Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Hounds of the Lord

An easy and enjoyable read from First Things on the increase of vocations within the Eastern Province of Dominicans in the United States.

Comforting to know that despite the chaos coming directly out of Rome, one corner of the Roman Church still has its act together.

I am more than a bit biased towards the Dominicans (and their liturgy). Truth be told, for reasons I won't go into, the Eastern Province has a special place in my heart and readily swells up waves of nostalgia. It was, in all truth, a very good time of my life. The Eastern Province succeeds where so many other religious orders and whole dioceses fail - it makes sense out of the chaos in post-Vatican II Catholicism without pivoting to romantic notions of what the Roman Church must have been like in the fifties.

The Western Province isn't to be outdone. The only solid and substantial parish experience I had during my time in the Roman Church was at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Seattle. I recommend anyone in the area to make a point of attending liturgy there. They were and are a solid community and a hive of activity in the midst of one of the most "un-churched" cities in the country. One would be hard pressed to find a more substantial parish life.

7 comments:

  1. My experience with Dominicans has not been, alas, as pleasant as yours. But then, that experience has largely been limited to my applying to and visiting St. Albert's Priory in Oakland, CA back in 1984. Let me just say of that experience that I found them not to be domini cani, but rather like Aesop's dog in the manger. And in so doing, I think them worthy of our Lord's condemnation of the Pharisees in Matthew 23:13.

    One hopes, however, that things have gotten better since then. A friend of mine applied to St. Albert's a number of years later, and he has since been ordained.

    I will agree with you, wholeheartedly, about Blessed Sacrament Parish. I visited there once around Epiphanytide, two years ago, and found the service there marvelous. If anything had been available even slightly like that in L.A. thirty years or so ago, I'd probably have remained a Roman Catholic.

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    1. For better or worse, my experience has left me perpetually biased in the order's favor, even when I've interacted with the more watered down pockets.

      Regarding Blessed Sacrament, it is a boon for one of the most progressive cities in the US. A shame it is the exception and not the rule.

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    2. I was last there around the same time, January 2013.

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  2. I wasted so much time looking back when I left the western for the eastern church. Believe me that it was not worth the energy.

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  3. I do hope that you were able to make it to the Sunday after Epiphany for that year, when two seminarians chanted the announcement of the date of Pascha (with Lent, etc.) One sang the traditional chant, arranged for English. The other sang a heartbreakingly beautiful organum to the chant.

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    1. I believe I missed it by one week.

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    2. I believe I missed it by one week.

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