The Dominican community of St Eustace has as its primary ministry the welfare of the students in its secondary school, Newbridge College. This commitment involves the friars acting as teachers, as chaplain, and in various administrative roles for the school. The community is made up of eight friars, under a superior called the Prior which means the first, thus the building is called the Priory or convent. The Priory is primarily a place of prayer, prayer was an essential part of Saint Dominic’s life and fuelled his passion for preaching and evangelisation.
Praying several times a day makes a Dominican aware of the truth contained in the words of Jesus in the Gospel ‘Without me you can do nothing, with me you can do all things’ (John 15:5).
Everything in our lives is touched by our prayer. Our personal prayer and our preaching emerge as a consequence of our contemplation on the Word of God during these prayer times throughout the day.
The fact that we pray as a community is a powerful symbol to a hectic world. In this communal prayer we pray with the rest of the Church for its needs and cares, bringing our work, our passion, our contemplation and our lives in the service of others so that we may be encouraged and invigorated.
Ultimately, our community prayer is a daily encounter with God who is our ‘all in all’.
As well as prayer, Dominicans are called to a life of Study. Saint Dominic emphasised the importance of study. He systematically sent his friars to the great university cities of the time so that they would be properly instructed in theology and competent as theologians and preachers.
Today, more than ever, it is important that Dominicans be people of prayer, contemplation and study. Dominicans are simultaneously contemplative and apostolic.
Contemplation means that we are called to prayer and study so each friar is called to a life of study no matter what his primary ministry may be.
In a world that constantly seeks verification and truth, Dominicans must be formed in the various disciplines of philosophy and theology as well as the human sciences so that they be able to engage with those who seek clarification and understanding about their faith.
The Dominican commitment to study is born out of the tradition of the Order that constantly seeks to read the signs of the times, so that we continue to be effective, informed and committed preachers of the Word of God – our primary purpose.
The Dominican Order was founded to preach the Gospel to all people, to bring the truth of the Gospel into peoples lives. Our Life of prayer and study allows us to contemplate Christ to bring the fruit of that contemplation to others through preaching. We cannot as Dominicans keep the gospel message to ourselves but must bring others to its saving truth.
The Community in Newbridge run a large church within the Parish of Newbridge, and one friar is curate in the local area. All members of the community help in the running of the Church which is the beating heart within the College. Other apostolates of the community include chaplaincy to the Lay Dominicans and Church Choirs as well as involvement in provincial apostolates, Dominican Publications and the Priory Institute.
If you wish to find out more about the Dominican Friars click here.