Vocations Blog - Fr. Charles Johnson, O.P.

Preaching the Truth of Christ since 1216 and concentrating on the South since December 8, 1979!

Happy 35th anniversary of the founding of the Dominican Province of St. Martin de Porres.  Back in 1979, the southern U.S. probably did not look like it was set to become the booming region it has become for the Catholic Church in our country.  Thanks to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Order of Preachers under the direction of the Master of the Order, friar Vincent de Couesnongle, O.P. recognized the promise of the South for our Church in decreeing the establishment of the province.  Since 1979, Dominican friars have been laboring in the vineyard of the Lord in the southern United States under the constant maternal care of the Blessed Mother and the spiritual accompaniment of our patron, St. Martin de Porres, in a way that responds to the unique needs and challenges of the South.  As Dominicans, we are especially proud of our attempts to mirror the universality of Christ and his Church by reaching out to historically minority communities, especially the African-American community and Latino Catholics.  We look to our patron, St. Martin de Porres, for example in making Christ more strongly present in the southern United States and reminding the Church of the need to [...]

Anniversary of the Foundation of the Province

Fr. Tom Condon

Today is the 35th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Dominican Province of St. Martin de Porres! On December 8, 1979, the Dominican Order officially recognized this new province, which was formed to serve the needs of the diverse peoples of the Southern United States. We were founded to preach the gospel to all in the South, a region in which Catholic peoples were in the minority. The friars called themselves to preach to the poor and marginalized, to the African-American and Hispanic people. We were to be a presence at the universities of the South as well. We were to preach in parishes, campus ministries, schools, hospitals, and prisons. We were to engage in dialogue with the diverse religions of the South.   35 years later, we are grateful to that group of courageous and hopeful founders. Many have gone before us in faith, but some are still among us! We have taken up the preaching task throughout the South. We have accomplished much, but still have much work to do!   May the Lord bless all of the members of the Southern Dominican Province today, along with our friends and benefactors! On this great feast of Mary, the [...]

Gratitude to a pioneer in Catholic higher education and for a long-standing Dominican mission


In his 47 years as president of Xavier University in New Orleans, Dr. Norman Francis, has met saints, a pope, bishops, U.S. presidents and many public figures, but students have always occupied a central place in his life as an outstanding leader of Catholic higher education.  Xavier has the great honor of being the only historically black and Catholic university in our country as well as the only one in the U.S. directly established by a saint, St. Katherine Drexel. In addition, Dominicans have been proud to serve there as professors and chaplains for decades.  In the photo, Dr. Norman Francis is accompanied by Dominican friars Herman Johnson, O.P., assistant professor of Spanish and head of the Department of Languages at Xavier, and Charles Johnson, O.P., Director of Vocations for the Dominican Province of St. Martin de Porres, who were present for the recent Scholarship Benefit and Thank You Tribute to honor Dr. Francis.  

Pray For Our Friars In Formation

2014 Vocations Poster

Holy Ghost Church – A Place of Dominican Preaching Since 1912!

Holy Ghost Window

As Director of Vocations for the Dominican Province of St. Martin de Porres, Fr. Charles Johnson, O.P., makes a regular effort to keep up with Dominican ministries throughout the Southern U.S.  The next stop is Holy Ghost Church and School in Hammond, LA.  It has been a ministry of the Order of Preachers since 1912 and keeps going strong.  Fr. Robert Merced, O.P., serves as pastor of the parish, which ministers to both English and Spanish-speaking Catholics throughout the area.  Fr. Robert is part of a Dominican community that includes three other friars, Fr. Cayet Mangiaracina, O.P., Fr. Rafael Proenza, O.P., and Rev. Br. Mauricio Salazar, O.P.   This weekend, Nov. 15 – 16, 2014, Vocations Director Fr. Charles Johnson, O.P., will be visiting his Dominican brothers at Holy Ghost Church.  Look for Fr. Charlie at the Sunday Masses.  As the Order of Preachers, we’ve been preaching the Good News of Christ throughout the world since 1216 and in Hammond, LA, since 1912.  The message of the Gospel is timeless.  Just like our holy founder St. Dominic, we Dominicans never take a time-out from preaching.  Is God calling you to such an incredible mission? Get to know the Dominicans – vocations@opsouth.org. [...]