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MADISON — The Madison Chapter of the Lay Dominicans celebrated the Solemnity of St. Dominic on August 8 at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Madison, with an installation ceremony of its members.
Fr. Andy McAlpin, OP, pastor, reflected on the significance of the day.
“This time of year always brings the memories flowing to us who have lived the life of a Dominican friar, Sister, or layperson in the Dominican laity . . . on this beautiful day where we celebrate taking the habit, or the scapular for the first time . . . and it is a simple profession that marks the day we take the letters O-P at the end of our names — the Order of Preachers.
“It stirs up . . . questions as to why I decided to follow in the Way of St. Dominic . . . You will get many different answers to the question.”
Father McAlpin explained that St. Dominic started the Order after his experience with the Albigensian heresy — a good and an evil God.
“Dominic spent the entire evening speaking with this man and telling him the truth. And by sun up, the man had returned to Holy Mother Church, proclaiming the true faith, and receiving our Lord and reconciliation. Receiving the fullness of grace of God, and repenting from following false gods.”
St. Dominic’s concern was, “What will become of sinners?” What will be the cost for those who do not repent from a sin they knowingly engage in? He saw the lack of education, the lack of knowledge of God, and said, “I must do something about it.”
“We have people here today who believe the same,” said Father McAlpin. “I must do something about this.”
“And that is what we do as Dominicans, we preach the faith of Christ, and we do it with our very lives, with every step we take, with every moment that we encounter another human being. We seek to preach the faith of Christ . . . It consists of every little event and every little encounter we have with another person. When someone is having a bad day and you’re buying something at the store, and you simply smile at them. Saying to them, ‘I hope you have a good day today.’ Bringing light to the world. It’s as simple as that.
“Or it’s as profound as getting up in front of thousands of people and saying, ‘Jesus Christ is Lord’ . . . ‘You are his beloved child.’ Be not afraid to proclaim the truth. And then go to work for the Lord. They will see the works you do and wonder,’ . . . What motivates that person?’
“I need to give my life to Jesus Christ . . . If I proclaim Jesus Christ. If I pour out my life for His people. For you, for everybody around me . . . because the only thing you should hear coming out of my mouth is, you are a beloved child of the living God, and he died for you. He would have died for you even if you were the only one who had ever lived. That’s the truth.”
Received and professions
Mr. Jared Dembrun, Adell, Wis., and Mr. Joseph Walkowski, Appleton, Wis., were received into the Dominican order.
Dr. Nicholas Eastman, Ripon, Wis.; Mrs. Rachel Dembrun, Adell, Wis.; and Mrs. Colleen Martine, Sun Prairie, made their First Professions.
Mrs. Sarah Krans, OP, Wisconsin Rapids, and Mr. Evan Williams, OP, Machesney Park, Ill., made their Life Professions.
Lay Dominicans are men and women, singles and couples living a Christian life with a Dominican spirituality in the secular world.
All of the participants in this installation ceremony are members of the Madison Chapter of the Lay Dominicans.
“The wonderful world of Dominicans!” Martine said. “I prayed for truth for many years and have found that seeking the truth is a loving adventure that never ends. This journey brought me to the Dominican door. I stepped through and never looked back.
“My wonderful husband Jim Martine has been a pillar of strength as we journey together in this world that needs the truth now more than ever.”
They have three children: Meghan, James, and Steven.
Jim owns and operates Pedro’s restaurant on the East Side of Madison.
Colleen is in the private practice of law at Martine Law Office, LLC.
They live in the Diocese of Madison.
About the chapter
The Madison Chapter of Lay Dominicans is part of the Province of St. Albert the Great (Central USA).
To learn more about the Lay Dominicans, contact Mary Ellen Rodriguez, chapter moderator at
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