As autumn dawns, a Fenwick faculty member reflects on a special summer journey abroad with President Fr. Richard Peddicord, O.P.
By Korin Heinz, Fenwick French Teacher
On June 26th, 28 people from all over the United States came to the village of Fanjeaux, France, to spend 10 days together exploring faith. What drew us to this beautiful and remote region of Southwestern France was the Dominican Spirituality Pilgrimage: “Deepening the Dominican Spirit.” Organized by the Sisters of St. Dominic and Fenwick President Father Richard Peddicord, O.P., this trip traces the footsteps of St. Dominic. He began his mission in the 13th century in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains in Fanjeaux.
We stayed in the convent of Ste. Dominique. Our days were comprised of day trips, talks on Dominican life and spirituality, mass, reflection, free time and daily communal meals of delicious French food. The places we visited included:
- Toulouse, the city where Dominic gathered the first friars.
- Carcassonne, the walled medieval city where Dominic preached.
- Montsegur, the mountain refuge of the Cathars.
- Prouilhe, the first convent founded by St. Dominic in 1206 and still running today.
- Sorèze, the village where Father Lacordaire established a Dominican school.
Fr. Peddicord led the talks, including “Truth as a Motto of the Dominican Order,” “Art as Preaching” and “The Life of St. Dominic.” We learned that Dominic was a holistic thinker who valued the quest for truth and believed in contemplation, prayer and sharing one’s knowledge. I was impressed by his faith, his commitment to truth and his compassion for all people. Dominic’s vision for spreading the gospel led to the creation of the Order of Friars in 1216.