Dominican Third Order?


#1

Can I ask, what is the purpose of the Dominican Third Order? I'm told they are supposed to hold the same sort of charism as the Dominican's, but what does that mean? Preaching, evangelisation? I've never seen any talks by them, no papers, no books, no reflections of any sort (God or anything about their vocations), nada. Are there any? If so, where? Do they help out the Dominicans in any way? Do the Dominican's help them? If so, how?

I am assuming that they don't go about preaching like the friars, but one might think they had some role somewhere with regard to sharing the faith. I'm assuming their first duty would be to develop a relationship with God, and come to a better understanding. Study and prayer would probably be important too,... but what else?

Or are they sort of a fan club?


#2

Read about St. Catherine of Siena, St. Louis de Montfort, and Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati if you want to learn what third order Dominicans are known for.

Third orders are absolutely not in any way a "fan club" of the order. They are as much a part of the order as the friars and sisters, and the profession of vows is as canonically binding as the profession of vows made by the religious.


#3

I'd really rather hear from some people who are Lay Dominicans now. Times have changed dramatically and they (Dominicans) seem to me to be more fluid, i.e., Respond to the troubles each new generation struggles with.

Thanks.


#4

3op.org/life.php

This website does a good job of discussing the role and life of the Dominican Laity. I will also attach some articles to this post that do the same.

Furthermore, here are some recent threads worth checking out:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=572227

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=569581

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=529912

I hope that helps!

Peace,


#5

[quote="ReluctantSeeker, post:1, topic:246363"]
Can I ask, what is the purpose of the Dominican Third Order?

[/quote]

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by 'purpose'. Being a Lay Dominican (note the term Third Order was abandoned many years ago, we are all part of the same order not first, second and third class citizens) is a vocation, it is what we are called to do, therefore our 'purpose' is to be who God calls us to be. In terms of how we actually do that, see below.

I'm told they are supposed to hold the same sort of charism as the Dominican's, but what does that mean?

Yes, because we are Dominicans. We have the same charism as the entire Domincan family. It's not like the friars are fully fledged Dominicans and we're Dominican-lite or something, we're all Dominicans together following the same charism.

Preaching, evangelisation? I've never seen any talks by them, no papers, no books, no reflections of any sort (God or anything about their vocations), nada. Are there any? If so, where?

I've linked to some examples online:
here, here and here
Yes, we preach, that's what defines us as Dominicans, and yes, we evangelise. How each person and fraternity does it is different, just as friars preach in many ways other than at the pulpit. Some people give talks, write books etc., some preach in a formal way in their local communities (various ministries within the church), some have a job which envolves preaching (many of us are involved in education for example), all of us also try to preach as our Holy Father Francis taught us by example first. The what of what we do is no more or less than any lay Catholic may do, it's the spirituality behind it that sets us apart. We want everyone to come to God and, for us, we do that by following St. Dominic.

Do they help out the Dominicans in any way? Do the Dominican's help them? If so, how?

See above, we are all Dominicans. However, to answer your question, yes. Many Dominicans have a strong bond with other members of the Dominican family (nuns, friars, sisters and laity) and help each other out in lots of ways, often undertaking joint projects. The sisters are autonomous but all others are led by the same Master (elected from the friars). A Dominican religious will often be the chaplain to a Lay Dominican fraternity, as one example of interdependence.

I am assuming that they don't go about preaching like the friars, but one might think they had some role somewhere with regard to sharing the faith. I'm assuming their first duty would be to develop a relationship with God, and come to a better understanding. Study and prayer would probably be important too,... but what else?

From the Lay Dominican Rule, this might help:

  1. Life of the Fraternities They do their best to live in true community in the spirit of the beatitudes, and they give expression to this in regard to other members of the fraternity, particularly the poor and the sick, and as circumstances require, by doing works of mercy and sharing with them what resources they may have, and by offering prayers for the dead, so that all may be united in heart and soul in God (Acts 4:32).
  2. Together with the brothers and sisters of the Order the members of the fraternities take part in the apostolate; they are to share actively in the life of the Church, and be ever ready to work with other apostolic groups.
  3. The principal sources from which the Lay Dominicans draw strength to go forward in a vocation which combines the contemplative and the apostolic in the closest union, are the following: a) hearing the divine word, and reading sacred scripture, especially the New Testament; b) as far as possible daily liturgical celebration and participation in the sacrifice of the Mass; c) regular celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation; d) celebration of the liturgical hours in union with the whole Dominican family, as well as private prayer such as meditation and the rosary; e) conversion of heart through the spirit and practice of the repentance demanded by the gospel; f) sustained study of revealed truth, and constant reflection on the problems-of the day in the light of faith; g) devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary according to the Order’s tradition, and to our holy father Saint Dominic, and to Saint Catherine of Siena; h) spiritual retreats from time to time. The Rosary, which leads to a familiar contemplation of the mysteries of Christ under the guidance of Mary, is a traditional devotion in the Order. Dominican Laity are strongly encouraged to pray it daily.

