The Dominican community of the Eastern Province celebrated the occasion in style, hosting an evening reception for the families and friends of those who had just been ordained.
The following evening, Fr. Innocent offered his first Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Washington DC. The liturgy was beautiful and very emotional for Fr. Innocent’s friends and family members.
Philip Smith graduated from St. Gregory’s in 2004. He enrolled in the University of Notre Dame the following fall, taking a double major in Philosophy and Music. During his college years, Philip discerned a vocation with the Order of Preachers. After graduating from Notre Dame in 2008, he joined the Order’s Eastern Province of St. Joseph as a novice, taking the name of Innocent after the first Dominican Pope, St. Innocent V.
After a formational year at the Novice House near Columbus, Ohio, Innocent took temporary vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience and began his formal studies at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington D.C. Innocent thrived at the House of Studies, and involved himself with several projects there in addition to his formal studies. These have included the publication of a new Dominican Hymnal and the re-founding of Dominicana a print/online journal of Dominican thought and theology. In the spring of 2013, Br. Innocent took his final vows as a Dominican and he was ordained Deacon in March 2014.
Please keep Fr. Innocent in your thoughts and prayers this year as he begins to fulfill his priestly vocation. His first assignment is to the Dominican community at the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer, in New York City where he has already begun to serve as vicar.