Displaced Dominican friars welcomed by Albertus Magnus College

The Dominican friars who have been ordered to leave the Church of St. Mary, welcomed by the local college Albertus Magnus, will move to the priory at 490 rue Prospect.


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Three Dominican friars, forced to leave St. Mary’s Church in the heart of the Yale campus, have found a new home at Albertus Magnus College.

The three remaining brothers in New Haven – Brother Joachim Kenny, Brother Jordan Lenaghan, and Brother Jonathan Kalisch – will live in a priory at 490 Prospect Street offered to them by the College, according to a Nov. 15 press release. Founded in 1925 by the Dominican Sisters of Peace, the College has close ties to the Dominicans, a Catholic religious order established by St. Thomas Aquinas that emphasizes prayer, study, community and preaching. . The move was part of a larger restructuring project that will replace the Dominican friars in St. Mary’s Church with diocesan priests from the Archdiocese of Hartford by December 1, 2021.

“As Dominicans, we are always open to exploring new ministry opportunities that benefit the host institution, while allowing us to exercise our teaching and preaching charism more widely,” said Brother Jordan Lenaghan. , sub-prior of the community of Saint Mary. “So when Albertus Magnus College donated its building at 490 Prospect Street to house our Dominican community, we immediately saw the benefits for both the College and the brothers. “

As members of a Catholic religious order, Dominican friars fall under the province of St. Joseph, a geographic group that includes Dominican friars and sisters from the northeastern United States, and the Archdiocese of Hartford, a geographic group that includes Catholic churches in Hartford, Litchfield, and New Haven, Connecticut.

This arrangement is temporary and subject to evaluation by the Province of Saint Joseph, as well as by the College Albertus Magnus. In “about six months,” the province and the College will see “how it goes on both sides,” Lenaghan said.

“No one could have expected this turn of events,” said The Right Reverend Jonathan Kalisch, one of three brothers who will move to 490 Prospect Street.

Nonetheless, the brothers hope to deepen their relationship with Albertus Magnus College by providing pastoral care and giving lectures, according to Lenaghan.

In their search for a new home, the brothers needed a “special internal architectural configuration,” Lenaghan said. The brothers were looking for spaces such as a refectory – a dining room large enough to accommodate a number of guests – a chapel, library and cloister, a private part of the priory with bedrooms and bathrooms for children. brothers.

“The house on Prospect Street will allow us to live our Dominican community life while continuing to serve our ministries in New Haven,” wrote the Most Reverend R. Kenneth Letoile, Prior Provincial of the Dominican Province of Saint Joseph, in a statement. Press. .

This priory also had a unique appeal to the friars, as it was a historic Dominican property. For three decades, the priory “served as a convent for the Dominican sisters teaching at the primary school of the parish. [St. Mary Elementary School]”said Kalisch.

According to city property records got per the New Haven Register, the priory house was subsequently purchased by the Overseas Ministries Study Center and sold to Albertus Magnus College in 2019.

All three brothers have long-standing affiliations beyond St. Mary’s Church. Lenaghan is the Executive Director of University Religious Life at Quinnipiac University and part-time Chaplain at Albertus Magnus College, while Kenny is the Catholic Chaplain at Quinnipiac University; Kalisch works full time for the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal service organization based in New Haven.

Although Kenny, Lenaghan, and Kalisch will remain in New Haven as they hold positions in the community, the other brothers – Reverend John Paul Walker and Reverend Angelo “Henry” Camacho – will be leaving New Haven.

KellyAnn Carpentier, a practitioner in St. Mary’s since 2017, said that despite her disappointment with the Dominican friars moving from St. Mary’s, she is happy they are staying in the city.

“It is a answered prayer that they stay here in New Haven so that they can continue their ministries,” Carpentier said. “In this spirit, I hope that the presence of the brothers within the framework of Albertus Magnus will arouse a greater interest in Catholicism and the Dominican way of life.

Although the Dominican friars are no longer affiliated with Yale, a Dominican presence will always remain at the University. The Thomist Institute of Yale, affiliated with the National Thomist Institute, organizes conferences on Dominican theology and philosophy.

For Sylvia Kryszczuk ’22, vice president of the Yale Thomistic Institute, this decision is bittersweet.

“The Dominicans are an asset to the Catholic community at Yale as a long-standing expression of Catholicism lived with intention, devotion and zeal,” Kryszczuk wrote in an email to the News. “Even though their loss on the Yale campus is deep and painful, their closeness to Albertus gives the parish hope for a lasting connection… I hope that the Dominican ministry and their impact on Yale will never be forgotten nor forgotten. -valued, and that one day it might be another chance for them to work with Yalies, a task they have always enjoyed doing so generously.

The Dominican Order was founded in 1216 by Saint Dominic.


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