Mount talk examines ‘Dominicans in the New World’

March 09, 2017

Fr. David Orique, OP discussed “Dominicans in the New World” at Mount Saint Mary College on March 8.


Fr. David Orique, OP, an accomplished author and the director of Latin American Studies at Providence College in Rhode Island, presented “Dominicans in the New World,” at Mount Saint Mary College on Wednesday, March 8.

Fr. Orique drew from his academic research, published writings, and firsthand travel experience to speak about the complexities and complementarities of the formation of America and where the county is headed today.

“The growth of Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular in the part of America that is south of the Rio Grande is extraordinary,” he said. “The United States is also witnessing an explosion in the Latino population. In the case of Catholics in our country, 50 percent of Catholics under the age of 25 are Latino. And that number seems to be growing.”

What it means to be an American, noted Fr. Orique, has been evolving for centuries.

“How do we make sense out of the changing notion of what it means to be an American?” he asked. “Perhaps we might make sense of these developments…by doing what the first Dominicans did in 1510: we observe, we ponder, we pray, and we do all this with others.”

In addition to having lived, traveled, and conducted research in Spain and Portugal, as well as other European countries, Fr. Orique has worked in 16 Latin American nations for investigative and missionary purposes.

After ordination to the priesthood in June 2001, Fr. Orique served the academic pastoral needs of St. Thomas More Newman Center at the University of Oregon as well as the spiritual needs of the rapidly growing Latino community of the Archdiocese of Oregon, and other locations. In 2007, he completed a Master’s degree in history at the University of Oregon and a Ph.D. in 2011, both which focused on the life, labor, and legacy of Bartolomé de Las Casas.

Fr. Orique’s writings and publications include, among others: “To Heaven or Hell: An Introduction to the Soteriology of Bartolomé de Las Casas” (2016); “Justice and the Church in Latin America in the Era of a Jesuit Pope” (2015); “A Comparison of Bartolomé de Las Casas and Fernão Oliveira: Just War and Slavery,” (2014); and “Journey to the Headwaters: Bartolomé de Las Casas in a Comparative Context” (2009).

The talk was sponsored by the Mount’s Hispanic Studies program and the Mount’s Catholic and Dominican Institute (CDI). CDI promotes the Mount’s heritage of St. Dominic; advances the Dominican charism of study and service; provides a forum for discussion of contemporary ethical issues; and enhances Catholic and Jewish dialogue. The Institute welcomes persons of varied faiths and acknowledges different religious traditions as essential to the college’s intellectual and spiritual life.