On Tuesday our first full day in Poland, I paid a visit to the Dominican convent in Krakow. From the beginning I was shocked at how many Dominican vocations I saw. Everywhere I looked I spotted a young Dominican walking, be it in the garden or in the church. You may be asking: “Why is this a shock?” Because in Malta we only have 2 Dominican students studying in Dublin, one brother in progress and me. Four; that is it. Upon witnessing such a phenomenon I couldn’t help but ask myself the question: “Why?”
Here are the reasons why:
1) The Polish Dominican province, has an excellent vocations centre. Excellent in their outreach; be it via website, facebook page or instagram account, the Poles really know how to market themselves. In Malta the reality is different, the website needs furthur updates, instagram doesn’t exist and there is no radio show devoted to the Order (even though the province has its own radio frequency; Radju Marija)
2) The pro-Catholic policy of Poland is a boost to the vocations (not just Dominicans, even others). In Poland, Lech Walesa was once quoted saying: “In myself I am nothing. It all comes from God and the Virgin Mary.” Malta is, on paper, a Catholic country, our constitution says so, the fact that our politicians take their seats at the front of our churches during feast days says so but in reality, in policies this country is not true Catholic, its liberal, secular, Church of Nice kind of Catholic.
At the end of my visit to the Dominican convent, I kneeled and prayed in front of Blessed Giorgio Frassati, whose body was lying for veneration at the glorius church of the Holy Trinity. I asked him to give me and my true catholic friends, the strength to restore reverence to Holy Mother Church and the Eucharist.