Or are they sort of a fan club?

No; athough I personally am a fan of many of the friars, Dominican friars in general and, of course, St. Dominic, that is not what makes me a Lay Dominican. We don't make lifelong promises and commitments just to be groupies!

Hth! :thumbsup:


#6

[quote="Batfink, post:5, topic:246363"]
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by 'purpose'. Being a Lay Dominican (note the term Third Order was abandoned many years ago, we are all part of the same order not first, second and third class citizens) is a vocation, it is what we are called to do, therefore our 'purpose' is to be who God calls us to be. In terms of how we actually do that, see below.

Yes, because we are Dominicans. We have the same charism as the entire Domincan family. It's not like the friars are fully fledged Dominicans and we're Dominican-lite or something, we're all Dominicans together following the same charism.

I've linked to some examples online:
here, here and here
Yes, we preach, that's what defines us as Dominicans, and yes, we evangelise. How each person and fraternity does it is different, just as friars preach in many ways other than at the pulpit. Some people give talks, write books etc., some preach in a formal way in their local communities (various ministries within the church), some have a job which envolves preaching (many of us are involved in education for example), all of us also try to preach as our Holy Father Francis taught us by example first. The what of what we do is no more or less than any lay Catholic may do, it's the spirituality behind it that sets us apart. We want everyone to come to God and, for us, we do that by following St. Dominic.

See above, we are all Dominicans. However, to answer your question, yes. Many Dominicans have a strong bond with other members of the Dominican family (nuns, friars, sisters and laity) and help each other out in lots of ways, often undertaking joint projects. The sisters are autonomous but all others are led by the same Master (elected from the friars). A Dominican religious will often be the chaplain to a Lay Dominican fraternity, as one example of interdependence.

From the Lay Dominican Rule, this might help:

No; athough I personally am a fan of many of the friars, Dominican friars in general and, of course, St. Dominic, that is not what makes me a Lay Dominican. We don't make lifelong promises and commitments just to be groupies!

Hth! :thumbsup:

[/quote]

Excellent information and post. Thank you!

Peace,


#7

You're welcome. I'm glad it helped someone, even if that doesn't turn out to be the op. Prayers in St. Dominic for your journey towards formation as a Lay Domincan!


#8

[quote="Batfink, post:7, topic:246363"]
You're welcome. I'm glad it helped someone, even if that doesn't turn out to be the op. Prayers in St. Dominic for your journey towards formation as a Lay Domincan!

[/quote]

It was definitely helpful. And thanks for the prayers. I am very much looking forward to starting formal discernment this fall when we get moved to our new location. I am very excited to learn more about Dominican spirituality, the Order, and being part of the Dominican family. I'm also excited for the continued formation and learning.

I'm hopeful at this point, based on what I have read so far, that it will be a good fit between the Order and myself. However, whether it truly is or not remains up in the air at this point.

If you have a good recommendation as far as a book which would serve as a good introduction to Dominican spirituality, I would appreciate it when you have a moment.

Take care!


#9

[quote="Batfink, post:5, topic:246363"]

No; athough I personally am a fan of many of the friars, Dominican friars in general and, of course, St. Dominic, that is not what makes me a Lay Dominican. We don't make lifelong promises and commitments just to be groupies!

[/quote]

I'm a fan also. :) I was just asking because I've only seen their website, but it seems pretty lite on what they're all involved in.

I haven't had the opportunity to go to all the links yet. More questions when I do!


#10

[quote="Batfink, post:5, topic:246363"]
We don't make lifelong promises and commitments just to be groupies!

[/quote]

What's the point of being a groupie of someone who took a lifelong vow of poverty and celibacy anyways?

;)


#11

[quote="jwinch2, post:10, topic:246363"]
What's the point of being a groupie of someone who took a lifelong vow of poverty and celibacy anyways?

[/quote]

Wait a second, I thought they only took a vow of obedience? Poverty and celibacy is in their constitution? I'm probably totally wrong here.


#12

[quote="ReluctantSeeker, post:11, topic:246363"]
Wait a second, I thought they only took a vow of obedience? Poverty and celibacy is in their constitution? I'm probably totally wrong here.

