dominic-guzmanGUZMAN HOUSE, Hobart Campus

ST DOMINIC  GUZMAN, founder of the Order or Preachers (Dominicans)

St Dominic Guzman founded the religious congregation, the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) in 1216, although the first convent for nuns was established in 1206.

Born about 1170 into a wealthy family in Calaruega, Spain, Dominic received his education in Palencia.

In 1206, Bishop Diego de Acebo and Dominic, by then ordained a priest, offered their services to Pope Innocent III who asked them to preach to the Cathars of Languedoc. Contrary to the habits of the religious who were ministering in that area at the time, Dominic and Diego roamed the villages of Languedoc on foot, begging for their bread.

When Diego died, Dominic continued to preach with the support of a community (which included women) that had gathered in 1207 and lived the common life in Prouilles. In 1215, to preach the gospel better, Dominic moved to Toulouse with a few companions. Soon after, they adopted a rule of life, based on that of St Augustine. In December 1216, Pope Honorius III confirmed the Order. In 1217 Dominic dispersed the brothers two by two to further the preaching mission. To train the best brothers in preaching, Dominic chose to settle initially in two large university cities: Paris and Bologna. Dominic continued to travel between Spain and Rome to establish the Order’s foundation.

He died in Bologna in 1221. He was canonised in 1234.  His feast day is 4 August. A great traveller, he is often shown with a dog as his companion.

Dominic was a man of remarkable character and broadness of vision. He had the deepest compassion for human suffering and he saw the need to use all the resources of human learning in the service of Christ. The Orders that he founded, with their novel vocation to study and to preaching, grew phenomenally. They were a formative factor in the religious and intellectual life of later medieval Europe. The congregations are now world-wide with thousands of members.

The first Dominican known to have stepped on to Australian soil was Vincent Christopher Dowling, born in Dublin but a member of the Province of England, who arrived in Sydney in 1831 as a government-sponsored chaplain to the Catholic community. The first men’s community was established in Adelaide in 1898. Dominican friars have never been stationed in Tasmania.

Dominican Sisters came to Maitland, NSW, in 1867, and were invited to minister in Tasmania by Fr John Wallis (then parish priest in Glenorchy) in 1959. Sisters still live in Glenorchy.

Links with GYC:

the DOMINICAN SISTERS is a founding congregation of GYC

GUZMAN HOUSE (Hobart Campus)

GYC’s first Principal, Sister Pamela Davis OP, is a Dominican Sister

DOMINIC COLLEGE, Glenorchy, which evolved from the work of the Dominic Sisters and the Salesians of Don Bosco, is a GYC Association College.

The GYC Glenorchy Campus was the senior campus for Dominic College at the time of GYC’s foundation in 1995.

Dominican Sisters were GYC staff members in the early years.

Dominicans believe that education leads to the realisation that the deepest truth is faith in God’s presence in their lives. Dominic’s Order of Preachers fought error with truth and founded and inspired many of the great European universities, reminding GYC of the value and privilege of education.