“Being Vocation Promoters is as Important Today as it Was at the Foundation of the Order”

Brother Samuel Hakeem, OP, Vocation Promoter of the Province of St. Albert, USA, is reporting about the Vocation Promoters’ Workshop held in Rome, June 17-22.


I finished our last admissions meeting of the year and had less than a day to pack my bags and travel to Rome to participate in the Dominican Vocation Promoters meeting. Tired after the admissions meeting, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this meeting. What would it be like to bring together vocation promoters from 27 provinces, working in three different languages, each with their own cultural distinctions and approach to vocation promotion and formation? At the very least, I knew it would be a valuable time of sharing Dominican life, which was enough to keep me excited about the trip.

The meeting exceeded all expectations! It was a grace-filled time, marked by the joyful spirit of our Holy Founder, his zeal for mission and his contemplative core. We heard presentations from friars and other experts on topics significant to our work as promoters: the creation of a culture of vocations, complete with a new hermeneutical and evangelical approach to ministry; the indispensable cores of Dominican discernment; Dominican spirituality for vocational accompaniment; the state of the vocation of the cooperator brother today; Sacred Scripture and vocational accompaniment; spiritual accompaniment and the evaluation of candidates; and the effective use of the media in vocation promotion. We share best practices with each other. We pray with and for one another. We enjoy time as brothers, appreciating the ways in which our brotherhood transcends boundaries of language, culture and age. Perhaps just as valuable as the excellent lectures was the informal exchange of ideas and approaches during meals and recreation. Indeed, it was a time of grace for all.

I leave this conference feeling renewed and revitalised in my ministry – a little surprised by the full days we had! Our time together served as a reminder that our Dominican mission is as important today as it was at the time of the founding of the Order. God continues to call good men to our way of life at a time when this is not the case for all religious orders. We all have work to do in accompanying and encouraging these men in their discernment. The future will not resemble the past – whether 800 years ago or 30 years ago – but the urgent need for preachers, for the salvation of souls, who preach first through the witness of our life, will always remain. May our Holy Father Dominic intercede for us, as he promised he would! “Fulfil, O Father, your promise”.

Samuel Hakeem, OP
St. Albert USA

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