We are the Friars – brothers and priests – of the Order of Preachers, a religious Order of the Catholic Church that is commonly known as the ‘Dominicans’ after the name of our founder, St Dominic. Alternatively, the name comes from a Latin pun, Domini canes, meaning ‘dogs of the Lord’ because the Order was founded to preach the Truth of Christ’s Gospel, and by their ‘barking’ to act as guard dogs warning against deviations from God’s Word of salvation.
As religious bound to a Rule and the evangelical counsels of obedience, chastity and poverty, we live together in communities, but we are not tied to particular monasteries. Unlike monks, we are itinerant preachers, who are thus called to make the world our cloister.
At the heart of the Order of Preachers is the conviction that belief in God – and in the Christian Faith in particular – is rational and perfects the human person and completes the fundamental human desire for truth and goodness. Since our origins in 1216 members of the Order have, following the example of St Dominic, devoted their lives to the quest for truth, and to sharing the Christian Faith in a reasoned and loving way, with a great concern for individuals and their particular needs and circumstances.
In practical terms, this means we have always devoted ourselves to study and prayer on the one hand, and meaningful and faithful preaching on the other.