Our Province’s work in the Caribbean is supported by fundraising in the United Kingdom through the St Martin’s Mission fund, for which friars of the Province raise money chiefly through appeals in diocesan parishes.
In 1901, in response to an appeal from the Archbishop of Trinidad, who was an Irish Dominican called Vincent Flood, the English Dominicans agreed to take charge of a vicariate on the island of Grenada.
For over a century, English Dominicans have been serving in the Church in the Caribbean in parishes, schools, chaplaincies, seminaries, and caring for the poor and oppressed. In 2002, a former prior of the Rosary Priory, fr Vincent Darius OP was appointed as the first Grenadian-born bishop of St George’s, the capital of Grenada.
In September 2004, the priory and church was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan, and with help from benefactors both in the Caribbean and throughout the Order, the Rosary Priory was rebuilt. After several years of fund-raising, a new church in Roxborough was raised. It was consecrated in January 2011, and its presence stands as a witness to our continued mission in Grenada and other islands of the Caribbean.
While the period of Spanish rule had seen Dominicans in Jamaica, it was not until 1969, at the request of the first Catholic bishop of Kingston, that a group of three friars took over the parish of St Theresa. The friars combined parish work with teaching at St Michael’s, the archdiocesan seminary and theological college, opposite the gates of the University of the West Indies. Assisted in the parish by Dominican Sisters (Bushey Congregation), this lasted until 2008, though the seminary ceased training priests in 1996, remaining as a theological training centre for laity and deacons. Over 40 years, the mission produced just three local priestly vocations and one coadjutor friar.
However, in 2017, Archbishop Kenneth Richards reopened the seminary on Jamaica, allowing for the recreation of the Dominican pastoral/academic combination. This time, the friars were offered St Thomas Aquinas parish, on the same road as the seminary, together with chaplaincy to the University of the West Indies, and the University of Technology. Contiguous with the parish is its mission station, Christ the King, August Town. The English Dominicans also continue their work in Grenada. At present they live as a community at Roxborough, where they serve their own parish of Our Lady of the Rosary. In addition, they run other parishes, youth ministry and hospital chaplaincy for the diocese.