Dominic Guzmán was a Castilian (Spanish) priest of the 13th century. In Spanish, he is called Santo Domingo. In 1203, he was sent by the king of Castile on a diplomatic mission to Denmark, where he was to help find a Danish Princess for the Castilian Prince.
On the way, Dominic passed through France and Germany, and he realized that in all of Europe – from north to south, east to west – Catholics were ignorant of the real teachings of the Church. He dedicated his life to this new mission, to teach Catholics about Catholicism. Simply going out and scolding the people did not help. Dominic understood that this mission would take preparation as well as inspiration.
He became convinced that a new religious order was needed, one that would combine simplicity and poverty with systematic education and quality preaching, an order that was more mobile than the monks in a monastery, but more monastic than diocesan priests. On 1216, Pope Honorius III approved the new Order of Preachers (O.P.), commonly called the Dominicans. The Order of Preachers includes a branch of women, the Dominican Sisters (also called the Sisterhood of Preachers).
Honorius III was the same pope who approved the order of St. Francis of Assisi, the Order of Friars Minor, popularly called the Franciscans. Francis and Dominic inpired each other, and their friars learned from one another. Four new orders - the Dominicans, the Franciscans, the Augustinians and the Carmelites - together formed a new movement in the Catholic Church called the mendicant orders or the orders of friars.
All the way to Michigan
In 1859, a group of Dominican sisters came from Regensburg in Germany to New York. The sisters continued to follow the Catholic people westward, and in 1896, they established a new province of the Dominican Order in Adrian, Michigan. The sisters of this province are often called “the Adrian Dominicans”.
The Adrian Dominican Sisters build their life on the four pillars of the Dominican Order:
- community and
You can learn more about the Adrian Dominican Sisters, their life, mission and call, at their website adriandominicans.org
-friar Bob Showers OFM Conv.