God in the Midst of Suffering

Stained Glass Window from St. Dominic’s Church in Washington, D.C. Photo: Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P.

Dear Friends,

Where is God in the midst of suffering? One sign of God’s presence is the Ordination (in three separate ceremonies due to Coronavirus precautions) of eight Dominican Friars you helped prepare for the priesthood.

The Sacred Heart linking Christ to His priests is a popular symbol of the Catholic priesthood. In the rite of Ordination, the phrase “alter Christus,” reminds us that, although Christ Himself is present to His Church, the priest acts as “another Christ.”

During the Ordination Mass of Fr. Hyacinth Grubb, O.P., at the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer in Manhattan, Bishop Edmund Walsh’s opening remarks spoke beautifully to this reality: “It is with great joy in the midst of a difficult time that we have this sign of hope.”

As an “alter Christus,” Father Hyacinth was immediately assigned to serve in the heart of the Coronavirus epidemic as a hospital chaplain in New York City. Many patients are lonely and anxious. Some have lost loved ones to this virus. All of them have questions. It is because of your support that Father Hyacinth, after his many years of formation, is now a living “sign of hope” to this flock. It is because of you that all our newly ordained priests are now on the front lines of spiritual battle, bringing sanctifying grace to so many souls in need of healing.

I had the opportunity to speak with Bishop Walsh right before the Ordination Mass. When I mentioned that I serve in the work of advancement for the Province, he immediately asked me to extend his gratitude to you for your support of the Dominican Friars. I was very touched by his thoughtfulness, and if you watch the video you’ll hear him address you at the very beginning of the Mass: “Thank you for making this day possible. It is your goodness that we celebrate.”

In addition to my gratitude for these eight men who serve the Church as priests, I’m thankful that Bro. Martin Davis, O.P., will join me here at the Dominican Friars Foundation. Brother Martin was born in Georgia, but spent most of his time growing up near Monroe, Michigan. He attended Hillsdale College where he received a Bachelor of Science in Financial Management. At Hillsdale he converted to the Catholic faith. After a couple of years working as a financial analyst, he entered the Order of Preachers and has just finished all his studies.

Please pray for Brother Martin and our newly ordained priests, and be assured that we are keeping you and your loved ones in prayer as well.

Yours in Christ,




Father Gabriel Gillen, O.P.
Executive Director
Dominican Friars Foundation

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