Mount group’s journey to France follows in the footsteps of St. Dominic
August 04, 2017
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -
The Mount Saint Mary College southern France travelers,
mathematics professor Mike Daven and administrative assistant
While their coworkers reflected on Mount Saint Mary College’s
recent Commencement ceremony and began preparations for the next
semester, mathematics professor Mike Daven and administrative
assistant for education Theresa Brundage followed in the footsteps
of the 13th century saint Dominic de Guzman via a nearly three-week
pilgrimage in France.
St. Dominic made innumerable contributions to Christianity more
than 800 years ago, all while living a simple, joyful life. About
seven centuries later, the Dominican Sisters founded Mount Saint
Mary College, using as a guideline the four pillars of Dominican
life: study, prayer, service, and community.
Daven and Brundage joined others from the Mount’s sister
Dominican colleges for study and travel. They followed Dominic’s
missionary trail throughout southern France, including Fanjeaux,
birthplace of Dominic's Order of Preachers. They also enjoyed a
short stay in Paris.
RIGHT: Theresa Brundage of Mount Saint Mary College
examines a statue of Dominic found in the fields near the monastery
of Sainte Marie de Prouilhe, where Dominic established his first
community of nuns in 1206.
“Learning so much about the history of when St. Dominic lived
and preached and seeing just how much has remained is one of the
many things that I will always keep with me,” said Brundage.
“To me, the biggest impact was visiting these locations along
with other people in higher education – we were all students for
this trip,” noted Daven. “There was so much to see over the 18-day
trip, but we had excellent tour guides throughout.”
The tradition of St. Dominic’s order includes respectful
dialogue and the search for “veritas” (truth) in all facets of
study and life. With this in mind, Daven enjoyed discussing faith
and scholarship with his peers. They grew together academically and
spiritually, he noted, and created lasting friendships.
“My faith is very important to me, and while I am not a
Catholic, I appreciated hearing about how the Dominican Order grew
as a part of that tradition,” he said. “I enjoyed connecting with
some of the other participants and talking about the common
challenges we share at our different institutions.”
For Brundage, St. Dominic set an example in scholarship and
faith that can be applied to everyday life.
“It is very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day living and
lose sight of who founded the Dominican Order and what St. Dominic
would want from us today,” she explained. “Prayer, study,
community, and service can easily be incorporated in my life.
Making even minor changes makes me a better Dominican.”
The pilgrimage was jointly sponsored by Mount Saint Mary College
and the Dominican Sisters of Hope in Ossining, N.Y. The trip was
also made possible through the planning efforts of the Mount’s
Catholic and Dominican Institute.