Interview with Brian Pierce, O.P.

On Monday, March 31, Fr. Brian Pierce gave the St. Catherine of Siena lecture in the St. Thomas Aquinas Lecture series. The title of Fr. Pierce’s talk was, “Caught in the Middle – Between Two Friends.” This inspirational lecture will be posted on the Albertus Magnus College YouTube Channel.

Brian Pierce, OP., is a Dominican Friar of the Province of St. Martin de Porres, USA. In the 1990’s Fr. Brian was part of the team of Dominican friars sent to Honduras to found a new community of preachers in the Diocese of San Pedro Sula, where they worked in the formation of lay leaders in barrios and mountain villages with men and women living with HIV-AIDS.

Fr. Pierce spent a year and a half in a contemplative ashram dedicated to Christian mysticism and interreligious dialogue. After spending three years with a preaching team based in the USA, Brian moved to Lima, Peru to serve for three years as the Promoter of the Dominican Family in Latin America and the Caribbean. Most recently he accompanied the contemplative nuns worldwide. Fr. Pierce has written three books: Martin de Porres: A Saint of the Americas, We Walk the Path Together: Learnings from Thich Nhat Hanh and Meister Eckhart and Praxis y Prediacon (a book in Spanish for preachers).

While Fr. Pierce was on campus he had an interview with Sr. Anne Kilbride, O.P., Assistant to the President for Dominican Mission and Ministries.

1. How has being part of the Dominican family impacted your I learned to be a Dominican through my association with other Dominicans.

The first group of the Dominican family I met, when I was a college student attending a retreat, was the Dominican Nuns. I was praying in the chapel of the Dominican Nuns when I had this profound experience of God’s presence in the contemplative silence of the chapel. This experience made me want to know more about the Dominican family and meet more members.

As I came to know more Dominicans I began to feel more and more a part of the As I became a member of the Dominican family, consisting of the friars (priests and brothers), nuns, sisters and laity, I saw this group as a gift to the Church. Each group lives the Dominican Charism in their unique way of life and therefore impacts many more lives.

2. What do you think is essential for a Dominican college to promote in today’s world?

For me, what is essential for a Dominican college to promote is dialogue – a dialogue that leads to truth.Through dialogue one realizes we do not own truth rather we receive and uncover truth as a learning community. From my short time here at Albertus, I have observed and heard the dedication of the faculty to this type of learning.

3. As a member of the Dominican family, what is your hope for the future of our students?

I hope the students will listen to the Word of God together so they can experience dialogue around the Word and build a faith filled Dominican community. In this process of sharing around the Word students can be opened to different viewpoints and the power the Word to form our minds, hearts and lives.

Sister AnneSister Anne Kilbride, O.P., special assistant to the president for the promotion of the Catholic, Dominican Heritage at Albertus Magnus College. She came to the College in 2011 as a consultant to gather ideas and make recommendations on new and creative ways to strengthen the College’s long relationship with the

Dominican Sisters. Now she assists the College in developing academic and social links with national and international Dominican teachers and preachers.

Sister Anne received a bachelor’s degree in English and education from Southern Connecticut State University, and master’s degrees from the University of Notre Dame in theology and Boston College in pastoral ministry; she also pursued further study in counseling, family counseling and theology at the University of Notre Dame, Ohio Dominican University and St. Joseph College.

Deeply involved in congregational ministry and leadership for the past decade, she served as a member of her congregation’s leadership team and as prioress. Her primary focus has been to promote Dominican life and mission now and into the future.

Learning the Dominican Foundation

Dominican Preaching Conference

The Dominican Preaching Conference is based in its mission statement:

“The National ‘Preaching in Action’ Conference is a venue where college-age students explore Dominican spirituality and preaching. The National College ‘Preaching in Action’ Conference is a collaborative response to our desire as Dominicans to introduce college students to the foundations and characteristics of Dominican Preaching. We commit ourselves to actively engage students in prayer, preaching the Word, service, community and modeling creative ways to make preaching a living dynamic in their daily lives.”

The conference is held for six days on the campus of Molloy College on Long Island. Students and mentors (faculty, staff) from Dominican Colleges and Universities in the United States and international sites attend each year. The goal of the conference is to empower students to “preach the good news” in a myriad of ways, developing an action plan for their own campus, and putting that plan into action when they return in the fall semester. Students learn the Dominican charism of preaching, and how to incorporate that into their own lives. Students are exposed to preaching in many forms, including art, dance, drama and music.

