Without Preaching, the People Perish
Fr. Andrew Carl Wisdom, O.P.
Vicar for Mission Advancement &
Director of the Society for Vocational Support
Read the latest SVS Letters from Fr. Wisdom
- January 2016
- November 2015
- September 2015
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
SVS Mission Statement
The Society for Vocational Support financially supports the training, formation, and education of young men for the priesthood and brotherhood in the Dominicans, Order of Preachers, Province of St. Albert the Great.
The Order of Preachers, commonly known as the Dominicans, was approved by Pope Honorius III in 1216, and given the special task of “preaching for the salvation of souls.” To carry out this mission in the Central Province of the United States (Province of St. Albert the Great) and to support the young men preparing to become Dominican priests and brothers, The Society for Vocational Support was established in 1940 and has been a critical support to young vocations for over 75 years. Currently there are nearly 30 young men in formation.
A Culture of Vocations
The Central Province has been blessed with vocations every year, since it was established in 1939. The Society for Vocational Support has helped create a culture in which the Province can welcome young men into Dominican life. Thanks to SVS, which supports the education and formation of young Dominicans, the Order of Preachers continues to thrive and grow in the United States. Each friar has been taught that he is responsible for vocations as well. They own this responsibility.
Why Support Dominican Vocations?
The Dominicans are especially important in the Church today for the following reasons:
- Our expertise is preaching. The Church needs not only more priests and brothers, but priests and brothers who are effective and credible preachers to Catholics and the increasing number who are unchurched.
- We are highly trained theologians. An increasingly educated and sophisticated laity is hungry for the authentic teaching of the Catholic faith and the way that tradition touches the contemporary world (including the current demands of justice).
- We are drawing a whole new generation of young vocations. As an 800-year old religious order with an unbroken tradition, our communal life and mission of preaching and teaching is captivating a record number of young people with a strong retention rate.
- We are uniquely positioned to nurture and form the next generation of effective preachers and teachers at a critical moment in the Church’s history.
What does it cost to pursue a vocation?
When a young man commits his life to the Dominican Friars, Central Province, the Province also commits to him, covering his needs for food, clothing, housing, education (tuition, books), health care, and formation in the Order of Preachers.
It costs roughly $20,000 per year for a young man to discern his vocation at the Novitiate in Denver, Colorado. After that year, brothers preparing for priesthood typically spend another six years in formation at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, Missouri. Each year costs approximately $40,000 per friar. Brothers who will not be ordained priests, but who will do ministry in some other capacity generally spend four years as student brothers in St. Louis. In total, formation costs for priest candidates reach $260,000 per friar and $180,000 per non-ordained friar.
How can I join SVS?
Join the Society for Vocational Support today with your first monthly donation. We are committed to keeping our donors informed on the life of the Central Province, particularly the progress of the student brothers in formation who benefit from their support. As an SVS member, you will receive monthly letters from Fr. Andrew Carl Wisdom, O.P.
Dear Society for Vocational Support members:
We have likely never met nor spoken before, yet our lives are connected in a very deep and profound way. You see, I am a Dominican brother who was recently ordained to the Priesthood in St. Louis. I have been preparing for this moment for the past seven years as a novice, a student, and a deacon in the Church. During this time I have had so many graced opportunities to spend my days learning about God and reflecting upon God’s work of salvation in the world today. As a Dominican I’ve also had the opportunity to grow closer to the people of God in ministry.
During my time as a student I worked with college students who were discovering their own faiths for the first time in their lives, I accompanied men and women who were struggling with terminal illnesses at a hospice, and I even traveled to Haiti and Madagascar to see firsthand the terrible effects of poverty. There have been moments of joy and sorrow in this life, but through it all I have only become more convinced of the love and mercy of God.
As a priest I hope to continue to grow and share in the preaching of the Gospel. Yet, none of this would have been possible without people like you. Through your prayers and support you have accompanied me along this long and difficult journey. In your generosity you have touched my life and the lives of all who I have encountered. And just as you have assisted me, you also assist my many brothers still in formation for the priesthood. They are also discovering the will of God in their lives, and they will truly be the priests that the Church so desperately needs. I ask that you keep them in your prayers as you did me, so that too may have the same opportunities that I had. And though we may never meet face to face, we are united as brothers and sisters in our God.
Fr. Jude McPeak, OP