The Dominican friars are part of a wider family of priests and brothers, contemplative nuns, active sisters and lay people within the Catholic Church who work together to carry out the Dominican mission of evangelising, teaching, and preaching Christ the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We are called the Order of Friars Preachers. This does not mean that we are better preachers than others. It means that we are especially committed to preaching the truth about God and about humanity. We believe that this truth will help us to live and love more fully.
There are some 6500 friars living and working in over 100 countries divided into over 41 provinces. Each friar is assigned to a particular province which consists of communities (known as priories) dedicated to preaching the gospel of Christ through prayer, study and service. Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands form the territory of the Province of the Assumption.
The Dominican friar is consecrated to the mission of radiating the light of Truth far and wide in a world thirsting for the waters of wisdom. Dominicans still fit the description given by Pope Honorius III in the 13th century: “Champions of the Faith and true lights of the world. ” The mottoes of the Order -- “Veritas” (Truth) and “Laudare, Benedicere, Praedicare” (To praise, to bless and to preach) -- have been handed on to each generation since the very beginning of the Order. In the medieval Dominican liturgy developed during the first fifty years following the Order’s foundation in 1216, the friars prayed the following in the Preface of Masses celebrated in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary: “It is truly right and just, fitting and saving, to give thanks to you always and everywhere, holy Lord, almighty Father, eternal God; and that on this festival of Blessed Mary we praise, bless, and preach you with exultant spirits.” The friars have never ceased praising, blessing, and preaching Christ the Truth.
The Dominican Order is now more than 800 years old. The 2016 Jubilee Year of Mercy announced by Pope Francis coincided with the celebration of the 800 year Jubilee of the confirmation of the Order. This providential coincidence reflects the fact that the preacher of grace is also a preacher of the mercy of God. The Master of the Order, fr. Bruno Cadoré, in his letter for the Jubilee, reminded the brothers that when Dominicans profess their vows, they ask for the mercy of God and the mercy of the brothers. We believe that this truth about the mercy of God will help us to live and love as preachers of joy.