A Preacher’s Life – “O.P.”

I think I have six nicknames.  It’s a Filipino thing.

Like a character in almost any Russian novel, a Pinoy can have at least six nicknames over the course of his or her life.  And some of them are actually a compliment.

The Order of Preachers too has a nickname: The Dominicans.

When I was an Undergrad, I was so confused why Fr. Martin called himself “a Dominican priest” yet had “O.P.” at the end of his name.  I had asked him once, but he gave a very quick answer—which of course, served me right, because it was 9:00 at night and he was rushing off to another meeting.

Fran AngelicoBut alas, the Order too has a nickname.  We members of the Order of Preachers call ourselves “Dominican” in honor of the Order’s Father and First Member: Saint Dominic de Guzman.  Just like the Order of Friars Minor call themselves “Franciscan” (after Saint Francis of Assisi), we honor our Father and Founder by using his name as our nickname.  We strive to live in the ideals that he had set up, govern ourselves by his rule and spirit, and partake of the mission in which he had zealously given his life.

In everyday parlance, we use the term “Dominican” and “Order of Preachers” interchangeably.  Both phrases point to the same ideal and mission: to hand on the fruits of our contemplation to others; to speak only of God and to God; to praise, to bless, to preach that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Holy Father Dominic, pray for us!

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