Order of Preachers Question

So, I am completely fascinated and have fallen in love with the Order of Preachers. However, there is one question that I’ve been wondering: Why do almost all of them not wear the black cape? It’s not an important question, but just about every Province I see doesn’t wear them. Do they just wear them when it’s cold, or have most of them discarded it completely? I hope the latter is not true.

I believe the reason is the same as that which stops us Carmelites wearing the white mantle most of the time - the cloak is generally reserved for high occasions, such as solemn liturgy, professions, funerals etc.; and is simply not very practical on top of several other layers of clothing on a daily basis (for us it would represent a sixth layer - two of street clothes, tunic, scapular, capuche, cloak). When it’s cold, as you say, it’s a much more attractive proposition.:o

If you’re called to be a Dominican, then be the Dominican you’re called to be. And if you need a great role model, look at Saint Vincent Ferrer. He was awesome! Oh, the glory day…when we actually converted people to Christ!!

Well, I’m not sure why they would only reserve it for high occasions. After all, Saint Dominic wore it all of the time. I don’t think anyone ever saw him without it, actually. If this is the case, it’s depressing, but at least they haven’t discarded it. :smiley:

However, I was told a while ago that every Dominican has one, they just reserve it for cold days (And, as you point out, most likely high days). Maybe this is one of the questions I can annoy Father Vincent Serpa with. :stuck_out_tongue:

I think it usually depends on who it is. I use to want to be a Dominican. It still attracts me, but they only thing I don’t like is being far from my family. Right now I am discerning the diocesan priesthood, and trying to start my application process.

But I like the Dominican’s, i’m sure if you wanted to wear the cape always, you probably could. Unless Fr. Prior had a problem with it.

Go to the the house of studies in New Orleans, LA or the priory in Dallas, TX in late August and you will understand entirely. The normal habit is very heavy and layered. The cloak or “cappa” over the top is reserved for more formal occasions, when traveling, or when it is cold. As for saint Dominic, he wore the plain white habit of the Augustinian Canons, which is not the same as the one worn today, for most of his time other than when traveling; as did the rest of the order until the scapular was given by Our Lady.

Much of the development of the Dominican habit can be found in “The Life of Saint Dominic” by Augusta T. Drane, OP and a basic description can be found here: acta-sanctorum.blogspot.com/2010/05/dominican-habit.html as well as here: godzdogz.op.org/2010/06/quodlibet-31-faqs-about-dominican-habit.html

I too am discerning the Diocesan Priesthood. For now, it is a tug between the Dominicans and the Diocesan Priesthood. Most likely, I will end up in the Diocesan Priesthood, but I’m not sure, as I feel close to the Dominicans. After all, my family will be allowed to visit me, and I them, even if I’m a Dominican. Usually, Orders give each Friar two weeks of vacation each year to visit their families, and they usually let families visit once a month or so, so it’s not too bad. For me, I live in Kansas, so although there aren’t any Dominicans here, there are Dominicans in the western Province that live in Denver, which is relatively close, and, there are Dominicans that live in the upper-west part of Missouri, which is also close. So either way, it’s a win-win when it comes to being close to home. However, I feel a strange prompting to join the ones in Washington D.C. After all, who needs preaching more than our country’s leaders, who advocate death and gay-marriage?

Most likely, yeah. It just depends on who God gives me as a Prior, I suppose.

Where you are at in Kansas, you would probably be in the Central Province. There is a house of studies in Chicago which you could visit if you are interested. They hold regular discernment retreats. domcentral.org/come-see/

Also you should be aware that you may do formation in once province but end up serving anywhere in the world. If being close to family is important to you, that could be a serious issue. Dominicans go where the Master sends them and obedience is a major issue. Something to consider at least.


The cape is sooo awesome! Too bad they don’t wear it all the time, but I suppose it would be really heavy!

I didn’t know that. Indeed, this could prove to be a problem. However, I feel more called to the Diocesan Priesthood anyway, so it’s no matter to concern myself with. If I feel more called to it after going to Seminary for a while, then I will look more closely into it. However, at the moment, I think I’m going to stick with the plan and go to the Diocese and (Hopefully) get accepted into Seminary when I’m eighteen.

You think they are going to be at Mass? Maybe preaching to their constituents would be more effective.

It’s very true that the most effective preaching will be (always was) to the common people, not the political leaders. Surely St. Dominic and those after him (as well as many other priests/religious) helped to convert people in high places, but it is true that their greatest work was in the streets, so to speak.

That being said, however, don’t limit the preaching of the Dominicans (or of any disciple of Christ, for that matter) to the pulpit. The opportunity to preach the Gospel exists on the streets, at meetings, conferences, anywhere a holy person finds himself. So, maybe the politicians who need the preaching most will not be found at Mass, but they will surely be found somewhere, right? May God inspire our holy priests and religious to be always ready to preach the Gospel to those who need it most!

In Christ through Mary,

I’m not talking about Church. Church was the furthest thing from my mind. I’m talking about street evangelization. I don’t expect them to be at Mass, but I do assume that they travel, as does every other single human being.

And yes, that’s what I meant. Preaching to the people is a good idea. In fact, that’s one of the most important things, and I never indicated nor said that I would be limiting myself to the world’s leaders only. I simply said that the Capital is a great place to go to.

Again, I never said that I wouldn’t preach to the people. I simply said that preaching to the world leaders is important and it’s a great thing to do. They’re very influential, and if half of the White House is full of devout Catholics, than abortion will not be legal anymore. I simply said that these people were good to preach to. I never said preaching to the people isn’t important, and I certainly never said I wouldn’t be preaching to them.

I am glad to hear that you are interested in the priesthood, religious or diocesan. However, there are still some things you may wish to think and pray about.

Diocesan priests are expected to serve where the bishop sends them as well. Obedience will be a major issue regardless of whether you would be a religious or secular priest. During the ordination, part of the vows undertaken are to obey the orders of the bishop and his legitimate successors.

We have priests on loan from other diocese, some from half way around the world; and priests from our diocese who were sent to Rome for study or other countries for service, etc.


Normally, you’re right. However, my Diocese has a huge Priest shortage. There’s only eighteen Priests, and about six Seminarians. The Bishop couldn’t send me somewhere else if he wanted to because he needs me here. Most likely, I will take care of two parishes, as do most of the Priests in this Diocese.

They do. They get right into the back of a limo with dark windows and are taken to their homes in Maryland and Virginia or even some in DC. They go to exclusive conclaves and entertainments and are surrounded by security people.

Of course, there are many people who live in DC. They have no Senators, their one Representative has no voting rights in terms of laws, though I think they have a couple electoral votes in Presidential elections.

DC is a great place to go for anyone who wants to serve the poor and disenfranchised. I wish you all success in your vocation.

I am confused.
Just a little over a month ago, you were convinced you were are Franciscan. :shrug:

And, I think it bears repeating, wanting to join an order because you think their habit is “cool” missing the entire point of religious life.

I will advise you again, find a spiritual director or talk to someone in your diocesean vocations office, or, if you are really drawn to a particular order, contact them. Learning different spiritualities is a good thing, but you need someone with knowledge and clarity of thought to help guide you through this process of discernment.

And you need to know that I don’t think there are any Dominicans actually in heaven :wink:

Spoken as an ex-Franciscan Friar

St. Thomas Aquinas was also a Dominican.

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