Dominican Education

The Dominican Order has had a profound effect on the development of the Catholic Church and brings extensive experience to Blackfriars Priory School in the context of Christian living.

Dominicans can be found all over the world and in our province of the order - Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands - friars are involved in many works, including parishes, university colleges and missions.

The Dominican friars have founded a number of schools in English speaking countries including Ireland, the United States, and also in Hong Kong.

The only school established in Australia by the Dominican Friars, Blackfriars Priory School remains faithful to the search for Truth - Veritas - as lived and taught by Dominicans across the world for the past 800 years. This search follows authentically in the footsteps and foundations described by St Dominic and our patron, St Albert the Great.

St Dominic

Born in Caleruega, Spain, around 1170, St Dominic was educated first by a priest uncle and then at the University of Palencia. Ordained a priest, he remained until 1203 at the Cathedral of Osma, combining priestly work in the Cathedral and city with prayer — both in private contemplation and in the solemn chant of the liturgy.

In 1203, when on a diplomatic mission, he met — probably for the first time — a non-Christian. The man was a French innkeeper and an Albigensian. This sect believed in two Gods, one good and the other evil. The good God created everything spiritual, the bad God everything material. It followed that all material creation was evil: food, our bodies, children.

Dominic debated with the innkeeper all night, finally convincing him. Passionately, he argued not only that the one, good God created this material world, but that in the person of Jesus, he had taken a human body and soul himself. The Word had been made flesh.

Dominic obtained permission to remain in France preaching. After some fruitless years, he eventually attracted a small band of followers: these were to become the first brethren of the Order of Preachers.

As his vision expanded, Dominic sought to influence not only France, but the wider world. In 1216, the Pope approved his Order.

St Albert the Great

St Albert was born of the noble family of Bollstadt in Lauingen, Swabia, in 1206. In 1244 he entered the Dominican Order and became one of the most learned men of his time and founded the famous Dominican House of Studies at Cologne in 1245. His most renowned pupil was his fellow Dominican, St Thomas Aquinas.

In 1260 Albert was made Bishop of Ratisbon.

He died in 1280 and was canonised and made a Doctor of the Universal Church by Pope Pius XI in 1931. He was declared Patron of the Natural Sciences by Pope Pius XII in 1941.

Four Pillars of Dominican Life

Prayer

  • Spiritual lives of students, staff and families
  • Catholic faith within the Dominican tradition
  • Personal responsibility and self-discipline in healthy and life-giving relationships

Study

  • Education for boys to meet specific needs and prepare for an ever-changing world
  • Love of learning in each community member
  • Each community member reaches their full potential

Community

  • Individual self-esteem and integrity within a caring school community
  • Ethic of service to the community
  • Democracy, social justice and environmental awareness

Service

  • Knowledge-centred search for God in daily lives
  • Search for truth - veritas - as embodied in the Dominican motto
  • School policies that reflect genuine solidarity with the poor and disadvantaged