GALLERY: Dominicans begin to celebrate 800 years

The Order of Preachers, commonly known as Dominicans, after the founder, Dominic Guzman, are all about preaching – in season and out of season, in word and action, in artistic and creative ways. This call to preach shone through the solemn opening of the Dominican Jubilee Year, celebrated with Eucharist and lunch at Santa Sabina College, Strathfield on Saturday, 7 November.

The Jubilee Year celebrates 800 hundred years since the confirmation of the Order of Preachers and coincides with Pope Francis’ extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.

Congregational leader, Judith Lawson OP, addressed the assembly:

“The General Chapter of Trogir (2013) chose the theme of the Jubilee of the Order “Sent to Preach the Gospel” and invites us to reflect on the following questions: for whom are we sent? To whom are we sent? With whom? What do we bring by being sent?  This same chapter has given an answer to this last question: we are sent to preach the good news of the resurrection of Christ. The resurrection of Christ is the clearest revelation of the “mercy of God for the poor”.  To preach the resurrection is to preach a new path of friendship with God.  It is this grace that made St Dominic into an exemplary preacher, “the preacher of grace”.  The happy coincidence therefore allows us to unite our Jubilee year with the Jubilee of the church – the preachers of the gospel are the preachers of grace, and the preachers of grace are the preachers of the mercy of God.”

A congregation that included Sisters, students and former students, staff of Dominican schools and friends of the order, heard Sr Jenny Gerathy OP proclaim, “Now is the acceptable time” and Fr Anthony Walsh OP admit that we might easily come up with “reasons why now is not the acceptable time to take the gospel to the world”. However, as he explained, despite great difficulties, “St Dominic seized his moment in history as the acceptable time….So let us forge ahead!”

A message from the Master of the Order, Fr Bruno Cadoré OP, was read and the Jubilee Candle was lit.

The Eucharist flowed into a convivial luncheon gathering, with tables decorated in black and white, and orange, for the Gospel flame Dominicans are charged to spread.

To learn more about Dominicans and Dominican celebrations, read the Diocesan Update, visit and

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Tracey Edstein

Tracey Edstein is the former editor of Aurora Magazine, the official magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

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