What is the difference between the Lay Dominican and the Dominican Associate?

I am praying and thinking about joining a third order. Lately, the Dominicans keep coming to my attention, in various ways. I am confused about the difference between lay Dominicans and Dominican associates? Can anyone enlighten me?
Right now I am just searching and questioning, so I don’t want to take the step of contacting any particular order until I am more certain. I am meeting with a spiritual director for the first time next week, so I hope that will be a help in this process.


The world-wide Dominican Laity consists of men and women who become lay members of one of the provinces of the Dominican Friars. They profess promises to live according to their own rule and statutes which are based on the four pillars of Dominican Life: Prayer (daily Lauds, Vespers and Compline, rosary and Mass, if possible, along with personal prayer), Study, Community (Each local chapter meets at least once a month), and Apostolate (either individual or with others).

Dominican Associates consist of men and women who support a particular congregation of Dominican active Sisters. Each congregation of Dominican Sisters determines the make-up and requirements of its associates.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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