Deacon John Hoffman, coordinator of Dominican ministries, will accompany the students to this year’s conference, May 20 to May 25. If you would like to know more about the Dominican Preaching Conference, or about Dominican ministries here at Albertus Magnus College, you can contact Deacon John at hjhoffman@albertus.edu.

Dominican Preaching ConferenceDominican Preaching Conference

Dominican Volunteers

The Dominican Volunteers grows out of their mission statement which reads:

_U7C4700Dominican Volunteers USA searches for new frontiers for the faith by inviting men and women to walk with us in mission as volunteers.  Together, we respond to the needs of our sisters and brothers, especially those who are poor and marginalized.  We live out the Dominican mission of proclaiming the gospel through our ministry, common life, prayer and study within a diverse, inter-generational community.

In February, Michael Chapuran, executive director of Dominican Volunteers USA, and two members of Domincan Volunteers USA visited the Albertus campus. They met with students and discussed their work, and the opportunities that exist for students who are inclined toward giving a year of service working as Dominican Volunteers.  Volunteers serve in positions across the country in education, healthcare, social services, peace and justice advocacy, environmental awareness, and more. If you are interested in the Dominican Volunteers, you can contact them directly at info@dvusa.org, or you can contact Deacon John Hoffman at Albertus at hjhoffman@albertus.edu.

Deacon_John_HoffmanDeacon John Hoffman
Coordinator for Dominican Ministries

Deacon John Hoffman’s academic background includes the Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies from the College of the Holy Cross as well as the completion of four years of graduate study prior to his ordination to the diaconate.  Deacon Hoffman comes to Albertus following a remarkable career as a member of the faculty at several Catholic high schools, most notably at Notre Dame High School, West Haven, CT, where he taught in the department of Christian formation from 1989 to 2012. He was ordained to the diaconate in June 1993 and has previously served at Holy Infant Parish, Orange, CT; and he is currently deacon at St. Mary’s, Milford, CT.  He has also served on school boards for the Archdiocese of Hartford and for the Orange Board of Education

Candlelight Ceremony

The Candlelight Ceremony is a tradition of Albertus Magnus College dating back to its founding in 1925.  At the Candlelight Ceremony the senior students welcome the incoming freshmen by passing on the “light of knowledge” with a lighted candle.  From the 1938 yearbook of the College we read, “Now the senior class passed on the spirit of Albertus to us from the lighted tapers at the Candle Service in front of Rosary.”

This year the Candlelight Ceremony will take place during Founders’ Day, on Friday, September 20, 2013, for the Class of 2017 and transfer students.  For the first year students in the Division of Professional Graduate Studies will participate in their own Candlelight Ceremony on Wednesday, September 25, 2013, at 7:00 p.m.  Both ceremonies will be held in the Behan Community Room.  The entire Albertus Magnus Community is invited and encouraged to attend including student family members and alumni.

Within the Candlelight Ceremony the students sign the Tradition of Honor, which also dates back to the beginnings of the College.  From the 1931 yearbook we read, “It is one of the College’s proudest boasts that the students are governed almost entirely by the honor system.”  Through the Tradition of Honor students pledge to live with honor and integrity in their academic work and in their daily life of relating to others as members of the Albertus Magnus College community.


Albertus Magnus College is a Catholic, Liberal Arts College rooted in the Dominican Tradition.  It has an enrollment of nearly 1,700 men and women pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees.  Learn more about Founders’ Day activities, updates and registration on the Founders’ Day page.

Calling All Volunteers!Albertus Magnus College is excited to announce a new college-wide initiative:  1925 Hours of Service: Building Community through Serving the Community register.  Members of the Albertus family bring alive the four pillars of Dominican life: Community, Service, Spirituality and Study. As we celebrate Founders’ Day 2013, join us in making a difference in the world around us by giving back. Volunteer at your local soup kitchen, elementary school or community garden during the fall semester (August – December) of 2013 and register your hours with us as we strive to donate 1,925 hours in honor of the College’s founding in 1925.Do you already volunteer your time regularly?  Those hours count too!  Wear something Albertus, take and share a photo and register your hours!  For more information or to submit photos contact sseslar@albertus.edu or use #Albertus1925 on Twitter.