Hi! I’m currently beginning to discern priesthood/religious life, mainly the active orders. I really like the Dominican and Franciscan spirituality, and I’m trying to learn as much as I can about both. I’ve noticed that there are a lot of different Franciscan orders (OFM, Conventual, Capuchin, and a few random ones), but I’ve only seen one Dominican order (for men anyway). Why is that? Thanks!
I can speak only superficially about the Franciscans, but briefly (as one can’t condense 800 years of history into a few paragraphs) There are different branches of the Franciscan orders since the family is so large (At last count the largest in the church) And being so large and so old that there have been times in the Orders history that different things (such as ministries or ways of life were emphasized by different saints or reformers or founders.foundresses)
An excellent resource on the forums is Brother J.R. Education.]
As for the Dominicans? Yes there are many different groups of (active) sisters. One great resource for men is the site for the Dominicans in the Western United States. There is a link on their page for questions…perhaps they might point you to some history or be able to answer some specific questions you might have?
Sr Debbie, O.S.C.
There have been reforms of both the friars and the laity throughout the 800 year history of the OP.
The tertiary ladies have formed many congregations of the Third Order Regular–such as Sparkhill and Akron, etc.
But, funny, I’ve never seen a Third Order Regular congregation for men. The Third Order Secular men I’ve met have usually been married or priests. The former could found secular institutes; the latter, priestly fraternities.
Secular Institutes are indeed beginning to emerge, but I’m not sure who can start discerning with them. There’s one in France with the post-nomial initials of SHOP–Sister Historians of the Order of Preachers.
There may be communities out there who follow the Rule of St. Augustine and have adapted the Dominican constitutions.