I found it interesting comparing these two vocations videos, comparing and contrasting the content and message of the Order of Friars Preachers in the US and in the UK. One thing that struck me was the age of those attracted to the Dominicans in the US.
The Dominican Order is interesting to me. It seems to be one Order that is still attracting new recruits despite the secular age and the problems encountered by the Catholic Church in the 21st century. The New York Times noted in this piece that even in Ireland, which is undergoing what we are led to believe is a collapse in the Faith, the Dominicans are growing. According to the article, the Friars in Ireland:
'...deliberately went on wearing the robes and promoting the spiritual benefits of shared prayer and a communal lifestyle — with a little help, too, from a chatty blog.
“We made a conscious decision a few years ago to wear the habit because we had no vocations and we were in a bad way,” said Father Dunne, 46, who estimates that he has traveled nearly a half-million miles along Ireland’s country lanes and highways in search of recruits. "If we didn’t present ourselves in an authentic manner, who would join us? And that meant going back to the fundamentals.”
The NY Times article continues, 'Those fundamentals — which include the signature white tunic and black capuce of the Dominican friars, fashioned almost 800 years ago — have helped lead to an improbable revival of the Dominican order of preachers. Even as other orders close houses and parish priests in Ireland are vanishing at a time of clerical sexual abuse scandals, the Dominican order is growing, and not just in Ireland.'
The search for truth in a world of lies and half-truths seems to be what is attracting men to the Dominicans. One comment on the YouTube of the US video is particularly heartening, the commenter saying:
'Beautiful, I am seriously considering entering the Order , as soon as I finish high school.'
The truth of Jesus Christ - the call to conversion, love for Blessed Mary, Ever Virgin, love for the Blessed Sacrament and the mission for the salvation of souls seems to be what is attracting young men in the US, in particular.
The NY Times article goes on:
'In the United States, the largest northeastern branch is expecting 18 novices to enter its theology school in Washington, which was expanded three years ago. In the smaller southern region based in New Orleans, the Dominicans are scrambling to finance an influx of novices — six this year — with annual expenses of $30,000 for lodging and theology education over seven years. People see the habit in a much more positive light then clerical clothing, the black shirt, white collar and suit,” said Martin Ganeri, who is a Dominican vocations promoter for England, where five people entered the order this year. “The habit doesn’t have the negative image of the clergy, the child abuse issue.”
While much of the Church appears to be 'falling down', it is so promising that the Dominicans are still bringing forth a healthy harvest of young men willing to lay down their lives for Jesus Christ and to follow Him in the Order of the Preachers.
May God bless the Dominicans still holding fast to the truth of the Gospel, to fidelity to the Magisterium in union with the Chief Shepherd and Successor of St Peter, to the traditions of the Order established by St Dominic for the salvation of souls.