[/quote]

A gift like that would be very appropriate. :thumbsup:


#8

Thank you for that advice. I was thinking of sending a blank journal, a set of stationary so he could write home, or even just a simple set of dominos as I know he likes to play them and it might be fun to do so with some of the other brothers. I think any one of those things would be small and thoughtful but not at all extravagant.

Be sure to include a book of stamps :slight_smile:


#9

[quote="Aggies08, post:8, topic:297213"]
Be sure to include a book of stamps :)

[/quote]

:D :thumbsup:


#10

Ok, I didn’t know this. My knowledge is based on what a Brother said when he was at our parish. Someone said “oh, let’s give brother so-and-so this-and-that” and the priest said “we have to give all gifts away” or something to that effect. Of course, the “this-and-that” was not a book. I think it was cash or a gift card or something.

I learn something new every day! I always thought that the ipads and such were owned by the parish or the house or something like that.


#11

Technically, they are the common property of the house. However brothers do have the obvious necessities and certain brothers actually have the use of extra stuff depending on their skills. For example, computers or cameras for media or internet ministry.

When the idea of poverty comes up, many people tend to think; “you have to sell all your stuff”.

I shall be entering the Irish Provence of the Dominicans on 14th as a Novice.

Included in the list of items I needed to bring was:

Laptop
Books for spiritual reading
Breviary
Catechism
Bible


#12

whatever you do, make sure to contact his superior for permission to send it to him.


#13

[quote="Trilor, post:12, topic:297213"]
whatever you do, make sure to contact his superior for permission to send it to him.

[/quote]

Why do people think this is necessary! I'm tearing my hair out here!

:eek:

The Dominicans are not an enclosed order. In fact, Saint Dominic encouraged Novices to actively be involved in preaching and this is a tradition that continues to this day.

Dominicans are not in a military organisation where their mail is vetted. They are free to receive letters, emails and presents from friends and family. Some stuff, obviously is not necessary to the life of a Dominican. And all possessions are considered to be held "in common".
This is a way of releasing the Friars from the need of material possessions.


#14

Since he will take a vow of poverty, might want to give him some thing that everyone else could use.


#15

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.