Saint Albert Priory - Saint Albert Priory provides a community for men belonging to the Dominican Order of the Roman Catholic Church.
Saint Albert Priory of Oakland, California, serves as a training ground for a centuries-old religious order known as the Dominicans, or the Order of Preachers. Following in the footsteps of St. Dominic de Guzman, the founder of the Dominican Order, the Saint Albert Priory trains men from all over the globe, providing them with the proper spiritual, educational, and practical formation in the traditions of the Order and the teachings of the Catholic Church. The Western Province of the Order of the Dominicans (Province of the Holy Name of Jesus), one of many such provinces worldwide, began in 1850 with the arrival of Archbishop Joseph Alemany, the first Archbishop of San Francisco; Father Francis Vilarrassa; and Sister Mary Goemaere. Their arrival and the establishment of the Order's Western Province led to the founding of the St. Albert Priory in 1932.
In addition to Saint Albert Priory, the Dominican Order operates 21 communities throughout the western United States. In California, parishes include Holy Rosary Dominican in Antioch and St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Berkeley. Additionally, Saint Albert owns four parishes of the Catholic Church in such locations as Seattle and Portland, Oregon.
In training friars to effectively proclaim the teachings of Jesus Christ, Saint Albert Priory maintains a strong educational mission. Those wishing to become friars in the Dominican Order must study and pray for eight years and obtain their Master's. Studies take place at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, an accredited graduate school near the University of California, Berkeley. The Dominican School began as a direct physical extension of Saint Albert Priory but eventually developed into a separate educational component.
The Western Province of the Dominican Order has made an impact throughout the world through the efforts of its friars, and a number of its members who have trained at Saint Albert Priory voluntarily move on to doctorate-level studies. Brothers of the Order have served throughout the world as missionaries to places like Guatemala and the former Soviet Union. Ministers of the Order trained at Saint Albert Priory also provide support for lepers in the Philippines. The Saint Albert's Priory has long served the Western Province as the starting point for many men beginning their lives as Dominicans.