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The Demand For Clarity is Greater Than Ever
We live in a world where our attention is constantly sought and errors are embraced without critical examination. With your generosity, DHS heeds the call.
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What Your Gift Supports
Intellectual & Pastoral Training
Strengthening the souls of the brothers for the great spiritual challenges of our age and encouraging them to be pastors after Christ’s own heart.
Rigorous Academic Curriculum
Bringing the wisdom of Sacra Doctrina to hearts hungry for Eternal Truth.
Alumni Who Preach the Gospel
Bearing witness to truth in parishes, at the Thomistic Institute, at colleges and universities across the globe, and in various media apostolates.
Rev. Thomas Petri, OP, President
A Story of Grace and Clarity
Though storm clouds may obscure the sun, and confusion may darken the mind, the light and warmth of the Son, Jesus Christ, is ever-present.
We’re training men and women to bring the clarity of Christ to the world. I invite you to read the story of Fr. Bernard who like many men and women found the light of the Gospel at the Dominican House of Studies. He now seeks to share it with the world as a Catholic priest. Click Read More below to access his story.
Fr. Bernard Knapke, OP, Chaplain, The Catholic University of America.
When storm clouds gather, they do not extinguish the sun; they merely obscure it. The light and warmth of our celestial star are ever-present, even when we cannot see it or feel it.
“The same is true of the light of Jesus Christ. It is around us always, even when our vision is clouded, and we are not attuned to receive it.”
Our world is so easily lost in the shadow of confusion, with a thirst for direction and clarity. Like points of light, our friars are pursuing the truth our lost world needs to find its fulfillment in Christ.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin (1 John 1:7).”
This is the mission of Father Bernard, who, by God’s grace, answered the apostolic call to apportion and bestow clarity through the gospel upon the masses.
It would be easy to draw a direct parallel between the original followers of St. Dominic in the 13th Century and Father Bernard today. Though he grew up in a Catholic household, the thought of entering the Priesthood was never on his radar until he was halfway through engineering studies in college.
He was actually working as an engineer in Munich, Germany when he began to feel the cloudiness and absence of absolute truth in modern times. God was calling him to use his talents for a higher purpose, and, like the young, learned professionals in St. Dominic’s original Order, grace broke through and softened his heart. Father Bernard swore off the things of the world and immersed himself in the work of God.
Finding His Purpose
He returned home to Cincinnati, Ohio, and began formation with the Missionaries of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. During this formation, he was drawn to philosophical studies and the need to speak the truths he was learning to the world as his personal light and fire grew.
“Without knowing much about who the Dominicans were or what they did, I basically had all the spiritual elements lined up,” Father Bernard said. “Meeting with them and learning they are an order founded on preaching, seeking the truth, and proclaiming the truth while leading a robust common life in a monastic mode was profound to me.”
“They are very apostolic,” he continues, “the men were formed together, went out together, preached together, and ate together with our Lord. It was honestly love at first sight.”
Father Bernard entered formation with the Dominicans as soon as possible. Upon receiving the habit, he sought the Dominican House of Studies for theological formation. He made the unusual request to experience a class on his exploratory visit and was “mesmerized” at the instruction the Friars received.
“It was a class on holy orders,” Father Bernard related, “We cracked open the Summa, and I had never had so much content clearly presented in such a short period of time. I remember walking out thinking what exceptional intellectual formation men receive here for the proclamation of God’s word.”
This clarity of heart and mind can only be kindled through Christ. His Word illuminated Father Bernard’s path and defined his destiny.
Fr. Bernard Knapke, OP Chaplain, The Catholic University of America
The Comforting Power of Christ
Father Bernard shares the Word at every opportunity, and it is in these interactions that he receives confirmation of his mission.
One of his first experiences as a Dominican preacher came in a summer hospital ministry. He felt the profound effect of the compassion he shared as deeply in his heart as those he comforted felt it in theirs.
He found that people want to talk about God, especially in trying times, but their guard is up because of the current state of the world, where Christians are often expected to hide their convictions due to the acceptance of sin.
Speaking candidly and intelligently to the power of Christ brings comfort to the suffering.
“When you propose what the Lord proposes and what the Word proposes, there is a receptivity,” Father Bernard recounted. “Even in the face of grave trials, people found hope in their ability to unite their suffering with His and soften their burdens.”
God was sustaining Father Bernard’s testimony as he was building the faithfulness of others. “I returned to the chapel with a heart full of gratitude every day,” he said. “I was so thankful that Christ called me and prepared me to perform this work.”
Today, Father Bernard shares this message along with all the knowledge he has acquired in pursuit of Christ’s truth as one of Dominican Chaplains at The Catholic University of America. His responsibilities include organizing Sacramental Preparation Programs for those seeking entry into the Church and exposing students to the Church’s musical, textual, and ritual traditions. The impact of his Dominican education on the immersion of students in the Prayer of the Church is immeasurable.
“The Lord has, in his mercy, made this an instrument for affecting his Providence and plan for the salvation of souls, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that blessing,” Father Bernard said of his current role and life as a Dominican Priest. He then reiterated, “Finding myself in this situation is a gift.”
Basking In the Light of Truth
Dominicans have worked tirelessly to shine light on the truth in every age and every arena. Ministering to a society clouded by the confusion of relativism and the divisiveness of sin, Dominicans bear steadfast witness to the unchanging reality of Truth, the radical intelligibility of the Gospel, and the unifying power of Christ.
Father Bernard’s light and the light of all who have experienced life-changing intellectual formation at The Dominican House of Studies shine brightly in a world that needs it so badly. We are in hospitals and soup kitchens, preaching to the masses, engaged in daily studies and prayer, and leading the liturgical formation of future Dominicans.
Darkness will never overcome the light.
“The Lord, in his mercy, has made the Dominican House of Studies an instrument for the salvation of souls…DHS provides clarity in confusion.”Father Bernard
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House of Studies
Through God's grace, an increasing number of young men and women come to the DHS each year, dedicating their lives in service to the clarity of Christ and His Gospel. Your generosity supports our mission of educating and training the future generation of preachers and teachers as we unite in combating the chaos caused by sin and error. We sincerely thank you.