As one might expect, candidates to our province are always wondering if they will fit into the mold of a Central Province Dominican; and will they will pass inspection, if you will, as a member of the Province of St. Albert the Great. My answer is always the same: we welcome Catholic men who sincerely seek holiness and happiness within the Dominican Order. After that, the conversation opens up pretty wide. What I do make clear is that we are not all the same. We do not all hold the same ideologies, we are not clones and we firmly reject the idea that we have anything akin to a “Stepford Dominican” within our Province and the Dominicans as a whole!
Using a cultural reference can be troublesome when explaining the vocation to religious life and priesthood. But the term “Stepford” anything is normally understood by the vast majority of reasonably educated and engaged English speakers throughout the world. The term refers to the satirical novel by Ira Levin from 1972, which was made into no less than two feature films, as well as television shows and sequels. The Stepford Wives were submissive robots who were created to please their owners/husbands and never question anything. Further, they all dressed similarly and pretty much looked the same all around. It was supposed to produce a peaceful paradise.
You undoubtedly get my reference at this point as to why I am writing this brief entry. It is simply this: There are no passive, submissive, and mindless robots within the Dominican Order. We may profess the same vow, wear the same habit and pray and celebrate Eucharist together, but that is where similarities end. Our hobbies and interests, our approaches to ministry, theology and philosophy, and even the way we read St. Thomas Aquinas, will vary along a very wide spectrum. The last thing the Church and the Dominicans need is a collection of men who look, act and preach in the same way. The Church has not asked us to do that. She has asked us to be intelligent, individually thinking scholars and saints. Let me emphasize that last word…SAINTS! This is what we strive for in all we do. We seek to serve God by serving His people, no matter where they are on their journey. We preach Jesus Christ in our own unique way that God has gifted us and we do so faithfully. If you are looking to join an order where there is no disagreement or active debate on important issues within the Church and the world, the Dominicans are not for you!
On the other hand, if you seek to serve Jesus Christ with your whole body, mind and spirit, then you might want to contact me.