Honor Dominican Order's Tradition of Teaching
GA [05/15/08]-- The Secondary Schools Department of the NCEA
(National Catholic Education Association) recognized the Dominican
Order for 800 years of service to the Church. NCEA honored the continuing
presence of Dominican sisters and friars in education in the United
States at its annual convention April 18-21,2006.
Cynthia Thomas, President of St.
Mary Dominican High School, New Orleans and Jane Meyer OP, ,Head
of School of St.
Agnes Academy, Houston, received the award on behalf of the
Dominican Order. Donna Pollard, OP, Principal
Pius X High School, Houston was also on hand. There are
29 Dominican high schools in this country.
The citation read:
The Order of Preachers was founded by St. Dominic in the 13th
century as a board-based community of friars, nuns, lay women and
men untied together in a common search for truth, and a desire to
bring the gospel to the lives of the ordinary people of his times.
(source: Barry University website)
From their beginning, Dominicans have always been connected
to schools. As soon as Dominic received papal approval for the Order
of Preachers in 1216, he enrolled his friars at the Cathedral school
of Toulouse. He then sent them to study theology in other university
centers: Paris, Orleans, Montpellier, Bologna, Cologne and Oxford.
The brethren were sent “to study, to preach and to form a
prayerful contemplative community. In the first formal foundation
at Toulouse, the prime concern of the Founder was to erect a cloister
with a floor of cells sufficiently commodious for study and sleeping.
Far from being something of an exception, study became one of the
fundamental elements of the Order. Dominic, who always carried the
Gospel of St. Matthew and the Epistles of Paul, urged his early
followers to study the Old and New Testaments unceasingly.
Dominic established a new link between study and preaching,
the one initiating the other, and both serving the salvation of
souls. Faced with the urgent need to combat heresy, his ideal was
to gather into evangelical communities, learned and holy Preachers
who would make use of their intellectual gifts in the service of
truth.” (source: Bedoulelle, OP “Study in the Life
of Early Dominicans”
The tradition of study as essential to teaching and preaching
has remained through these 800 years a recognized pillar of the
Order of Preachers. Thousands of Dominicans teach in colleges, universities,
high schools, and elementary schools. In the Spirit of Thomas Aquinas,
Albert theGreat, and Catherine of Siena, these Dominican educators
have found their authentic voice in the simple words of a man who
urged his followers to share with others the fruits of their contemplation.
The Dominican Association of Secondary Schools (DASS)
will house the plaque that was presented by NCEA. There are 29 Dominican
High Schools in the US. (see
|There are 29 Dominican
high schools in this country.
see the list