The century stretching from 1872 to 1974 witnessed the progressive recovery of the Order from the disasters of the nineteenth century and the extension of Dominican activity into new fields. Apparently close to extinction in 1850, it steadily gained strength, personnel, and confidence. The crisis that began with the French Revolution was the worst of the crises the Order had faced until then. It came successfully through it as it had through all the others. Having risen more than once from its own ashes to new life, it has reason to believe that Divine Providence intends that it continue to preach and teach the word of God, to believe that it has a ministry still needed more than ever in the era that opened with Vatican II. Progress in the fields of Scripture, theology, and communications and the fast changing tempo, of the present time place a heavy burden on its shoulders. These changes make it imperative that its sons and daughters cling to the original inspiration that motivated Dominic, even while they modify their inheritance to align it with the present day and prepare themselves for the current strife. They must be both contemplative and active, consecrated to the evangelical life and dedicated to the sacred ministry.

The attempt to cope with the directives of Vatican II, to meet current demands, to rejuvenate its religious life and update its ministry has brought the Order into a new crisis, one that is different and perhaps more serious than any before. In a sense, the Order must recreate itself, while not losing its historical identity. It must remain the same, standing solidly on its foundation, strengthening its century-old walls, refurbishing its interior, adding new wings, and building new stories. Impatient men might say, "Tear it down, build anew." Wiser heads will recall what Lacordaire wrote when the world we are in now had just begun. He could find "nothing newer, nothing better adapted to our times and its needs than the Rule of St. Dominic. It has nothing ancient but its history, and it would be pointless to rack our brains for the sole satisfaction of dating from yesterday." There is a beauty about an old house and a spirit in it that a new one can never match. The memories and strength of a family live within its walls; its rooms speak of men and deeds. The men and women of old seem 'to walk and live there still, imparting their joy and strength to their younger brothers and sisters.

Much has been done since Vatican lI, notably the enactment of new Constitutions in 1968 and the Statutes that the provinces have written for themselves. Much more remains to be done; the crisis will not go away soon. It will never go away. Human beings are so prone to inertia and changes come so fast that it will always be necessary to renew and update. A plateau, a static time, will never come again. The Order is a pilgrim like the Church and cannot afford to stand still.

Renewal has come and updating has taken place in times past only when fervent Dominicans understood their Order, its contemplative ministry, and the need the Church has for what it can do. They were men and women of prayer, of community, of broad cultural background and intellectual training. They had the courage to live despite crises that long endured. The record indicates that when the Order goes about its work resolutely, courageously taking up its ministry, Divine Providence blesses it, even during times of trial and disaster. Its history demonstrates the amazing durability of the evangelical life. The prayers St. Dominic poured out during his nightly vigils are still heard as he stands making intercession for his children before the throne of grace.


For additional bibliography and reputable works in foreign languages, the reader may consult the books listed below.


CE: Catholic Encyclopedia. New York, 1908.
NGE: New Catholic Encyclopedia. New York, 1966.

Antony, C.M., In St. Dominic's Country. London, 1912.
Barker, E., The Dominican Order and Convocation. Oxford, 1913.
Bennett, R.F., The Early Dominicans. Studies in 13th Century History. Cambridge, 1937.
Bonniwell, W.R., A History of the Dominican Liturgy, 1915-45, 2 ed., New York, 1945.
    "Dominican Rite," NCE, IV, 982-93.
Clerissae, H., The Spirit of St. Dominic. London, 1939.
Dominic '70', Spode House Review (Hawkesyard Priory, England) (entire issue).
Dominican Saints. By the Novices. 2nd ed., Washington, D.C., 1921.
Dorcy, Sr. Mary Jean., St. Dominic's Family; Lives and Legends. Dubuque, 1964.
Frachet, Gerard., Lives of the Brethren of the Order of Preachers, 1206-1259. Trans. P. Conway with notes and introd. B. Jarrett. New York, 1924. Reprint: London, 1955.
Galbraith, G.R., The Constitution of the Dominican Order 1216-1360. Manchester, 1925.
Gardeil, A., The Gifts of the Holy Ghost in Dominican Saints. Milwaukee, 1937.
Guiraud, J., St. Dominic, London, 1901.
Hinnebusch, William, "Consecration and Ministry in the Dominican Order," The Way, Supplement 17 (Autumn, 1972), 5868.
    "Dominicans." NCE, IV, 974-82.
    Dominican Spirituality, Principles and Practice. Washington, D.C., 1965.
    "Dominican Spirituality." NCE, IV, 971-74.
    Early English Friars Preachers. Rome, 1951.
    History of the Dominican Order, Vols. I-II. New York, 1966, 1973.
    "How the Dominican Order Faced its Crises," Review for Religious, XXII (1973), 1307-1321.
    Renewal in the Spirit of St. Dominic. With chapters by James Thuline and Sister Marlene Halpin. Washington, D.C., 1968.
Jacquier, Père., The Friar Preacher, Yesterday and Today. New York, 1915.
Jarett, B., The English Dominicans. London, 1921. Abridged edition, London, 1937.
    Life of St. Dominic. Westminster, Md., 1947.
Joret, F.D., Dominican Life. Westminster, Md. 1947.
Lacordaire, H.D., Historical Sketch of the Order of St. Dominic. A Memorial to the French people. English edition.
Lehner, C., (ed.) St. Dominic. Biographical Documents. Washington, D.C., 1964.
Mandonnet, P., St. Dominic and His Work. Ed. by M.H. Vicaire, Partial English trans. by Sr. Benedicta Larkin, St. Louis, Mo., "Preachers, Order of," Catholic Encyclopedia, XII, 354-70.
Mortier, F.A., Histoire des maitres gènèraux de l'ordre des frères Prêcheurs. 8 vols. (8th vol. is index.) Paris, 1903-20.
Mulhern, P., The Early Dominican Lay Brother. Washington, D.C., 1944.
O'Daniel, D.F., First Disciples of St. Dominic. Washington, D.C., 1928.
Parmisano, A.S., "Contemporary Dominican Life," Review for Religious, XXXI (1972) , 211-25.
Pepler, Conrad, "English Dominicans -- What Relevance?" Tripod, XII (1968), no. 5. The Eighth Centenary of St. Dominic, born 1170.
Poehin Mould, D:D.C., The Irish Dominicans. Dublin, 1957.
Reeves, J.D., The Dominicans. New York, 1930. Reprint. Dubuque, 1969. An excellent short treatment of Dominic's work and the Constitutions and character of the Order.
Regamey, P., "Principles of Dominican Spirituality." Some Schools of Catholic Spirituality. ed J. Gauthier, tr. K. Sullivan (New York, 1959), pp. 76-109.
Townsend, A., (ed. and tr.) Dominican Spirituality. Milwaukee, 1934.
Vicaire, M.H., The History of St. Dominic. Trans. K. Pond., New York, 1964.
Von Matt, L., St. Dominic, A Pictorial Biography. With biographical sketch by M.H. Vicaire. Chicago, 1957. Vicaire makes an excellent summation of Dominic's life and work.
Walgrave, V., Dominican Self-Appraisal in the Light of the Council. Chicago, Ill., 1968.
Walz, A., Compendium historiae ordinis Praedieatorum. 2 ed., Rome, 1948.
    Die Dominikaner in Gesehichte and Kirche. Essen, 1960.
Wendell, N., Spiritual Powerhouse. New York, 1964.