Join us in celebrating our 500th anniversary!

500th_anniv_logoNew: Vatican Radio interview with Toni Harris, OP

New: DVDs of Montesinos Homily, Webcast Available

  • Brian Pierce, OP and Jim Barnett, OP presented a re-enactment of the Montesinos Homily and provided a commentary. It is now available on DVD. Download an order form (PDF)
  • The DVD of the Nov. 21 webcast, The 500th Anniversary of Dominican Preaching in the Americas, is now available from The Center Shop in Sparkill, New York through Sister Ann Eigenbauer, OP. Download order form (PDF)


In September 1510, when the Dominicans arrived at Hispaniola, they engaged in pastoral care of the Spaniards and evangelization of the natives. Very soon, the Dominicans became aware of the bad treatment the indigenous peoples received as they were forced to become servants of the Spaniards. Confronted with submission and oppression of the natives, the Dominican community dedicated long hours in meetings to study the problem in depth, until they decided to make a public denouncement of the atrocities.

Call to Preach

As Women and Men of the Order of St. Dominic, we are invited to participate in the request to preach on the fourth Sunday of Advent, 2011 to commemorate the sermon preached by Antonio Montesinos on Espanola:

From the General Chapter of Rome, 2010
V Centenary of Montesinos’ Sermon
171. [Petitio] We petition the brothers of the whole Order that on the 4th Sunday of Advent 2011 there be read or preached in all the churches connected with the Order the sermon preached by Antonio de Montesinos on Española on the 4th Sunday of advent 1511, so that it might be a collective commemoration of this act, which defended human dignity in the name of the Church. (General Chapter of Rome, 2010)

The friars prepared the denouncement in the form of a sermon to which they gave long and hard deliberation, with the participation of the whole community. Once they decided on the text and wrote it down, it was signed by each one of the members of the community. Fr. Antonio Montesinos was commissioned by the community to preach this homily during the Advent Liturgy in 1511. We celebrate the 500th Anniversary of this significant preaching presence in the Western Hemisphere this upcoming Advent 2011.

We invite the Dominican Family to find ways to celebrate this preaching presence beginning with the First Sunday of Advent Nov. 27 and throughout the year 2012.

Advent Prayers

The steering committee for the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Dominicans in the Americas has developed prayers for each Sunday of Advent, which begins Nov. 27. The prayers are available in PDF format. Download prayers: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4

Advent Preaching

Dominicans and International Human Rights
Dominican Province of St. Joseph
Jan. 7, 2012

Fourth Sunday of Advent 2011: Montesino Sermon
Reflection by Mary Pat Dewey, OP

Preaching by Mignonne Konecny, OP

Preaching from a Wooden Bench: the mendicant, contemplative preaching of the first Dominicans in the Americas
Brian Pierce, OP

Stir Up Our Hearts, O God
Martha Alken, OP

The Hispaniola Homily: 1511-2011
Reclaiming the Tradition
Arlene Flaherty, OP, D.Min.

A reflection to aid in preparing to preach in honor of Montesinos
Clare Fichtner, OP


Two hymns to use for the celebration of the 500 years of the Prophetic Preaching in the Americas. We thank the Dominican sisters in Australia for these gifts!

Hymn: Antonio de Montesinos
PDF Text: vv 1-2 John Bell
vv 3-4 Helen Ryan, OP (Australia)

Hymn in Honor of Fray Anton Montesino
Cecily Sheehy, OP (New Zealand)

Any questions on use of this music, please contact Jill Shirvington:

Submitted by Brian J. Pierce, OP


The webcast is archived on UStream.

Link to video

Order a DVD of the webcast

The Dominican Family participated in a webcast Nov. 21. We had 400 connections live from as far as Peru and Australia, and within a week there were 2,000 requests to watch it on a later date. We realize that there is great interest and energy among the Dominican Family to hear about our history and current commitments to justice.

The program focused on past and present issues challenging the Dominican Family in America. The webcast featured the Rev. James Barnett as Fr. Montesinos, along with a panel of preachers (Marcelline Koch, OP, Margaret Mayce, OP and Chuck Dahm, OP), and a presentation by Toni Harris, OP. View video

Remarks on Racism by Sister Marceline Koch, OP

Address to Antonio Montesinos by Sister Joaquina Pacheco Villar

Opportunity to Schedule Play in the Midwest

The Alma College (Alma, Michigan) Drama Department is willing to perform “The Controversy of Valladolid” at your motherhouse or College during the months of January through March, 2012. To schedule this event, contact Dr. Dana Aspinall: or call 989-463-7269.

The play takes place after Europeans invaded the land, destroyed the culture, plundered natural resources and subjected thousands of people to servitude, torture and death, the church agonized over its question of the indigenous peoples: Are they human? Are they children of God? Based on a Spanish Papal Tribunal of 1550 this drama reveals the fate of millions of American natives by bringing to light the real-life debates whose outcomes are still felt today.

Movie: Tambien la lluvia (Even the Rain)

The film, “Tambien la lluvia” (Even the Rain) premiered in Traverse City, Michigan, at Michael Moore’s Film Festival. Moore had this to say about it: “Even the Rain is a brilliant movie. At a time when the poor of the world seem to be rising up, I found myself deeply moved and completely enthralled by this film. I encourage everyone in search of a great movie to go see Even the Rain.”

This fictional quest to make a film against all odds, is set against the back drop of the real life “Water Wars,” fought against the privatization of Bolivia’s water supply in the year 2000 and is anchored in the philosophies of historian Howard Zinn, as well as the stories of 16th century priests, Fathers Bartolome de las Casas and Antonio Montesinos, the first radical voices of conscience against an Empire. Read a review of the film by Prakash Anthony Lohale, OP, in Dominican Life | USA.

Call for Artists

Artists of all kinds, musicians, painters, poets, dancers, sculptors, photographers, film makers, playwrights and others are invited to express their ideas in new work that would connect with the current issues of justice particularly focusing on immigration, racism, military spending as well as with the history of the Dominican Order in the Western Hemisphere. Please do not send art work, but only send photographs of art with information regarding the size, medium to Lucianne Siers, OP:, 1533 Parker Street, Bronx, NY 10462.

Anniversary Steering Committee

Toni Harris, OP
Chuck Dahm ,OP
Mary Sue Kennedy, OP
Margaret Mayce, OP
Dusty Farnan, OP
Tricia Buxton
Lucianne Siers, OP

For more information, contact Sister Lucianne Siers at

Articles of Interest

In Evangelical Solidarity with the Oppressed: The Fifth Centenary Anniversary of the Arrival of the Order in America

Juan Manuel Péerez García, OP
Francisco Javier Martínez Real, OP

Seeing, Touching and Speaking the Truth: The First Dominicans in the Americas

Brian Pierce, OP