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Our Program of Formation involves eight years of academic and ministerial training. 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 ad 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.
Br. Gabriel Thomas Mosher, OP
Nine days early I was born on October 22, 1979 in Albuquerque, NM. I am the oldest child, the oldest grandchild and so began my life thoroughly spoiled. To add insult to injury my maternal grandparents were also my Godparents. I was raised Catholic until my parents divorced at age seven at which point I was raised un-Catholic. I went to public schools (where I surprisingly received an excellent education) played soccer and did all the usually things that a young boy of my generation does. In these years my faith was like an old tennis racket. It was something that I owned, kept in he garage, probably swung a few times a year and promptly returned for another year of neglect.My family was always a great support to me even when I decided to be a Marine. While at Texas A&M University in 1999 our annual bonfire collapsed killing 13 people and I was struck by the fragility of life. I began to fail at my training and my studies and so I decided to return home and seek a different life path. Praise God my Godparents have always been there to help me so I lived with them, got a job and began to live life. While living there with my Grandparents the Lord prompted me to finish my sacraments and it was there in RCIA that I first strongly felt a call to the priesthood. Yet there were too many barriers in the way. Well, God solved that problem.
At that time I was dating a girl for going on five years and on New Years that relationship ended. I was in a financial hole due to student loans but God found at least a temporary fix for that one. I hadn't received all my Sacraments – that was completed in the year. So, with no excuses left I went off to explore this strong pull I felt on my heart. So, the very year I received my First Holy Communion and Confirmation I began studies with the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.
I was sent to Holy Apostles College & Seminary for my philosophy education and consumed my studies with more ferocity than Homer Simpson would a box of donuts. I met some of the greatest guys I've known and all in the context of seeking God for the sake of others. For my first year of Theology I went to Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon where I also met wonderful men but through a serious of personal trials I decided to leave the seminary for a time.
While I was home I was blessed to worked for the Knights of Columbus as the local Insurance Agent. It was a pleasure to serve brother Knights and their families by helping protect them from catastrophic loss. Also in that time I met a girl that was my definition of perfect and we began to date. I felt that I had found whom God wanted in my life and very seriously considered the proposition of marriage. Yet there was something lacking in this relationship it was in that lack that I found God's will. I cam to a realization that I could not in the exclusive way that Marriage requires but that I need the freedom to love everyone with the equality that Christ loved. So, it was in a trip to New York to see a friend be ordained for the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal that gave me the time to listen to the voice of God. I had previously been attracted to the joy that their community demonstrated and while I was staying there for the four days I was able to talk through my thoughts with great friends to whom I will always be indebted.
While at my friend's "First Mass," during the homily, I felt God speak to my heart in such a profound way that I was filled with a certainty that I was called to the Single Life. When I returned home I ended the relationship and began to discern how God wanted me to live this vocation. Based on what I knew about myself (and many hours at Adoration) I realized that I could serve best as a teacher and a preacher. Immediately I thought of the Dominicans because they had been there in my life the whole time and I had never really looked at them before. The parish that I had RCIA was staffed with Dominican Sisters, my current parish was named for St. Thomas Aquinas, my spiritual directors at both seminaries had been Dominicans and I had developed an affinity for them through other friends and fellow workers in my years in the seminary. The light began to shine in dimness of my mind and so I looked into the order of preachers.
My godfather, a good priest, told me one time that "God calls you who you are as you are," and so I asked God why gifts he had given me that I could use in His service. It all began to fit together since I felt a strong desire to teach the faith but also to preach the faith. I couldn't help but tank God for custom making a Religious Order just for me! When I cam out to visit the Province for the first time I felt like I was coming home for the first time – for the last time. Now I am here in the Order of Preachers keeping my eyes fixed on the Crucifix, covered in the Mantel of Our Lady seeking the mercy of God for the Salvation of Souls and please God I may do so for the rest of my life. [updated: September 23, 2008]