Author: president

Lighting the Path

Bringing His Knowledge to the World

president
president

St. Dominic was inspired by the conviction that knowledge is the surest path to Christ. He established his order to ensure that those who understood Christ most deeply could share their understanding with those needing light. Communally, all souls would grow together on God’s enlightened path and enjoy the eternal rewards of faithfulness.

The Dominican House of Studies (DHS) exists to perpetuate the mission of St. Dominic. Our revered institution receives learned individuals seeking to better understand Christ’s role in their lives, increases their knowledge, and then sends them into the world so that they may bring more souls to Him.

Current DHS doctoral student Father Thomas Aquinas Pickett, OP, embodies our mission. A self-described “cradle Catholic,” he was born to faithful parents who ensured he remained mindful of the worth and purpose of his soul.

Coupling the foundations of his parents’ teachings and the spiritual gift of intellectual curiosity bestowed upon him by God, Father Pickett has embarked upon a life’s quest for understanding. Acquiring knowledge is edifying for him, but his greatest desire is to share this knowledge to edify others.

Gaining and Sharing the Light

While spirituality and faithfulness were always present in his home, the world outside those four walls was much different.

“I grew up in an area where there are a lot of non-Catholics,” he recounted, “and they would either ask me questions or challenge me on certain things. It was imperative for me to articulate my faith. There were many misconceptions I had to correct.”

While he did not understand how people could lack such clarity, he learned that the perfection of God’s truth provided every answer he would ever need. This clarity set him on the path of a relentless pursuit of the light of Christ.

A Cradle Catholic’s Quest

As he matured, Father Pickett was most intrigued by the elements of his faith that he least understood.

“I was always intrigued by the mysteries of faith, not just to absorb what I was taught, but to question, understand, and challenge the tenets of my faith,” he reflects.

This profound curiosity led him to explore the depths of theological and philosophical questions as a philosophy student in his college years. This was particularly evident in his desire to understand prayer and its relationship with God’s plan.

“I started wondering if God knows everything already,” he shared, “why are we talking to Him? Or, if everything is following His plan, are we trying to change it when we’re praying? What does prayer actually do?”

In this period of questioning, he discovered the works of St. Thomas Aquinas, which profoundly transformed his understanding of prayer, God’s providence, and the essence of truth.

The Dominican Way

The Dominican Order’s commitment to preaching and teaching provided the perfect pathway for deepening his pursuit.

“St. Thomas Aquinas, with his analytical approach to theology, offered a framework that truly resonated with me,” he stated. “The Dominican Order’s charism of contemplation and sharing the fruits of that contemplation was exactly what I was looking for.”

This pursuit was not merely intellectual but a spiritual quest to live out the truths he discovered.

Formation at the Dominican House of Studies

The Dominican House of Studies has played a crucial role in refining both his intellect and spirituality. Here, he has learned that to share Christ effectively with others, he must first embody the Gospel’s truth in his own life.

“Theology at DHS is not just a subject of study but a way of life that demands a commitment to holiness,” he recalled.

“I remember a professor telling me very explicitly early on that theology can’t just be an academic discipline,” he continued, “to be a theologian requires knowing, loving, and serving Christ. Without that, you are doing an academic exercise, but without the grace necessary to truly understand what you are learning.”

Spreading the Word

Upon completing his doctorate at DHS, Father Pickett will serve as a professor at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, California. His deep knowledge and inspirational message will edify and enlighten others dedicated to holy service. His students will share the Holy Gospel armed with the truths they need to bring souls unto Christ.

As Father Pickett prepares to teach and form future Dominicans and evangelists, his story stands as a powerful witness to a faith that seeks understanding—a faith unwilling to settle for easy answers but instead dives deep into the Gospel’s heart.

“My journey from a curious child to a dedicated friar and theologian highlights the communal aspect of our pursuit of Christ. It’s not just about seeking answers for ourselves but for the entire world,” he explained.

A Beacon of Light for the World

His narrative is a vivid reminder that the path to Christ is both deeply personal and inherently communal. It underscores the importance of seeking Christ for personal enlightenment and as a mission to bring truth and clarity to others.

“I hope my story serves as a beacon of light for those navigating the seas of doubt and confusion, offering a path that leads to truth, clarity, and ultimately, to Christ Himself,” he concludes.

Through his journey, we are reminded of the transformative power of faith that seeks understanding, the importance of living the truths we discover, and the profound impact of sharing those truths with the world. His life is a living embodiment of the Dominican mission, illuminating the path to Christ in a world in desperate need of truth.

If reading Father Pickett’s story inspires you to support our mission to share refined knowledge of Christ with the world, please click here to support the Dominican House of Studies.

president
president