Welcome to the Dominican Institute of Toronto!

Home of the Vatican II Research Institute

About the Institute

Situated in the heart of one of the world’s most diverse cities, we are a Roman Catholic organization rooted in the Dominican tradition and the spirit of Vatican II. We are a collaborative community committed to the exploration and proclamation of the mystery of God’s Word in history in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious context. In keeping with the vision of St. Dominic we engage the Other in constructive and critical dialogue for the benefit of the church and society.

We accomplish our work through seminars, workshops, conferences, and the Vatican II Research Institute.

To see a list of events both past and present, see our events page.

About the Dominican Fathers

Our religious order was founded by St. Dominic (1170-1221) in the early years of the thirteenth century, with the object of combating the Albigensian heresy in southern France. The name of the order is derived from that of its founder, but the name of “Preaching Friars” (O.P.) was given to it by Pope Innocent III at the time of its foundation. Honorius III designated the friars “the champions of the faith and the true lights of the world”, when he formally approved the order in 1216; but they have been something more than mere preachers.

The originality of the Dominican ideal lies in this, that, far from preferring action to contemplation, the Preaching Friars consider the latter as the one true source of the former. One of the fundamental obligations of the Dominican life is study […]. The result is that the order has produced both outstanding preachers and great mystics. The distinctive habit of the order consists of a tunic, a scapular, and a hood of white wool, a leather girdle with a rosary suspended from it, and a large black mantle and hood. From this they have been commonly known in England as “Black Friars”.

The Canadian province of St. Dominic had its beginnings in 1873, when the Dominicans established themselves in St. Hyacinthe, Quebec. Here a novitiate was opened in 1885. This was transferred to Ottawa in 1900; and in 1909 the college became a studium générale, or university, of the Order. Other establishments were founded in Montreal in 1901, in Quebec in 1919, in Sackville, New Brunswick, in 1926, and in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, in 1929, in Sherbrooke in 1939. The Dominican houses in Canada, together with two in the United States (Lewiston, Maine, founded in 1881, and Fall River, Massachusetts, founded in 1887), were organized as an autonomous province in 1911.

Since then a house has opened in Toronto in the sixties and another community in Vancouver in the nineties.

Ottawa, June 2018. Provincial Chapter of the Dominicans of Canada

To find out more about the Dominican Fathers, visit http://www.dominicans.ca/