The province recently held our final admissions board of the year. Michael Wagaman, 29, from Elliot City, Maryland, was approved for the novice class of 2015. Mike graduated from the University of Maryland with a double major in Chemistry and Modern Language/Linguistics. Among his gifts with language study, Michael is very familiar with Ancient Greek. He currently works as a lab technician for the W.R. Grace Company. This completes the number of men in this year’s class at seven new novices!
Also approved, but for the novitiate beginning August, 2016, is Alain El Howayek, 28, originally from Amchit, Lebanon. Currently Alain is a research assistant finishing his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at Purdue University where the Dominicans head the campus ministry. He was accepted a year early so he can focus on finishing his doctoral work and get a head start on transferring his immigration status. Alain speaks 4 languages: Arabic, French, English and Mandarin. In his discernment, he not only felt called to the Dominicans, but to our province. To stay and become a religious in this country was a tough decision for Alain and not easy for his family. Yet, he radiates a clear peace when he talks about God leading him to us in a decisive way.
Several years ago, we had a young man, Br. Vincent Davila, O.P., who decided that he was called to serve in our province instead of his native Spain. Brother is also a Purdue graduate and has already become such a promising leader in the province we cannot imagine our Dominican family without him! He is set to profess final vows to the Order this September in St. Louis where he is enthusiastically preparing for the priesthood.
I’m struck with how small the world has become! This year, more than any other, has been a year when those outside our country have discovered the Central Province either online, through our missionary work overseas, or while studying here, having become involved in one of our three university campus ministries. That involvement has been transformative. This year alone we welcome two Canadians, a men from Trinidad and Lebanon, as well as a young priest from Nigeria to our Denver novitiate.
While unusual, we are richer for getting these new brothers with their global perspectives and culturally diverse experiences. It enlarges us. It also reinforces our call to serve without borders. As an international Order, Dominicans have always been called to serve without borders and we have, serving overseas in missionary, educational and administrative capacities. But now, in a wonderful exchange, young men overseas want to experience Dominican life and service in the fertile ground of our brotherhood and its ministries in this country.
In the spirit of St. Dominic,
Fr. Andrew Carl Wisdom, O.P.
Vicar for Mission Advancement &
Director of the Society for Vocational support
P.S. From far and wide the Spirit brings these young men to us. We now need your help to form and inform their lives as Dominicans!