[/quote]

I'm not sure who you are referring to here. If you are talking about the Friars (priests and brothers), Sisters, and Nuns, then I would certainly expect that poverty and chastity were part of their vows. If you are talking about the Laity well then, that is another story :eek:...

Just kidding. I am not sure what vows Lay Dominicans actually profess when they make their commitments to be honest. Perhaps someone will jump in and help us out with that one...


#13

I'll have to be quick as I have a baby climbing all over me (mine, not just a random one!), but just a few point for now and I'll happily answer any more later, or someone else might jump in.

A good intro to Dominican spirituality is (my favourite) Timothy Radcliffe's I Call You Friends. I'll think of some more later.

You are both right about the vows in that the formula of profession for friars and nuns (I don't know about sisters as they are from many separate communities so some of them might differ) only mentions obedience explicitly, but this is understood to encompass poverty and chastity by its nature and the nature of the Dominican life. Lay Dominicans also promise only obedience and are expected, as all lay Catholics, to keep chaste according to our state in life and use our money wisely.

The reason the info is light on what we actually do is, as I've explained, because we all fulfil our vocation in myriad different ways. We are not an organisation like the SVP which exists for all its members to fulfil one purpose (although many Lay Dominicans are also members of the SVP and similar organisations), the what of what we do is as varied as we are, it's the why and the who which unite us. The saying goes..."if you've met one Dominican, you've only met that one!", i.e. we're known for being quite quirky and individual (in a collective fraternal way).

This page gives some info as to what we're about, and I really like the pciture about half way down!


#14

[quote="Batfink, post:13, topic:246363"]

A good intro to Dominican spirituality is (my favourite) Timothy Radcliffe's I Call You Friends. I'll think of some more later.

[/quote]

Thanks!


#15

I actually meant one of Tim’s other books Sing a New Song.

I Call You Friends ia very good, but it’s not so much about Dominican spirituality specifically. I got confused because I also have the French version of ICYF, which contains essays from the English SANS. Sorry! But, on the plus side, if you have already purchased ICYF, it’s still an excellent read.


#16

[quote="Batfink, post:15, topic:246363"]
I actually meant one of Tim's other books Sing a New Song.

I Call You Friends ia very good, but it's not so much about Dominican spirituality specifically. I got confused because I also have the French version of ICYF, which contains essays from the English SANS. Sorry! But, on the plus side, if you have already purchased ICYF, it's still an excellent read.

[/quote]

I haven't purchased either yet but I appreciate the heads up. I have gotten so many books lately that it will take me literally years to read them all but that doesn't seem to stop me from getting more.. :o


#17

I have doing quite a bit of reading and studying on the Order lately along with reading several articles on the Dominican Laity. A question pops up from the readings that I would like to get your comments on.

First, I read multiple articles talking about the changing of the purpose and focus of the Dominican Laity to one that embraces more of the apostolic mission of the Order from what was described my multiple authors as a group of lay persons who were living the contemplative parts of the order but not the preaching or study parts of the order other than by witness to living a holy life. I have read multiple articles talking about how this situation needed to change in order to make the Lay Dominicans all that they were supposed to be and to enhance their ability to assist with the mission of the order in preaching the gospel in the world.

Most of these articles are multiple decades old. For example, the first one was written by a Dominican priest and was penned in the 1960’s. The next was 1970, then 1978, then 1985. There is the appearance from the articles and letters that things were moving in that direction but I can find nothing of this process following that time which illustrates how LAy Dominicans are assisting the Friars in the preaching of the gospel in a more active way as was called for repeatedly in the documents I mentioned earlier.

So, how about it? Have things changed, gotten better and so on? If so, how? Can you provide some examples of how things have changed and ways that the laity is involved in the apostolic mission of the order that they were not 10 years ago? 20? 30?

Thanks in advance. I look forward to your response!

Jason


#18

Jason,

As I was reading through those articles you attached, I was wondering the same thing. Do you have any other articles, even if they don't relate to this "lay spirituality"?

Thanks!


#19

[quote="ReluctantSeeker, post:18, topic:246363"]
Jason,

As I was reading through those articles you attached, I was wondering the same thing. Do you have any other articles, even if they don't relate to this "lay spirituality"?

Thanks!

[/quote]

Here are a couple more. It is worth noting that most of those articles are quite dated. I would imagine that much of the reform of Lay Order that was being discussed in those times has been implemented in some way. However, I am definitely curious to learn how and to what extent those changes have been made.

Pax Christi,

Jason


#20

BTW, there is a group dedicated to all things Dominican here at CAF which may be of interest.

Cheers!

forums.catholic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=189


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