“Anything you do can sanctify,” said the Rev. Raymund Snyder, O.P., as he shared about the history and charisms of the Dominican Order to an eager crowd on Saturday, Oct. 20.
Snyder, parochial vicar at St. Patrick’s Church in Columbus, OH, spoke at Franciscan University of Steubenville to share the treasures of Dominican spirituality with the university family. The event was hosted by Beloved First Truth household, the only Dominican household on campus, as a part of their formation series that was opened to the entire campus.
As a Dominican on a Franciscan campus, Snyder jokingly described himself as an “outlier” on campus, but he also referred to his community as the “cousins” of the Franciscan order.
Snyder began his presentation by teaching about the origins and history of the Dominican order. In the Middle Ages, St. Dominic felt a calling from the Lord to reflect on the issues plaguing the Church in his time. According to Snyder, a particular “turning point” for him was his first encounters with the Albigensian heresy, which at the time was leading many Catholics away from the truth of the Church.
In response to these falsehoods, St. Dominic began a new religious order composed of “preachers capable of breaking open the bread of Scriptures,” said Snyder.
A special charism of study characterizes the Dominican order, so that, as Snyder said, they can “contemplate and share with others the fruits of that contemplation.” Later on, the great Dominican St. Thomas Aquinas “crystalized the tradition of study” for the Order of Preachers, Snyder said.
Snyder also spoke about the Dominican’s charisms and “how (they) might be helpful as students.” He said that Dominican spirituality is “theocentric” and can be applied to everyday life.
It should be “God and his initiative that we turn to,” said Snyder, who highlighted the need to “cultivate deep prayer within oneself” as an important facet of the order. Another important aspect of the order’s charism is “contemplating the mysteries of the faith.” This can be particularly seen in the community’s devotion to the rosary.
After his initial presentation, Snyder welcomed any interested students to be enrolled in the Angelic Warfare Confraternity. This organization, devoted to helping its members grow in dedication to purity, was inspired by St. Thomas Aquinas’ triumph over temptations against purity.
As a privilege exclusive to Dominican friars alone, Snyder led students in a short ceremony and prayer to enroll them in the confraternity. Members of this organization may either wear a medal of St. Thomas Aquinas or the traditional white chord, symbolizing purity.