USA | Providential Gathering of Priests Concurs with PC's Centennial
Updated: Feb 15, 2019
PROVINCE OF ST. JOSEPH
As the only Dominican-Friar-owned-and-administered institution of higher education in the United States, Providence College (PC) in Rhode Island represents the deep commitment of the American Dominican friars to academic excellence in pursuit of the truth, growth in virtue, and service of God and neighbor. This year, the entire PC community celebrates one hundred years of its foundation, recalling the momentous occasion when the friars of the Province of St. Joseph founded the college upon the invitation of Bishop Matthew Harkins to provide a Catholic education in the arts and sciences.
Among the many events that coincide with the celebration of the school's centennial, one that has appropriate meaning for the Order was the inaugural meeting of diocesan priests who expressed interest in joining the Priestly Fraternities of St. Dominic. It can be recalled that it was in Providence in 2001 where the friars held the General Chapter that established the parameters in the understanding of the terms "Order of Preachers" and "Dominican Family". Now that the Order has given closer attention in affirming the place of the secular priests in the family of St. Dominic, it becomes all the more fitting that one such fraternity find a place at Providence.
The meeting of the diocesan priests was organized by fr. Nicanor Austriaco, OP, Professor at Providence College Departments of Biology and Theology. Held on the evening of 4 May 2017 at the ground floor of the Ruane Center for the Humanities, the gathering provided the opportunity for the priests from the Diocese of Providence and the neighboring dioceses to be introduced into the Dominican fraternities, through its General Promoter, fr. Florentino Bolo Jr., OP. In the course of the assembly, Fr. Nicanor noted the highly favorable conditions currently existing between the friars of the Priory of St. Thomas Aquinas at the PC, and the local clergy of Providence as well as that of the surrounding region. He adds that there is pleasant camaraderie and a positive collaborative atmosphere among the priests, which likewise extend to their seminarians that study at the college. Accordingly, this quality makes it conducive to facilitate in them a more profound engagement with the Order's spirituality and mission, particularly through the Dominican fraternities. With the promise of eventually constituting a fraternity of priests, there is more reason to celebrate the gift of Providence College, not only as an institution of excellent learning, but more so as a community that builds the Church through the nourishment of the faith in the spirit of St. Dominic.