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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
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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.
Saints and Blesseds
SAINT ZEDISLAVA BERKIANA (sometimes spelled Zedislava Berka), a lay Dominican, wife and mother who was canonized by Pope John Paul II.
Saint Zedislava was born into a wealthy Bohemian (today Czech Republic) military family in A.D. 1215. Her father was the commander of a fortified castle between Vienna and Prague where Saint Zedislava grew up. During her childhood, Bohemia was a place of warfare, facing the great Mongol hordes that continually attacked Christendom. Growing up in a castle, Saint Zedislava assisted her mother with all the things that women were traditionally responsible for, including caring for indigents who daily presented themselves at the castle gates. Saint Zedislava learned not only the faith, but how to minister to the sick and injured with homespun remedies, always with a prayer, from her mother.
born at Assisi in Umbria, in 1181 or 1182 — the exact year is uncertain
died there, 3 October, 1226.
His father, Pietro Bernardone, was a wealthy Assisian cloth merchant. Of his mother, Pica, little is known, but she is said to have belonged to a noble family of Provence. Francis was one of several children. The legend that he was born in a stable dates from the fifteenth century only, and appears to have originated in the desire of certain writers to make his life resemble that of Christ. At baptism the saint received the name of Giovanni, which his father afterwards altered to Francesco, through fondness it would seem for France, whither business had led him at the time of his son's birth. In any case, since the child was renamed in infancy, the change can hardly have had anything to do with his aptitude for learning French, as some have thought.
Francis received some elementary instruction from the priests of St. George's at Assisi, though he learned more perhaps in the school of the Troubadours, who were just then making for refinement in Italy. However this may be, he was not very studious, and his literary education remained incomplete. Although associated with his father in trade, he showed little liking for a merchant's career, and his parents seemed to have indulged his every whim. Thomas of Celano, his first biographer, speaks in very severe terms of Francis's youth. Certain it is that the saint's early life gave no presage of the golden years that were to come. No one loved pleasure more than Francis; he had a ready wit, sang merrily, delighted in fine clothes and showy display. Handsome, gay, gallant, and courteous, he soon became the prime favourite among the young nobles of Assisi, the foremost in every feat of arms, the leader of the civil revels, the very king of frolic. But even at this time Francis showed an instinctive sympathy with the poor, and though he spent money lavishly, it still flowed in such channels as to attest a princely magnanimity of spirit.
St. Thérèse of Lisieux (January 2, 1873 – September 30, 1897) was the ninth child of saintly parents, Louis and Zélie Martin, both of whom had wished to consecrate their lives to God in the cloister. The vocation denied them was given to their children, five of whom became religious, one to the Visitation Order and four in the Carmelite Convent of Lisieux.
Brought up in an atmosphere of faith where every virtue and aspiration were carefully nurtured and developed, her vocation manifested itself when she was still only a child. Educated by the Benedictines, when she was fifteen she applied for permission to enter the Carmelite Convent, and being refused by the superior, went to Rome with her father, as eager to give her to God as she was to give herself, to seek the consent of the Holy Father, Leo XIII, then celebrating his jubilee. He preferred to leave the decision in the hands of the superior, who finally consented and on 9 April, 1888, at the unusual age of fifteen, Thérèse Martin entered the convent of Lisieux where two of her sisters had preceded her.
The account of the eleven years of her religious life, marked by signal graces and constant growth in holiness, is given by Soeur Thérèse in her autobiography, written in obedience to her superior and published two years after her death. In 1901 it was translated into English, and in 1912 another translation, the first complete edition of the life of the Servant of God, containing the autobiography, "Letters and Spiritual Counsels", was published. Its success was immediate and it has passed into many editions, spreading far and wide the devotion to this "little" saint of simplicity, and abandonment in God's service, of the perfect accomplishment of small duties.
The fame of her sanctity and the many miracles performed through her intercession caused the introduction of her cause of canonization only seventeen years after her death, 10 Jun, 1914. Pope Benedict XV, in order to hasten the process, dispensed with the usual fifty-year delay required between death and beatification. On August 14, 1921, he promulgated the decree on the heroic virtues of Thérèse and gave an address on Thérèse's way of confidence and love, recommending it to the whole Church.
Thérèse was buried on October 4, 1897, in the Carmelite plot in the municipal cemetery at Lisieux, where Louis and Zelie had been buried. Her body was exhumed in 1910; not Incorrupted, but had the pleasant Odour of Sanctity. In March 1923, however, before she was beatified, her body was returned to the Carmel of Lisieux, where it remains.
Thérèse was beatified on April 29, 1923 and canonized on May 17, 1925, by Pope Pius XI, only 28 years after her death. Her feast day was added to the calendar of saints in 1927 for celebration on October 3. In 1969, 42 years later, Pope Paul VI moved it to October 1, the day after her dies natalis (birthday to heaven).
On the 12th of May 2013, the Holy Father, Pope Francis will canonize those who have been known in history as the 800 Martyrs of Otranto (Lecce – Italy).
On the 28th of July 1480, the Turks landed in Puglia and besieged Otranto in an attempt to occupy the Kingdom of Naples. After 14 days of siege and constant bombardment of the city walls, the Turks entered the city on August 12 and instantly killed all those defending the city.
The Dominican Monastery dedicated to Our Lady of Candelora was the first to be occupied by the Turkish troop because of its proximity to the city walls. The brothers took refuge in the city. At the Cathedral, they killed the archbishop, the clergy and many lay faithful who refused to recant their faith. The killings continued the next day at the Hill of Minerva.
Read more at the Dominican Order home page
Apparently in response to the “May Day” celebrations for workers sponsored by Communists, Pius XII instituted the feast of St. Joseph the Worker in 1955. But the relationship between Joseph and the cause of workers has a much longer history.
In a constantly necessary effort to keep Jesus from being removed from ordinary human life, the Church has from the beginning proudly emphasized that Jesus was a carpenter, obviously trained by Joseph in both the satisfactions and the drudgery of that vocation. Humanity is like God not only in thinking and loving, but also in creating. Whether we make a table or a cathedral, we are called to bear fruit with our hands and mind, ultimately for the building up of the Body of Christ.
[Read more at AmericanCatholic.org]