Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Who Is Dominican Tertiary?

In case anyone out there is wondering, I am an American man, living in the United States.  I am married and have a family.  I am in the 45 - 55 year old age range.  I have been a Roman Catholic all my life, and I am completely loyal to the Magisterium of the Church, and our Holy Father Pope Francis.  I am also a novice in the Lay Fraternity of St. Dominic (Dominican Third Order).

Though my parents did the best job they could, during the turbulent 70's and 80's, to raise me Catholic,  I was not a truly "practicing" Catholic until about 2000.   Around that time a very dear friend of mine was trying to draw me closer to Christ and the Church, something my father had also been attempting for a number of years.  Their efforts were supplemented that year by my encounter with a Traditionalist priest, who introduced me to both the Traditional Mass, and St. Thomas Aquinas.  The rest, as they say, is history.

And how did I come to the Dominican Breviary?  In the Fall of 2005, the dear friend mentioned above gave me a copy of the Angelus Press "Divine Office" as a birthday present, which contains Prime and Compline from the 1962 Roman Breviary.   (Around this same time, another dear friend of mine introduced me to the Third Order [Lay Fraternity] of St. Dominic.  With a new born at home though, and another one on the way, it was clear that the time was not right for me to make a commitment to a Religious Order, though I did start to live elements of the Rule from this time forward).  I prayed Prime and Compline using the Angelus Press Divine Office until August of 2008.  That is when I obtained a copy of the complete 1962 Roman Breviary in English.  This volume introduced me to Lauds and Vespers, and Matins.  It was an eye opening experience, and from this point forward, my entire prayer life has revolved around the traditional liturgical calendar, first the Roman and then the Dominican. 

I used this magnificent volume to pray Lauds and Compline (and sometimes Vespers and Matins) faithfully until the Spring of 2011.  That is when I obtained my two-volume edition of the 1967 English translation of the Dominican Breviary.  I have been praying that faithfully ever since.  In 2012, I obtained a copy of the two-volume 1962 "Breviarium Juxta Ritum Sacri Ordinis Praedicatorum", which was the last Breviary that the Order ever published.  Shortly after that, I obtained a copy of Fr. Bonniwell's 1955 English translation of the "Martyrology of Sacred Order of Friars Preachers".  With that, I am able to pray all of the hours of the Dominican Breviary if I want to.

At some point during this process, I also approached a Chapter of the Lay Fraternity, which I eventually joined. Of course, I pray the Liturgy of the Hours at Chapter meetings and other Chapter functions.

Why do I use the pseudonym "Dominican Tertiary"?  Although I believe that "Summorum pontificum" allows me to use the Dominican Breviary to fulfill the requirement of the Rule to pray the Office every day (just as if I attended the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite every day, to fulfill the obligation for hearing Mass every day...if possible), I think it prudent not to "push the envelope" so to speak, and publicize it.  I choose to do this until I make my final profession into the Order.  At that point, I will probably change my Google identity to my real name.

Since I started this blog in April 2013, I have heard from numerous people, both lay and ordained, who have offered kind words as well as their own stories of how they came to the Dominican Breviary.  Most of the lay people who I hear from are either Lay Dominicans, or considering a vocation to the Dominican Third Order.  It heartens me to know that there are so many other tertiaries out there who are interested in the traditional Dominican Office.  Please keep the comments coming and feel free to share your story with me.