Lay Faithful, is St. Dominic calling you?
We at the Order of Preachers, Independent have answered a call from the Holy Spirit and are founding a new Third Order of St. Dominic, Independent.
The Third Order of St. Dominic is for lay men and women from all walks of life who wish to follow and to incorporate the rule and Charisms of the Dominican walk of faith within their secular lives. The Third Order of St. Dominic, Independent will follow the rules and Charisms as are followed by the Order of Preachers, Independent to which they will be affiliated. So if you feel this calling is for you and you wish to live a secular life of study and Prayer in an all-welcoming and all-inclusive Dominican Order Community then we would love to hear from you.
All inquiries in the first instance should go to either The Father General of the Order of Preachers, Independent, the Rt. Rev. Michael Beckett OPI, or to the Mother Prefect of the Third Order, The Rev Lady Sherwood, OPI.
What is the Third Order?
- The Purpose: The purpose of The Independent 3rd Order of St. Dominic is to be an Order of Lay Dominicans for men and women who come from all walks of life and who commit themselves to the Dominican Charism which will be integrated into their established lifestyles, sharing in the Charism and priorities of the Order of Preachers, Independent.
- The History of the Dominican Third Order: The Dominicans are officially referred to as the Order of Preachers, and preaching is a very important of Dominican life. In the early ministry of St. Dominic, his preaching attracted many men and women to him. The lay people that followed Dominic were at first known as the “Militia of Christ,” and would soon be given a rule and became known as “The Order of Penitents.” This was the beginning of the “Third Order” or more commonly known today as “the Dominican Laity,” which is now the largest branch of the Order.
- The Charism: So what is really the Charism of the Dominican Order? The Order has four major to its Charism, which are referred to as the Four Pillars.
- Community: Community is an essential part of the Dominican life. As Dominicans, Independent, we do not live in a common house, like the Dominicans on the Roman Catholic Church. Our way of living in community is through spiritual and emotional support when needed. A member of the Third Order also participates in that same community life through interacting with members of the Order, and others in the Third Order.
- Prayer: Prayer is the ultimate way to communicate with God, and this communication with God is a form of a union; the ultimate goal of spiritual life. Dominic integrated various forms of prayer into his life, which are emphasized that Dominicans spend time practicing these forms of prayer.
- Study: Study is a very important part of the Dominican life. In fact, a Dominican is constantly studying to learn more regarding faith and ministry. The practice of study helps us grow as people seeking to encounter Christ more fully in order to preach the Gospel as we are so called.
- Veritas: Veritas is a Latin word meaning Truth, which sums up in one word our thirst for the divine truth of the faith, and sharing that truth, as revealed through Christ.
What are the Steps in the Formation Process?
- Aspirancy: Speaking with the Mother Prefect about discerning the Third Order, and getting to know the other members of the Third Order; speaking with the Father General to learn about the Order
- Application to the Third Order upon mutual agreement that an aspirant is ready
- Learning more about the life as a Dominican as a Postulant, continued studies pertinent to the Third Order, and then Tertiary
How do I apply to the Third Order?
After speaking with the Mother Prefect and Father General, and it is agreed that the aspirant is ready, he or she will be provided with an application packet which consists of providing personal information, a biography, and a consent for a background check.
What are the requirements and expectations as a member of the Third Order?
- A Dominican is continually studying
- Start with The New Wine of Dominican Spirituality: A Drink of Happiness
- A course on the Dominican Saints and Blesseds, as how they impacted the Dominican Order throughout history to today
- The Mother Prefect, with counsel of the Father General of the Order will select courses from the Institute that have pertinence to the laity, as a member of the Third Order
- Any other assignments requested by the Mother Prefect and/or Father General
- After some studies have been completed, a person in formation may have the opportunity to write sermons to be posted
- Must have an active Facebook profile in order to meet and interact with other members of the Third Order and members of the Order
- Submit to the Mother Prefect regularly scheduled “progress reports” as an evaluation of how things are going.
What other things do I need to know about the life as a member of the Third Order?
Members of the Order wear a Habit, but a member of the Third Order will be given a Dominican Cross to wear.