January 12, 2020: The Baptism of the Lord - Pastor’s Corner
(L-R) Br. Matthew Francis, Br. Michael Thomas, Br. Xavier Marie, Br. Kevin Peter
This weekend we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. As John the Baptist pours the waters of the Jordan upon Jesus, the voice of God the Father declares Jesus to be “His Beloved Son.” This marks the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. His baptism is the moment which initiates the preaching of the Gospel. This week, our four novices will share how they heard the voice of God call them to enter the Order of Preachers. By way of introduction, enjoy a brief biography of each. Do keep our four young Dominicans in your prayers as they continue to respond to their vocation.
~ Fr. Michael
Br. Matthew Francis Pancoe
Br. Matthew Francis is from Irvine, CA, and has known the Dominicans his whole life since his uncle, Fr. Joseph Sergott, O.P., is a friar of the Western Dominican Province. Educated at Gonzaga University, where he earned a B.A. in Mathematics and Philosophy, he enjoys “board sports” such as skateboarding, surfing and board games. Inspired by Hebrews 12:29, he wants to be consumed by the fire of God’s love and used as a light for others. This desire to share the faith is one of the many things that attracted him to the Order of Preachers, whose charism and mission is to preach the Gospel for the salvation of souls. And it’s why he admires the Polish Dominican St. Hyacinth, whose joyful disposition, edifying preaching, and devotion to the Blessed Mother and the Eucharist, drew so many to the faith.
Br. Michael Thomas Cain
Br. Michael Thomas is from Santa Paula, CA. He has a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College where his father teaches and both parents are members of the Dominican Laity. He draws inspiration from St. Thomas Aquinas, whose brilliant intellect was united with an intense humility. He enjoys backpacking, swimming, cycling, and running, which may be why he relates so well to 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, where St. Paul draws a comparison between the spiritual life and running a race. “The world’s need for Christ is urgent,” Br. Michael Thomas observes, “and the Dominican is called to bring the light of Christ to all nations.”
Br. Xavier Marie Wu
Br. Xavier Marie grew up in Beijing, China, and went to high school in Laredo, TX. In his free time he enjoys playing basketball, rock-climbing, and sketching. While earning a B.S. in Bioengineering from the University of California at Berkeley, he met the Dominicans and began attending daily Mass at St. Albert’s Priory. It was there that he learned about the Order’s charism and was drawn to our common life, prayer, study, and preaching. He finds inspiration in the passage from Song of Songs 8:6-7, in which love is described as a burning flame. Br. Xavier Marie explains, “It is a perfect image of Christ’s burning love for us.”
Br. Kevin Peter Cantu
Br. Kevin Peter was born near Seattle, but grew up in Clearwater, FL. He returned to the West Coast for studies where he received a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College. Fr. Paul Raftery, O.P., one of the college chaplains, introduced him to the Dominican life. Br. Kevin Peter greatly admires the Dominican St. Juan Macias, who like his contemporaries St. Martin de Porres and St. Rose of Lima, cared for the poor and marginalized. Reflecting on Colossians 3:1-4, he contemplates the mystery of dying with Christ in order to live with Him. Thus Br. Kevin Peter desires to preach Christ crucified as a Dominican friar.