Path to Heaven

Prior Provincial, Fr. Allen Moran, O.P., welcomes seven newly solemnly professed Dominican friars: front row, Br. Linus Martz, O.P., Br. Basil Burroughs, O.P., Br. Bertrand Hebert, O.P.; back row, Br. Nicodemus Thomas, O.P., Br. Louis Bethea, O.P., Br. Gregory Santy, O.P., and Br. Titus Sanchez, O.P. Photo by George Goss.


Path to Heaven
By Blackfriars Staff

“By profession, we dedicate ourselves to God, following Christ to lead an evangelical life in the Order. In this way our baptismal consecration becomes more fully effective. By the profession of obedience we bind ourselves to live the evangelical counsels, renouncing certain things of undoubted value without detriment to true human development. We embrace Christ’s self-emptying while sharing in his life in the Spirit. So, by being faithful, we give a clearer witness in the Church to the values of the kingdom of heaven. We also promise in filial devotion to obey the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, the immensely caring mother of our Order. By professing obedience to St. Dominic, we also promise to be faithful to his spirit and project.”
—The Book and Constitutions and Ordinations of the Brothers of the Order of Preachers, no. 189

These words beautifully describe the Dominican life that seven Dominican friars vowed themselves to live faithfully until death by making Solemn Profession in January. In making solemn vows, these friars consecrated the whole of their life to God.

In receiving these vows, Very Rev. Allen Moran, O.P., Prior Provincial of the Province of St. Joseph said the vows put these men on a certain path, a path concerned with the things of God, a path that sets aside earthly goods. This path is a life of prayer, study, and contemplation. And for Dominicans, it’s the path that will bear fruit in their preaching so that souls are saved.

But this path is not necessarily a self- evident one, Fr. Allen said. So it’s a matter of following those who have tread this path before them—like Our Lady, St. Dominic, St. Thomas Aquinas, and their brothers in the Province of St. Joseph. “It is a communal road,” he said. “And on this path of saints, we recall our ongoing profound need for God’s mercy, for a continued grace that he gives, that this path is walked with the shoes of humility.”

Fr. Allen pointed to where that path ends: union with God, the beatific vision. In a word, heaven. He gave thanks to God for these brothers and asked for the grace that each brother may reach this end, and do so joyfully.

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