St. Dominic knew that, while itinerant in their ministry, his preachers needed to have a place to come together for grounding and nourishment, a community to return to for prayer, study, and mutual support and encouragement. Community also provides an avenue for fostering interdependence and a means of shifting focus from self-centeredness to the promotion of the common good.
For Dominicans, even early in their history, “community” did not always mean a day-to-day living with other members of the Order, as it generally had for other religious groups. The preaching mission would necessarily take individuals away from their common home for the sake of ministry, and so a sense of community had a different meaning for Dominicans from the beginning. Community was part of who Dominicans were in their very essence; they carried it with them in their hearts, regardless of where they laid their heads. The concept of community, with all its nuances, remains an important part of the Dominican identity today.
Community is one of many values Dominicans hold dear: