Dominican Order of Preachers celebrates 800th anniversary

September 22, 2015

By Mary Alice Maloney

The Dominican Order of Preachers will celebrate its 800th Anniversary, or Jubilee, commemorating the official formation of the Dominican Order between1216-17. The Jubilee begins November 7, on the feast of All Saints of the Order, and continues through January 21, 2017, the date of the authorized confirmation of the Order by Pope Honorius III.

Sr. Janet Welsh, OP, director of the McGreal Center, is very excited to be celebrating the upcoming Jubilee.

“The celebration of the Jubilee is an opportunity for creating interfaith dialogue and exploring the meaning of the spirit,” said Sr. Janet. “It is also a time to show solidarity with the forgotten, the poor, and victims of violence and oppression. This celebration includes all branches of the Dominican family, and is truly meant to capture the voice and imagination of the young.”

Sr. Janet also explains the universities connection with the Dominican Order of Preachers, the Dominican University community, and why the university is named after St. Dominic, the founder of the Order of the Preachers.

“St. Dominic, a native of Spain, saw the need for a new kind of organization that would satisfy the needs of the church at the time. His Order of Preachers was mobile, or itinerant, meaning they were sent out to preach the Gospel. This was revolutionary in the way that most preachers stayed in place and had people come to them. Because of the Dominicans’ commitment to itinerancy, their mission spread worldwide,” Sr. Janet, explains.

The mission of St. Dominic was internalized by Father Samuel Mazzuchelli who then established an Order of Dominican Sisters in Sinsinawa, Wisconsin. This Order of Sisters continues the Dominican tradition by working to educate children and young adults all over the country, including here at Dominican University.

Sr. Janet also provided insight on why the mascot of our university is the star.

“St. Dominic is the patron saint of astronomers and images of him are often accompanied by a star hanging over or sitting on his head,” said Sr. Janet. “That’s why we’re the Stars!”

The celebration will kick off at Dominican on November 4 at the Founder’s Day dinner.