February 20, 2009

Sacrae Theologiae Magister (STM)

Three Dominican Friars from the Theological Faculty at the University of Fribourg received the STM degree (Sacrae Theologiae Magister) in a ceremony in Fribourg in November of 2008. Congratulations to Fr. Guy Bedouelle, O.P., Fr. Guido Vergauwen, O.P., and Fr. Johannes Brantschen, O.P.

Other recent recipients of this honor include Fr. Adrian Schenker, O.P. (Fribourg) and Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P. (Charlottesville).

February 18, 2009

The Grace of Preaching: St. Dominic and the Early Dominicans

Excerpt from a talk on Dominican Preaching given at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C. on February 14, 2009. Fr. Dominic Legge, O.P., is a member of the Eastern Dominican Province and teaches theology at Providence College. The complete talk was 45 min. in length and can be viewed at dominicanfriars.org.

February 16, 2009

Lectures in Dominican History - Part 25

Lectures in Dominican history given in 1986 to Dominican friars of the Province of St. Joseph by Fr. John Frederick Hinnebusch, O.P. of the Dominican House of Studies, Washington, D.C. Lecture 25 of 25. Audio, 16 min. mp3 format.

In Lecture 25, the last lecture, Fr. Hinnebusch offers concluding remarks about the history of the Dominican Order in the 20th century, focusing especially on the intellectual apostolate.

February 13, 2009

Louis-Jacques Bataillon, O.P.

Father Louis-Jacques Bataillon, O.P., of the Province of France, died today in Paris at the age of 94. A member of the Leonine Commission, he was a great specialist in medieval sermons, focusing in particular on the preaching of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord,
And let perpetual light shine upon him.

A reviewer of one of his books describes his work: "Regular readers of Bataillon's highly respected Bulletin d'Histoire des doctrines médiévales, which has appeared annually in the Revue des Sciences philosophiques et théologiques since 1959, will be very pleased by this publication of a series of his articles on thirteenth-century preaching in France and in Italy. At one time a member of the "École du Saulchoir," the theological research center of French Dominicans made famous by the publications of Congar and Chenu, Bataillon subsequently joined another brilliant team of scholars, the Leonine commission, whose task it is to produce a critical edition of the writings of Thomas Aquinas. The recent publications of this edition have been hailed as among the best ever produced by medieval specialists. Aside from being one of the main photographers and collectors of microfilms for this edition, Bataillon—who likely has seen and read more manuscripts than any medieval scholar—is chiefly responsible for the editing of Aquinas's sermons. Expert in paleography and philology, his vast acquaintance with medieval sermons—there are some ten thousand extant—has gained him the accolade of dean of this rapidly burgeoning and, until recently, neglected field of studies." (Paul Lachance, O.F.M. in Church History)

Some publications by Fr. Bataillon:

“Un sermon de saint Thomas d’Aquin sur la parabole du festin,” RSPT 58 (1974) 451–56.

"Approaches to the Study of Medieval Sermons," Leeds Studies in English 11 (1980) 19-35.

“Le sermon inédit de saint Thomas, Homo quidam fecit cenam magnam: Introduction et édition,” RSPT 67 (1983) 353–68.

"Similitudines et exempla dans les sermons du XIIIe sičcle," in The Bible in the Medieval World: Essays in memory of Beryl Smalley, ed. K. Walsh & D. Wood, SChH, Subsidia 4 (Oxford, 1985) 191-205.

"Les sermons attribués à saint Thomas: Questions d’authenticité” in Thomas von Aquin, ed. Albert Zimmermann, Miscellanea Mediaevalia 19 (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1988) 325–41.

"Sermons rédigés, sermons réportés (XIIIe sičcle)," Medioevo e Rinascimento 3 (1989) 69-86.

"Early Scholastic and Mendicant Preaching as Exegesis of Scripture," in Ad Litteram. Authoritative Texts and Their Medieval Readers, ed. Mark D. Jordan & Kent Emery jr. (Notre Dame-London, 1992) 165-198.

La Predication au XIIIe siècle en France et Italie: études et documents (Variorum, 1993).

"Sermoni e orazioni d’ambiente universitario parigino nel sec. XIII," Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale 5 (1994) 297-329.

“Béatitudes et types de sainteté,” Revue Mabillon 7 (1996) 79–104.

"L’activité intellectuelle des Dominicains de la première génération," in S. LUSIGNAN et M. PAULMIER-FOUCART, Lector et Compilator. Vincent de Beauvais, frère prêcheur: Un intellectuel et son milieu au XIIIe siècle (Éditions Créaphis, Grâne, 1997) 9-19.

"Les sermons du franciscain Bindo da Siena pour les dimanches," Archivum Franciscanum Historicum 92 (1999) 95-116.

"Chronique de doctrines médiévales: Étude et prédication," RSPT 84 (2000) 357-366.

Video: intervention de L. J. Bataillon autour de l'exemplum biblique (source: Pecia)

More testimony from those who knew and worked with Fr. Bataillon at the Province of France, Sermones.net, Thomistica.net and The International Medieval Sermon Studies Society

February 12, 2009

St. Thomas Aquinas meets St. Paul

A brief 2 min audio (and video) excerpt about St. Thomas Aquinas encountering St. Paul in a dream. From the 2009 St. Thomas Day Lecture by Professor Robert Louis Wilken at St. Vincent Ferrer Church in New York City.

