Damian Byrne OP, a Galway man, who was head of the Dominican Order worldwide from 1983 to 1992 once wrote that ‘the best tradition of the Order is seen when our preaching is prophetic.’
As Dominicans, we view it as our duty to insert ourselves in areas of need, especially those areas where the Church finds it difficult to respond.
We insert ourselves in those areas first to learn from them and to listen to them.
We are then called to engage in theological reflection and discernment as to our response both in what we do and what we say as well as in how we live.
If we are not at the heart of a people’s need, then we risk losing vision and run the risk of becoming irrelevant.
To follow Saint Dominic as a preacher means to be, for our period of history of Church and society, what Dominic was for his generation.
This is always the starting point for our self-understanding and for renewing our lives. In fidelity to our founder and our long tradition, our own identity and spirituality must have its roots in our preaching mission.
Like the world in which Dominic lived, ours has its own form of dualism which we must address: for example, the deep divisions between the rich and poor nations, between races, religions and ethnic groups, between men and women, between countries of differing political ideologies. Our call to be preachers continues in this time.