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The YouTube channel of the Dominican Friars Foundation has been producing some wonderful videos of late that highlight the beauty of vocational life. Following young men as they discern their vocations as friars within the Order of Preachers, the high-quality videos offer talks, behind-the-scenes glimpses of religious life both public and private, and touching footage of seminarians making their vows.
The Dominican Friars have been building their channel for over a decade, beginning with simple streams of church services. About seven years ago, the videos began to broaden in scope to include recordings of homilies, interviews with the friars, and footage of their public outreach work. Now the channel has grown to include all sorts of Catholic-themed videos, with talks from well known Dominicans, powerful vocational testimonies, and even some music recordings of the friars singing hymns.
They say practice makes perfect, and it shows in the evolution of the channel, as the quality of the videos and content gets better with each release. Of their wide selection of videos, however, the finest and most relevant – especially considering the ongoing Eucharistic Revival in the US – are the vocational videos. In one called “Receive This Habit” viewers get a look at Vestition, the solemn ceremony in which a man receives the habit of our Holy Father Saint Dominic.
The video intersperses interviews with Dominican friars explaining the purpose and function of their order with shots of young men donning their habits for the first time. Watching these young men begin their journey of discernment is touching. As one friar explains how the order was founded, we get to watch seminarians study to pursue the same calling that Dominicans have followed since the order’s inception in 1215.
In another video, titled “Entering Into Joy,” viewers get to see the next step in the journey, in which a group of 12 Dominican friars profess their first, or simple, vows at St. Gertrude’s parish in Cincinnati. This artfully shot video is a montage of the ceremony, showing the friars making their vows, prostrating before the altar, and being welcomed into the Dominican community.
The video notes that these first vows were only taken after a year of novitiate. Afterward, having entered into vows, the friars would embark on a life of intellectual and spiritual formation in Washington, D.C., at the Dominican House of Studies.
Speaking of which, there is another wonderful video of the friars singing “Salve Regina” within the Dominican House of Studies. The video lets viewers see a lot of the house and grounds, all set to the glorious tones of the Dominican Friars at prayer.
In one of their most recent videos, titled “Formed in Truth,” a Dominican Friar considers why young men have been responding to God’s call to join the Dominican Order. He suggests that the lack of culture offered by the secular world has left them wanting:
“They often see inadequacies of secular ideologies. They see the offers of fleeting happiness that our world often advertises to us. Perhaps they’ve even tasted some of these things and found them ultimately unfulfilling. In a word, you can say that they’ve stared into the dark abyss and have not found fulfillment there.”
He goes on to explain these young men are drawn to the truth “of who God is and who we are revealed in Jesus Christ.” He promoted the deep intellectual inclinations of the Dominicans and suggested that men who share a love of study and knowledge may appreciate the way St. Thomas Aquinas’ wisdom presents truths in “an incredibly clear and coherent fashion.”
There are a great many more worthy videos for Catholic introspection, education, and vocational discernment on the YouTube channel of the Dominican Friars. Click here to see more from the Dominicans, and be sure to follow them to keep up with their weekly releases.