Dominican Associates are Christian women and men; married, single, divorced, and widowed; clergy members and lay persons who were first drawn to and then called to live out the charism and continue the mission of the Dominican Order - to praise, to bless, to preach. Associates do not take vows, but rather make a commitment to be partners with vowed members, and to share the mission and charism of the Dominican Family in their own lives, families, churches, neighborhoods, workplaces, and cities. Associates participate in the life of the Congregation through their involvement in prayer, study and ministry. They strive to extend the Dominican presence into the many worlds in which they live. They are engaged in all walks of life and whether they are attorneys, homemakers, teachers, business-owners or factory workers, they try to live their daily lives intentionally as Dominicans. They preach the Good News through the voices of their work, their art, and their lives, following the example of Catherine of Siena, who reminds them: “Preach the Truth as if you had a million voices. It is silence that kills the world.”
How Does one become an Associate?
Becoming an Associate is a process of discernment that is both individual and communal. Initially a person expresses an interest either directly to the Office of Associates or to a Sister or Associate of the congregation. The Co-directors follow-up with the person by sending a welcome letter, a copy of our Mission Statement, Chapter commitments, information about our Corporate Stances and an inquiry form. Once this inquiry form is returned, it is forwarded to the appropriate mentor team person who acts as a local contact. Persons choosing to further discern God’s call, enter into the formation/ discernment process which is designed to help the person grow in the various aspects of the Dominican Charism. The Associate Handbook specifies topics for study (Click here) and suggested materials are provided for this in the Associates Guidebook. This formation/discernment period involves study and growth in relationship with the Dominicans of Peace through participation in congregational events, discussion, and prayer. Typically this process lasts for a period between one and two years before a commitment is made. Because of the uniqueness of the Dominican presence in different parts of the congregation, the specifics of the process differ. For some areas there is a group process, for others it is more individual and for some it is a combination. Regardless of the structure, the common goal is to help facilitate a person’s discernment of God’s call to be a Dominican of Peace. The Associates Handbook specifies that Associates will be Christians who are least 21 years old. For those interested, both the Handbook and Associates Guidebook can be found on the Private Pages.