Introduction

My name is Vincent Travers. I am a Dominican priest. It is my hope that this website will afford me the opportunity of linking with the people of Portugal, the West Indies, Iran, Tallaght, New York City, Mountjoy Prison, Vancouver and other places where I have ministered down the years, from my new home at St. Mary's Priory, Tallaght, Dublin-24.

To provide you with some background, the Dominicans are a medieval order founded by St. Dominic in 1216. What is distinctive about the Dominicans is that it was the first missionary order of its kind, founded to go beyond the confines of the monastery and preach the gospel of Jesus where the need was greatest. Dominic broke with the monastic tradition of stability. He wanted his friars to go abroad and move about freely. The world was to be their cloister.

When the order was first founded, it broke new ground because, up to then, preaching was reserved to and seen as the special responsibility of bishops. Dominic moved into their "territory" with the approval of Rome. He gathered a group of people who would be totally committed to preaching the gospel in the world as they found it.

One of the first things he did when he got the first group of followers around him in Toulouse was to insist on a solid theological foundation. It was to be theology at the service of the gospel. For Dominic, the study of theology was essential if Dominicans were to be taken seriously and their preaching to be effective.

He sent his first friars to the university cities of the world Paris, Bologna, Cologne, and Oxford. His idea was that they would receive a good education in these places of higher learning, and that they would carry on a ministry where there was a lively intellectual scene. He saw clearly that it was in these places that opinions were formed and that the people who were the teachers were the people of influence in society.

The Internet offers a unique opportunity to Dominicans to preach the gospel to a world-wide audience, in keeping with the great Dominican tradition of being in places where the need is greatest.