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Keeping the Light Shining Bright
Our Program of Formation involves eight years of academic and ministerial training rooted in our Thomistic tradition, a one year novitiate, two years of philosophy, a Residency year, and four years of theology. Throughout all that time our student friars in formation depend completely on the generosity of others and so keep our benefactors in particular at the center of our prayer life. Pleased do add your own regular donation to our continuing need. We thank you now and will continue to thank you with our prayers.
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Western Dominican Province
5890 Birch Court
Oakland, CA 94618-1626
Our Dominican School
The Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA offers Masters and other degree and certificate programs rooted in the tradition of the Dominican order and our brother, St. Thomas Aquinas. Faithful to the teaching of Holy Mother, the Church, our school prepares not only young men studying for the priesthood, but also other men and women who will be the leaders of local communities of faith. Please do join in supporting this essential ministry of the Western Dominican Province.
Fr. Robert Francis Christian, OP
I was born and raised in San Francisco. Although I grew up in a parish adjoining St. Dominic’s, I had no contact with Dominicans. I attended a Jesuit high school and a Jesuit university.
However, while spending my junior year of college in Florence, Italy, I lived in a Dominican parish, and up the hill in Fiesole was a Dominican novitiate. During that year I realized that God was calling me to priesthood in a contemplative and active religious order that prays the choral office and shares all things—even decisions—in common. So it was from Florence that I wrote to the vocation director in California, and after graduation I entered the novitiate in Oakland.
After ordination, my first ministry was teaching and campus ministry at Dominican College (now Dominican University) in San Rafael. In 1979 I was given permission to study for a doctorate, and I left for the Dominican pontifical university, the Angelicum, in Rome, little suspecting that I would spend most of my life there.
I finished my doctorate in dogmatic theology in 1984 and was sent first to Riverside, and then to Seattle, to work in campus ministry. I was only one year in Seattle when the Master of the Order reassigned me to Rome. From 1985 until 1997, with the exception of a sabbatical, I taught at the Angelicum. Then I returned to the Province as socius and vicar provincial for two years. I went back to Rome in 1999, and indications are that I shall be in Rome for the foreseeable future.
I have served in many administrative capacities both at the university and in the Dominican community in addition to my academic duties, and I have had the privilege of doing some small jobs at the Vatican. Teaching students from every corner of the world (98 countries are represented in the Angelicum student body) has been enriching, and the combination of duty and frequent flier miles have made it possible for me, in turn, to visit many parts of the world.
Nevertheless I remain affiliated to the Western Dominican Province and am happy to return for at least a brief period of ministry in the province, among the brethren, every year.