The Novitiate: Building the
Foundation of Dominican Life
The novitiate is a year dedicated to
living Dominican life in a deliberate way – through prayer, study
and ministry on a daily basis. Our novitiate is located at St.
Albert the Great Priory in Irving, Texas. During the novitiate year
the novice comes to a better understanding of Dominican life
• Experiencing communal and personal
• Daily participation in the Mass
• Living community life
• Ministerial experience
• Classes on our history, saints,
constitutions, spirituality and the vows
• Attending workshops and
conferences relevant for religious life
During this year the novice
experiences all aspects of religious life. He grows in his ability
to balance action and reflection, prayer and service, community and
The Daily Life of a Novice
A typical day in the novitiate
begins with Lauds (morning prayer) followed by the community Mass
where the friars are often joined by students, faculty and staff
from the University of Dallas as well as others from the local
neighborhood. After breakfast, the novices are frequently engaged in
common study with the novice master or a scholar brought in as the
opportunity and need arise.
Time during the day is also allotted
for private prayer and study. Each novice shares in the duties of
caring for the house and also chooses a specific form of apostolic
ministry to round out the balance of prayer, study, and ministry.
The novices are encouraged to develop their own creative gifts in
areas of personal enrichment and to regularly exercise. Vespers
(evening prayer) is celebrated at 5 PM followed by recreation and
dinner. The day concludes with Compline (Night Prayer) at 7:45pm.
The novices meet together weekly
with the novice master for what is called a chapter meeting to
discuss selected topics and various issues related to the common
life. The novices also meet individually with the novice master
several times a month to discuss their own discernment of the
Br. Kolbe Culotta, O.P.
Brother Kolbe was born and raised
Catholic in Texas where he fostered a love for the south. That love
flourished as he attended Texas Tech University where he was
introduced to the Dominicans by his new found friends. A vocation to
religious life was not a part of his life plan until the spring
before his last year at university. It was then he decided to take a
leap of faith and join the Order of Preachers that he had grown
close to while attending college. Taking his religious name after
Saint Maximilian Kolbe, he is continually inspired by Kolbe’s self
sacrifice and limitless love for his neighbor. In his free time, Br.
Kolbe enjoys reading, listening to music and running.
Br. Greg Dunn, O.P.
Brother Greg is from Fort Worth, and
is one of three children in the Dunn Family. He graduated from
Texas A&M this past spring of 2016 before entering the Novitiate. In
college, he found great encouragement in the witness of many fellow
students and priests at St. Mary's Catholic Center who followed
Christ with their whole hearts. He was drawn to the Order of
Preachers because of the way he saw the Dominicans he met along the
way pray with faith, live in community, study God's Word, and preach
He enjoys hiking, baseball, and
playing other pick-up sports. If you would like to learn some
Fightin' Texas Aggie Yells, feel free to ask him. Also, with a great
bit of perseverance, he is a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan and can only
hope that this is finally the year for them.
Br. Michael Hill, O.P.
Brother Michael was raised in Katy,
TX, where he and his family were members of St. Bartholomew Catholic
Church. As a child he developed a strong devotion to Christ
crucified and formed a strong relationship with God the Father
through personal prayer. With a zealous interest in matters of
existence, purpose, faith and morals, he began to thirst for a
deeper understanding of the Catholic faith, teachings, and
traditions. After high school he really began to discern serving
God’s people more fully.
Upon completion of a degree in
Psychology at the University of Houston, attending both an ACTS and
Ignatius silent retreat, Michael was drawn into a fuller faith in
He met the Dominican Friars at Holy
Rosary Priory and Parish in Houston, TX. After attending the “Come
and See” weekend in February 2016, Brother Michael felt the call to
serve in this community. It was the charism of itinerant preaching,
the importance of community life, and the balance between prayer and
study, which ultimately lead him to apply to the Order of Preachers.
With his creative energy, he enjoys many activities including the
outdoors, reading, crafting, art, exercising, playing guitar,
percussion, sports and more.