Six Local Clergy Join The Dominican Order’s Priestly Fraternity

Without changing their status as diocesan priests and permanent deacons of the Diocese of Evansville, six members of the local clergy made their profession on November 15 in the private oratory at Indiana Cardinal as members of the Dominican Order. Two more will follow shortly.

Fathers Jim Koressel, Jack Durchholz, John Pfister and Jeff Read, along with permanent deacons Tom Goebel and Tom Kempf finished a year-long novitiate formation program and made their profession as Dominicans in the Priestly Fraternities of St. Dominic. Following shortly will be Deacon Franco Cottrell of the Louisville Diocese and Deacon John McMullen.

Like many of the other ancient Orders in the Church, the 800-year old Dominican Order includes several branches of members. Perhaps best known are the Dominican friars, those white-habited priests and lay brothers known for their preaching and teaching. Their ranks include St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Albert the Great, St. Pope Pius V, St. Vincent Ferrer, and St. Martin de Porres, a lay brother saint. In the Hoosier State, Dominican friars staff the Newman Centers at Indiana University and Purdue University.

Even before St. Dominic founded his preaching friars, he founded the cloistered nuns, whose prayers and sacrifices have sustained the Order’s mission since its inception. St. Catherine de Ricci and St. Margaret of Hungary rank among these. There have been innumerable Dominic teaching and nursing Sisters, among whom American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne’s daughter, Rose (Mother Alphonsa) Hawthorne Lathrop is prominent. Finally, that entity which used to be called the “Third Order” offers a way that lay people and diocesan priests can belong to the Order, participate in its fellowship, contribute to its preaching mission and enjoy the spiritual benefits and privileges of the Order. Familiar Third Order Dominicans are St. Catherine of Siena, St. Rose of Lima, and Blesses Pier Giorgio Frassati.

Least well known is the fact that diocesan priests and permanent deacons also have a place in the Dominican Order through the Priestly Fraternities of St. Dominic. Chapters, or fraternal groups of varying sizes make up the Priestly Fraternities of St. Dominic. Several years ago, the community of Evansville people known as the Servants of the Redemptor discerned that their hopes and aspirations so closely paralleled those of the Dominican Order thar they wished to become a Dominican entity. Lay members created a laity chapter that has been accepted into the Dominican Order under the title, The Woman Clothed with the Sun. After a time of formation and trial, and delays caused by the COVID epidemic, The Woman Clothed with the Sun Chapter was recently definitively approved. Its clerical counterpart, the Mary Mediatrix chapter of priests and permanent deacons was founded one year ago and its members embarked upon a novitiate year of formation immediately. With that novitiate completed, the members assembled at their headquarters, Indiana Cardinal, to make their profession at Mass, to conduct an elective chapter and to enjoy fellowship.
Father Michael Monshau, O.P., who is the Promoter of the of the Priestly Fraternities for the Dominicans’ Chicago Province, traveled from Minneapolis to receive the profession. Immediately afterwards, the newly professed members spent the morning in chapter electing officers and plotting their future projects.

Elected as Prior (President) of the chapter is Father Jim Koressel, assisted by Deacon Tom Goebel as Sub-Prior. Other councilors chosen were Fr. Jeff Read and Fr. Jack Durchholz. New members will be guided through the formation process by Deacon Tom Kempf, novice master.

Deacons John McMullen and Franco Cottrell were unable to be present at the November 15th gathering, and their professions will be accepted by the new prior as soon as possible. Any priest or permanent deacon who is interested in investigating the possibility of becoming a member of the Priestly Fraternities of St. Dominic can consult with any member or they can approach Tim Martin O.P., coordinator of the Dominican Family effort at Indiana Cardinal.