A Diocesan Priest, A Dominican Priest, A Married Priest
The fact of having Diocesan Priests as members of the Dominican Order through the Priestly Fraternities is still new to many. What would you say about a married Catholic Priest who is a Dominican and a Prior of the Fraternity? That is Fr John Joseph Saward of the Priestly Fraternities of Our Lady of the Rosary in the Province of England.
Fr John is married with three daughters. In 1965, he studied Theology and trained as an Anglican minister at St Stephen’s House, Oxford. At the completion of his training, he was ordained as an Anglican clergyman in 1972. During his life and work as an Anglican minister, he maintained close contact with the Dominicans in Oxford in the cause of his studies. For his Master’s programme in Theology, he was supervised by Fr Cornelius Ernst, OP of the Blackfriars, Oxford. Fr John has always worked as a curate, a chaplain and a teacher of Theology.
However, in 1979, he and his family were received into the Catholic Church at Campion Hall, Oxford. In 2003, he was ordained a deacon in the Catholic Church and a priest later that same year for the Diocese of Birmingham.
After series of discussions with his Dominican friends, he received the scapular and started his novitiate as a member of the Priestly Fraternities of St Dominic in the Province of England in 2011. In 2012 he made his profession and was subsequently elected the Prior of the Priestly Fraternity of Our Lady of the Rosary.
The Fraternity has about eight members, of which four were formerly Anglicans, one was a religious, and the other three, including Fr. John (the Prior) were formerly Anglican clergymen, and married.
Fr John has continued to teach Dogmatic Theology in various Catholic Institutions and he has authored eight books, many booklets, articles and contributions to collected works.
The presence of the Priestly Fraternities in the Order expresses the dynamism that exists in the life, mission and spirituality of the family of St. Dominic. With grateful hearts for such gifts, we celebrate this part of our heritage as we continue to collaborate with one another in our common mission.
(29 February 2016)