By Linda Stephen
Jesse Maingot made his Solemn Profession in the Dominican Order at St Finbar’s church on Tuesday, August 22. That this was the Feast of the Queenship of Our Lady was no coincidence, as this young man has a special devotion to Our Blessed Mother, as a Dominican would, for it was through St Dominic that the rosary was gifted to mankind. A Solemn Profession is the final and permanent commitment made by a Dominican brother to live the vow of obedience. Brother Jesse describes this as “the response of my life to an amazing love”.
One could say that the ‘Dominican star’ has always shone on Br Jesse’s life. His connection to the Order dates back to his birth on the feast of St Rose of Lima OP, August 23, and his baptism by Fr Thomas Lawson OP, who would become his guide many years later in the initial stages of his call to be a Dominican.
Br Jesse credits his family with bearing a tremendous witness of faith, and a devotion to its deepening. With a weekly family rosary and the lives of the saints instilled from a young age, there was fertile ground at the Maingot home for faith to take root.
It was with a grateful heart then that Br Jesse took this sacred step on the journey to priesthood in his home parish church in the presence of his Dominican brothers, members of the local clergy, many family and friends. As a young altar server, he never knew that it was God’s plan that this would be the same sanctuary on which he would kneel to take these solemn vows.
The Provincial of Ireland, Fr Gregory Carroll OP was present to receive Br Jesse’s vows as well as Fr Terence Crotty OP, the Director of Student Formation, and Fr Stephen Hutchinson OP, the Dominican Novice Master who mentored Br Jesse in his novitiate year.
Fr Lawson, Prior of the House of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Fr Carlyle Fortune OP, parish priest of St Finbar’s, and other members of the local Dominican community were all present. Through Fr Carlyle’s support, St Finbar’s church was resplendent.
Br Jesse has been in Ireland since 2012. He describes his novitiate year as “bliss” for it was then that the gift of being with the Blessed Sacrament came alive. This, he says, is “the source of my joy and peace”. It is his prayer that each person will spend time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and make the rosary the centre of family life.
When Pope Benedict XVI was asked to comment on the Dominican Order, he simply said, “Two words. Study, and Contemplation.’’ The fact that study is central to the Dominican charism appealed to Jesse as he is blessed with the grace of discipline to study. Having completed a degree in Philosophy and now pursuing a degree in Theology, his thirst for knowledge of our faith is unquenchable.
With Veritas as their motto, the Order of Preachers makes this their mission, to bring hope through the Truth of Jesus Christ by conveying a message that the Gospel is not only true but joyful. Br Jesse firmly believes that truth should constantly be at the forefront of our minds, and that the noise and high-strung nature of our world has disconnected people from hearing the voice of God. He draws a strong parallel between the world of St Dominic and our world today, in that there is a need for doctrinal teaching and preaching based on sound study.
Though immersed in the Dominican way of life and that of Ireland as well, Br Jesse has two fellow Dominican Trinidadians to accompany him. One is Br Maurice White OP from Arima who completed two years in Dublin, and the other is Fr Matthew Martinez OP who was ordained three years ago.
We pray that Br Jesse will be sustained in faith as he continues his formation at the Dominican Studium (House of Studies) in Dublin. He says, “I believe that I can bring joy to others because of He who brings joy to me.”