ONE BROTHERHOOD, TWO PATHS
From the foundation of the order, there has always been two callings within the vocation of a Dominican Friar:
The first, and perhaps most well known, is the call to be a Priest. These Dominicans celebrate Mass, hear Confessions, and exercise whatever Sacramental ministry that the Church requires.
Priests celebrating the first concelebrated High Mass on April 15, 1965
The joyful expressions of newly ordained priests in 2021!
The second, and no less important, is the call to be a Brother. This vocation is not incidental to the mission of the Order. Bruno Cadore, the former Master of the Order, said that the ordained brother and the non-ordained brother, "are two expressions of the same vocation."
Dominican Brothers from the 1950s in the habit they wore at the time.
Today, all brothers, ordained as priests and not ordained, wear the same habit to display unity within the order.
The word "friar" comes from the Latin word “frater”— which means, "brother.” Therfore, all Dominican Friars are brothers to each other whether they are ordained as priests or not. So, a friar can be both an ordained priest, and a brother to his fellow Dominicans!
Each Dominican brother, impelled with the power and grace of the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Charity, follows the vision of St. Dominic and goes “forth into the whole world to proclaim the good news to all creation” (Mk 16:15).
Dominican brothers freely and generously bring their gifts to others daily. They share their lives, which are vowed to the Order’s mission of evangelization, through preaching. And Dominican brothers have such a wonderful gift to give to everyone they encounter: the very person of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist made flesh in them.
Dominican preaching cannot be done without Dominican Priests, and the preaching of Dominican Priests would be impoverished and less effective if not complemented by the preaching of the Brothers.