In the New York Times, an article about the growth of the Dominican Order, especially in Ireland, at a time when vocations to religious life have plummeted in the Emerald Isle. I think the emphasis the new recruits place on living in community is vital, and that diocesan bishops need to think of ways to permit their clergy to live in at least small communities, although I know other priests who would recoil at the prospect. And, while I confess I used to think the issue of wearing a habit or not was not a big thing, I am coming round to the conclusion that it may be a bigger thing than most people realize. Not for everyone, to be sure. I do not think wearing the habit is a "fundamental" but being distinct is a fundamental, and while many people can find different ways to be distinctive, I am no longer as quick to think we should dismiss the significance of distinctive attire. It seems to help manifest something that is difficult to explain, the idea that a person is vitally committed to Christ and to the life of the Church. In any event, it is worth clicking on the link that shows the Irish Dominicans engaged in a snowball fight, set to the music of "Eye of the Tiger."
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