Dominican Novices Volunteer at Riordan
Please join us in giving a warm Marianist welcome to the Dominican Novices who will be volunteering at Riordan this school year!
This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to have real (and young) witnesses on campus to inspire them in our Catholic faith and plant seeds for their vocation.
We will have six novices with us for the year, and one fully professed brother with us until the end of the semester. They come with a wealth of educational experience with various backgrounds in Physics, Computer Science, AI, Nursing, Philosophy, Spanish, Music, and Business Administration.
We're truly blessed at Riordan to have three incredible Catholic influences - a Marianist Heritage and Tradition, Augustinian Chaplain, and now a Dominican volunteer presence.
Br. Paschal Strader, O.P
Br. Paschal Strader, OP grew up in Yucca Valley, CA. He was an undergraduate at CSU San Bernardino, with a double major in computer science and applied physics. He then obtained an M.A. and a Ph.D. in physics (with a concentration in experimental astrophysics) at UC Santa Barbara. He did his doctorate research in a lab that developed a new type of camera (using MKID detectors) to be used with large observatory telescopes, with the eventual goal of taking pictures of planets in other solar systems. He entered the Dominican Order in 2016, two weeks after defending his dissertation.
Br. Paschal is a cooperator brother, which means he is a Dominican religious brother who is not called to become a priest. He took solemn (life-long) vows in May 2022. He is finishing his initial formation this year while completing concurrent master's degrees in philosophy and theology at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, CA. In his spare time, Br. Paschal enjoys exploring new or scenic places, visiting historic churches, weightlifting, and reading about developments in science.
Br. Antonio Maria Aguilar
Br. Antonio Maria is from San Jose, Costa Rica. He studied Symbolic Systems with a concentration in Artificial Intelligence from Stanford University. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, playing board games, disc golfing, and writing poetry. The work of St. Thomas Aquinas, particularly the Five Ways, helped convince him of the reasonableness of the faith when he was becoming a Catholic at age 14. He later came to love Aquinas as a devoted poet (particularly the Pange Lingua) and as a great protector of purity. One of Br. Antonio Maria’s favorite moments in scripture is from Luke 24:32: “They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to use the Scripture?”” Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, he has also experienced the Lord lovingly turn him around when he’s been heading in the wrong direction.
Br. Hyacinth Marie Bui
Br. Hyacinth Marie is from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where he studied Nursing at the University of Calgary. He enjoys reading, making rosaries, playing the guitar, and going on walks.
He is inspired by St. Anthony of Padua and St. Thérèse of Lisieux, particularly by their total confidence in God and their affinity to the Child Jesus. He was drawn to the Dominicans by their zeal for the salvation of souls and their love for Our Lady and her Rosary. For Br. Hyacinth Marie, this love of Mary and the Rosary finds expression in these words from the Gospel of Luke:
“And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19) These words have sparked a desire to contemplate Mary’s memories of the life of Christ kept hidden in her heart, and to share the fruits of this contemplation with others.
Br. Emmanuel Maria Melendez
Br. Emmanuel Maria is most recently from Augusta, Georgia. He studied Philosophy at St. Joseph Seminary College in Covington, Louisiana, where he was studying to be a priest for the Archdiocese of Atlanta. His hobbies include singing, playing guitar, watching movies and anime, and visiting coffee shops. He has been particularly influenced by the writings and simple spirituality of St. Francis de Sales. He joined the Dominicans because he feels that people need preachers to bring them the Gospel of Mercy and hopes that he can share John’s words with them: “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his son to be the expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (John 4:10-11)
Br. Norbert Ray
Br. Norbert was born in Northridge, Los Angeles, California, but grew up in Fullerton, Orange County, California. He studied Spanish at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he became very involved in the community and the liturgy of St. Mark’s University Parish. He likes to run and play the guitar, and is very passionate about aquariums, which house fish, turtles, and even shrimp! Br. Norbert has a strong devotion to St. Norbert of who he encountered through the witness and liturgy of the Norbertine Canons of St. Michael’s Abbey and their active sisters. He is particularly inspired by St. Norbert’s love of the Eucharist and the Blessed Mother, which he hopes to emulate. He finds inspiration from the healing of the Gerasene Demoniac who asked the Lord to remain with Him after Christ healed him. Instead, the Lord sent him away to “declare how much God has done for [him], at which the man “went away, proclaiming throughout the city how much Jesus had done for him” (Luke 8:38-39). Similarly, Br. Norbert hopes to proclaim Christ, such that others may know the truth of the faith and experience the radical joy of devotion to Our Lord through Mary and the Blessed Sacrament.
Br. Albert Mary Uplaznik
Br. Albert Mary is from Quebec, Canada. He studied Music (Classical Guitar and Jazz Trombone) at at Cégep de Drummondville and Philosophy at Laval University in Quebec. He enjoys playing the guitar and reading in his free time. He draws inspiration from St. Thomas Aquinas because of Aquinas’ humility, purity, and great wisdom, which harmoniously unite faith and reason. He joined the Dominicans out of a desire to consecrate himself to God in a life of prayer, study, and friendship that overflows in preaching. Br. Albert Mary’s favorite scripture passage is the canticle at the beginning of St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (Eph 1:3-14), because, in a few words, St. Paul explains how Jesus reveals and realizes fully the eternal will of God that is ordered to our eternal happiness and the praise of his glory.
Br. Peter Lawrence Vu
Br. Peter Lawrence was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration and Theology minor from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. In his free time, he reads, plays sports, works out, and spends time with his loved ones. Br. Peter Lawrence was drawn into discernment of the priesthood and the Dominican Order because of the Order’s emphasis on preaching and common life. He is influenced by St. Dominic, particularly the way he was known to only talk to God or talk about God, which Br. Peter Lawrence hopes to embody as he continues his journey with the Dominicans. Like St. Dominic, the Words of St. Matthew are central to Br. Peter Lawrence: “And he said to them, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)