Brother Justin (nee Matthew) Scapini will make first Profession to the Dominican Order on Sunday, August 9 along with five other classmates. Brother Justin is the elder son of Dr. Mark and Susan Scapini of Troy, MI. They are members of St. Hugo of the Hills Church in Troy.
Justin graduated from Troy High School in 2004 and attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where he studied history and graduated in 2008. He discerned his religious vocation for several years before entering the Dominicans as a novice last summer.
Brother Justin speaks about the influence of Sr. Dorothy Ederer, O.P., a Grand Rapids Dominican Sister, who was on the campus ministry staff at St. Mary University Parish. Part of Brother Justin’s discernment has been to enter a religious order and also in what capacity. He will be making profession as a Cooperator Brother.
All Dominicans make profession to the Master of the Order, but some as clerical brothers and other as non-ordained Cooperator Brothers. The “Lay Brothers” have been part of the Order’s history from its very beginnings. Formerly, most of these Brothers maintained the order of the priory in order to free other brothers for the outward work of evangelizing and preaching. Today, Cooperator Brothers are teachers, preachers, or administrators.
The novitiate is a one-year time of discernment under the guidance of a novice master. The emphasis of this year is growth in personal self-awareness and development, and growth in prayer and learning the ways of Dominican community life. During first profession, these men take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Afterwards, they will append the suffix “O.P” to their name for the Order of Preachers, founded in 1216 by St. Dominic de Guzman; the Friars will celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Order next year (2016).
The six novices making profession will join seventeen other student brothers in St. Louis. The students live in community at St. Dominic Priory and attend Aquinas Institute of Theology for their theological education as seminarians for the next six years.
The Province of St. Albert the Great consists of 14 Midwestern states, including Michigan.