The following portrait of a Dominican Friar featured in the Pentecost newsletter of the St Barnabas Society. Reproduced with kind permission of Fr Richard Biggerstaff, Director of the Society. Read more
Lay Dominicans ← Previous Next →
Lay Dominicans are a worldwide confraternity (brother and sisterhood) of the Catholic Church who belong spiritually and canonically to the Order of Preachers. Like all Catholics, they aim to show the love of Christ to others, to help others to follow Christ, and to follow Christ more closely ourselves; like all Dominicans, the means they use to do this are prayer, study, conversation about God and the things of God, and preaching of various sorts.
The inspiration of Dominic’s mission to bring the Gospel to the nations touches people from all walks of life. The Dominican Secular Institute which is the latest form of Dominican life mirrors the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience in their vows but without entering the cloister; they live in the world with secular jobs.
The Dominican Laity do not make vows but they do live according to a certain Rules and Statutes. There have been five Rules of the Dominican Laity since the foundation of the Order. The Dominican Laity is governed by the "Statutes of Fraternities of Lay Dominicans", by the General Declarations of the Master of the Order and General Chapters and by Provincial or national Directories, covering questions of local organisation and practice, as provided for in the Rule and the General Declarations. These Directories are prepared by the Laity in the local area and are submitted for approval to the pertinent authority. The current Directory of the Lay Dominicans of the English Province was approved in 2014.
As lay people, lay Dominicans lead their lives in the secular world, and mostly do their preaching in their relations within their parishes, among families, friends and work colleagues, as well as through various forms of charity work. As communities of laity, the fraternities meet together at least monthly for study, conversation, prayer, Mass and the Office of the Church, as well as to plan any common projects they might be involved in. There are Dominican Fraternities in London, Oxford, Cambridge, Leicester, Newcastle and Bristol, as well as Fraternal Groups in other cities. The Lay Dominicans in Glasgow are an autonomous group with their own constitution, approved by the Master of the Order. For more information, click the links below: