“For Dominicans, the wood of the cross is the wood of our desks.”
Dominican friars strive to be good students, but not for the sake of worldly security, material gain, or even curiosity. A friar’s study is bends to one purpose; the more effective preaching of Jesus Christ to a world which longs for Him.
Study begins and ends with the Word of God. For Dominicans, study means seeking to understand the Word that is Christ and so be united with him as the Way of Truth that leads to Life.
Truth is not merely a concept, but a person to be encountered and embraced.
Dominicans also ponder the mysteries of God and what has been revealed in the person of Christ. Whatever path our study leads us, its goal is to deepen our love of God and to help others encounter this love.
Studying as a Friar
A Dominican is always seeking to understand and to grow in knowledge and love of God
Aquinas Institute of Theology
We Dominican friars strive to be good students, but not for the sake of worldly security, material gain, or even curiosity. Our study is bends us to one purpose; more effective preaching of Jesus Christ to a world which longs for Him.
The Dominicans of both the Central and Southern Provinces study at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, MO. It is here that we are shaped and formed into preachers of grace, in the image of St. Dominic our Founder. We learn side-by-side with the future lay leaders of the Church who are also able to study preaching, healthcare ethics, pastoral care and more.
The “Aquinas Way” that we profess is one which seeks always to remain in the middle, where virtue is found and from where we can most easily reach out for the purposes of dialogue.
Our student brothers spend at least five years in graduate theological studies preparing for full-time ministry. Even after the end of initial formation and the beginning ministry a friar’s commitment to study and his ongoing formation will continue throughout his Dominican life.
Reading Plans for Study
Chances are, if you are thinking about being a friar, you are already a reader. Perhaps you want to be a better reader, one who is quicker, more attentive, sharper of eye, or less easily distracted.
Indeed: a friar must be a good reader. How do you, then, become a “good reader?” What do you begin doing now to get there? You commit yourself to a Reading Plan.
Reading isn’t a luxury for a friar. No more than eating or prayer is. Being a “good reader” is not adopting a skill-set, it is part of the discipline of virtuous daily living. Obviously, you don’t have to be a scholar to enjoy or profit from books in a disciplined way.
There is time in your day to read. If you don’t believe me, re-evaluate your schedule by logging all your activities for the average week.
I bet you’ll find plenty of in-between time that you can use for personal, smart reading. All you need is an hour or two of that kind of reading every day. As St. Josemaria Escriva says: “An hour of study, for a modern apostle, is an hour of prayer.”
What is a Reading Plan?
It is reading with a direction in mind. You do not just read a book and then another book, - in other words, - but you read a group of related books, for an intended end/goal, over a designated period of time.
THREE BOOKS WORTH YOUR TIME FOR CONSIDERING HOW TO READ LIKE A FRIAR:
(1) Josef Pieper’s Leisure, the Basis of Culture
(2) Antonin Sertillanges’ The Intellectual Life
(3) Mortimer Adler’s How to Read a Book