A Dominican Vocation

Br. Irenaeus Dunlevy, O.P.
Br. Irenaeus Dunlevy, O.P.

A Dominican Vocation

By. Br. Irenaeus Dunlevy, O.P.

When I met the Dominicans, I found something astounding about their lives. I was moved to tears when I first attended a Tenebrae service at the Dominican House of Studies. I also nodded in agreement to almost every word when I heard a student brother preach on the virtue of prudence. The brothers were kind and engaging and they invited me to pray with them and eat with them. If you have ever been around more than one Dominican, you probably have noticed the same joy that I did. The life of Dominicans seemed right. Their life had beauty, truth, and joy all focused in God.

Stained Glass of "Christ Enthroned" at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C. Photo: George Goss
Stained Glass of “Christ Enthroned” at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C.
Photo: George Goss

I found that to be a Dominican means to be a Christian. It’s evident in the brothers, and once I joined the Order I found that it’s marked in where we live. One of the first things you see when you enter the Dominican House of Studies is a stained glass window with the image of Christ enthroned. The window is backlit, which seems odd since it’s within an interior wall. Yet, when you see what is behind it, you find an interior court connecting the chapel, the refectory, and what used to be the library. Light enters the hidden interior of the building, touching all these spaces at once. The same light flows through the image of Christ, greeting you and announcing who lives here: Christ with his disciples.

Thank you for your prayers and financial contributions that make my vocation to the Dominicans possible. I look forward to this next semester of formation as I continue my studies and begin to preach the gospel to the poor in Washington, D.C. Your support makes it possible for me to contemplate and to share the fruits of my contemplation with others.

Br. Irenaeus Dunlevy, O.P., received a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and practiced for a religious architecture firm in the DC area before joining the Dominicans.