New Friar on Campus

Meet a New Friar on Campus: Fr. Dominik Jurczak, OP

 

Tell us about yourself.   Where are you from? What was your life like growing up?   What drew you to the Dominican Order?

I am from Poland. I am from a family of five and I have two sisters. Before I entered the Order I was studying computer science (1999-2002). During that period I also volunteered for the catechumenate program (RCIA), accompanying adults preparing for baptism at our Dominican priory in Poznań. During that time, I was responding to the difficult questions from those preparing to come into the Church.  I was forced to face the tough questions of life and my own faith, including the question of my vocation. That is how I decided to join the Dominican Order. Simple…but God is simple.

What do you hope to bring to the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas?

I hope to bring the experience of dialogue: a person’s faith grows not only when studying at the scientific level, but also when faith is shared…

What have you most appreciated as a new Dominican at the Angelicum

I love the students and their passion for study: to find the Truth!  For me it is amazing how searching for truth brings us closer to the Truth!

Why did you become a teacher of liturgy?   

My first dream was to study ecclesiology. Thanks to my superiors – I decided to concentrate on the liturgy.  Actually, there is not a big difference: if you study the liturgy, you are studying ecclesiology – the Church on prayer.  In Poland, the Dominicans are recognized by their care of the liturgy and for its beauty; I wanted to support that mission!  I believe that Poland’s renewal of the liturgy after Vatican II will be a significant contribution for the universal Church.

Is there a particular book that has inspired you and why?

There are many books which inspire me.  I do love the books of Joseph Ratzinger.  He is a great theologian. I love the way he writes and how he does his theology, even if I do not always agree with all his thoughts and ideas.   This doesn’t mean that I am against his teaching. No, but sometimes his theological ideas regarding liturgy have to be examined with a liturgical science.  That is what we do as Dominicans: we search for the truth. In the area of liturgical science, I also recognise Robert Taft as very inspiring.

How has St. Thomas helped form you to be the friar you are today?  

St Thomas is a great saint. I really admire his capacity for synthesis! We are often focused on details and we forget the bigger picture. Saint Thomas helps me not to forget about the final goal!