Audio (better sound quality, 1 min 57 seconds):


February 5, 2009

Martin Stanislaus Gillet, O.P., 1930 Visitation

Time Magazine
Monday, September 29, 1930

"Black Friars' General"
Had portly, shrewd, magisterial Martin Stanislaus Gillet, 55, 78th Master General of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans, in England Black Friars) entered Spain 100 years ago or any European country 200 years ago, as he entered the U. S. last week, the populace would have scurried from accusations of heresy. For usually Dominicans operated the Inquisition, with the occasional aid of Franciscans. But the Inquisition no longer exists. The Black Friars confine themselves to the main purposes of their founder, St. Dominic of Guzman (1170-1221)—to preach, teach and missionize. Master General Gillet's visit to the U. S. was chiefly to inspect the work of his chief subordinates in this country. Those chiefs are Very Rev. Raymond Meagher of Manhattan, provincial of all Dominicans east of the Rocky Mountains, and Very Rev. Pius M. Driscoll of San Francisco, provincial west of the Rockies. They have about 600 fathers, clerical students and lay brothers working under them. The Dominican Missions at Fall River, Mass, and Lewiston, Me. are under the jurisdiction of Very Rev. Alphonse Langlais of Montreal, provincial of Canada. Those at New Orleans are under Very Rev. Manuel Perez, vicar-provincial of the Philippines.

Further concern of Master General Gillet are the 12,000 sisters of St. Dominic and sisters of the third order of St. Dominic (lay organization).

A third preoccupation for this very important monk is to praise the Holy Name Society, laymen's organization, which Dominicans organized and with the co-operation of the bishops, manage.
But the most significant duties which Master General Gillet has to perform in the U. S. are ineffable. He is a member of the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office. The purposes of that office are fundamental to Roman Catholicism. It defends the teaching of faith and morals. It censors and condemns "dangerous" books, and permits the special reading of such books. It dispenses priests from fasting before mass. It judges, as supreme court, all cases of mixed marriages. It judges heresy and all offenses leading to a suspicion of heresy. All members take an oath of secrecy, "the secret of the Holy Office." Dominican Gillet helps conduct its unreportable trials. Seventy-five religious orders for men exist in the U. S. Most familiar to the general public are the Jesuits because of their universities and their earthquake reports.— But the Franciscans (in England Grey Friars) and Benedictines (Black Monks) are also numerous and active, in teaching, charity and missions.

—In 16th Century Spain, inquisitors twice imprisoned St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, on suspicion of heresy. Inquisitors also accused St. Teresa, reformer of the Carmelite Order, of canonical misconduct. Her mystic Concepts of the Divine Love brought censure. She was saved from punishment by King Philip II, morose religio-maniac.

February 3, 2009

Fr. DiNoia, O.P. on the Dominican Charism

"Religious institutes--as the various orders and congregations are called--are organized forms of consecrated life, recognized and approved by the Church, in which the fullness of the following of Christ can be found and pursued. Hence, the importance of fidelity to the founding charism and subsequent religious heritage of the religious community. In the words of Pope John Paul II:  "It is precisely in this fidelity to the inspiration of the founders and foundresses…that the essential elements of the consecrated life can be more readily discerned and more fervently put into practice" (Vita Consecrata § 36).

The Dominican charism captures all the essential elements of the Christian life, but configured according to the characteristic grace, vision, genius and example of St. Dominic (Bedouelle 1987). Ecclesiastical approval of the Constitutions of the Order is not simply a canonical formality, but a certification that the form of life to which the Dominican charism has given rise encompasses the way of the Gospel in its entirety. A form of life found in its institutional and communal embodiments, it is also a tradition of practical wisdom to whose tutelage one commends one's life and destiny. One's personal identity, one's own life, one's ways of thinking and acting, come to be shaped by the distinctive form of life to which the Dominican charism has given rise."

Providence College on the Eve of its Second Century," by J. Augustine Di Noia, O.P., 
Undersecretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 
Inaugural Academic Convocation at Providence College
, 1 October 2005.

February 2, 2009

Lectures in Dominican History - Part 24

Lectures in Dominican history given in 1986 to Dominican friars of the Province of St. Joseph by Fr. John Frederick Hinnebusch, O.P., of the Dominican House of Studies, Washington, D.C. Lecture 24. Audio, 61 min. mp3 format.

In Lecture 24 Fr. Hinnebusch discusses Dominican History in the 19th and 20th centuries, the Masters General, the development of the Dominican Order in the modern period, persecution of the Church and the Dominican Order in Europe, suppression of Dominican priories by hostile secular regimes, Vincent Jandel as a reforming Master of the Order, the renewal of the Dominican common life, regular observance, and apostolic preaching, Lacordaire and the renewal of the Order in France, General Chapters, legislative and constitutional reforms, new provinces, the early history of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph in this period, the Kingdom of Italy and the Papal States, Santa Sabina, the Angelicum, etc.