Tuesday, January 2, 2007

The Lay Dominican is a canonical member of the Dominican Order

What is the Mission of the Dominican Laity?
(from the www.3op.org web page)

From The Rule of Lay Fraternities of Saint Dominic:
"Among the disciples of Christ, those men and women who live in the world are, by their Baptism and Confirmation, made sharers in the prophetic, priestly, and royal offices of our Lord Jesus Christ. They have as their vocation to radiate the presence of Christ in the midst of the peoples so that 'the divine message of salvation be known and accepted everywhere by the whole of mankind' (Decree of Vatican Council II, Apostolicam Actuositatem on the Apostolate of the Laity, §3) Some among them are moved by the Holy Spirit to live according to the spirit and charism of St Dominic, and are incorporated into the Order by special commitment according to statutes of their own.

They form communities and together with other groups in the Order make up one family (cf. Constitutions of the Brethren, §141)Hence they are marked out by the particular style of their spiritual life and of their service to God and to their neighbor in the Church. As members of the Order, they share in its apostolic mission, by study, prayer, and preaching in keeping with their state as members of the laity."
(Drawn up by the International Congress of Dominican Laity, Montreal, June 1985, approved by the Holy See, January 1987, and promulgated by the Master of the Order, February 1987 (see Analecta of the Order, 1987, pp. 82-87).

Lay Fraternities and Third Orders in the Church
(from www.3op.org)

When we speak about Lay Fraternities and Third Orders in the Catholic Church, we generally mean lay members of religious orders. The Dominicans, Franciscans, Benedictines, Norbertines, Carmelites, and Missionaries of Charity are all examples of orders in the Church who have lay branches, although each order may have a different way of referring to its lay members. For example, in the Dominican Order, we are called lay Fraternity members, or tertiaries. In the Missionaries of Charity, lay cooperators are called coworkers.

It should also be noted that some orders receive professions from those in their lay branch, as with the Dominicans, while others simply invite laity to participate fully in the living of the order's charism without making professions.

Lay men and women in the Fraternities of St. Dominic do not necessarily live in community with each other but practice many of the same spiritual disciplines of the religious of that order. Any Catholic in good standing may join these associations.

How is a Lay Dominican any more a part of the Dominican Order than any one else who attends a church staffed by Dominican friars, and who study Dominican spirituality?

"The Fraternities of St. Dominic are part of the Dominican Order because in receiving a person into the Novitiate the Dominican Order makes them a member of the Order. From the beginning of the Order of Preachers, there have always be lay people who associated themselves with the Friars. Some were called to a great involvement in the living out of Dominican spirituality and these were received into our Fraternities of St. Dominic, whose first Rule was approved in 1285 by the Master of the Order. The tertiary make a Profession to the Master of the Order himself at the end of that first year. This Profession is one of a promise to live according to the Rule of the Fraternities of Saint Dominic."

~Fr. James M. Sullivan, OP
Former Provinical Promoter
for the Fraternities of Saint Dominic
Province of Saint Joseph, USA

Monday, January 1, 2007

The Dominicans of Camden

For more than 75 years the Dominican Order has enjoyed a special presence here in the Diocese of Camden through the unique community of the Dominican Laity or Third Order. The Dominican Third Order has many branches or chapters. We have always considered our chapter in Camden to be special because its life is centered at the Shrine of the Perpetual Rosary, a Dominican Cloister established here by Dominican Father D.M. Saintourens over 100 years ago. The Shrine and Cloister is the home to the Dominican Nuns of the Perpetual Rosary. So, we are part of a Dominican Community comprised of all the branches of the order: Brothers and Sisters who are Friars, Nuns, and Third Order or Dominican Laity.

When one feels a call to join our community, the journey begins in the form of an inquiry period of three months during which the postulant can participate in the life of the Dominican community. After the postulancy period, if the call to the Dominican way of life is still strong, the community calls the postulant to reception in the Order as a Novice. The Novice will receive the Dominican Scapular as a sign of acceptance in the Order. The Novitiate lasts for one year and follows a program of formation in the Dominican Life.

Learn more about the Fraternities of Saint Dominic at www.3op.org
or contact the Formation Director
of the Camden Dominican Laity Community at

Becoming a part of the Dominican Order through the Fraternities

How long will it take before I am officially a member of the Dominican Third Order?

The Rite of Reception into the Novitiate of the Fraternities of Saint Dominic officially names one "Dominican." The Rite of Final or Perpetual Profession officially seals one, for life, in the Order. The initial stages of formation take about five years and include mandated prayerful evaluation before each of the three ceremonial advancements (Novitiate, First Profession, Final Profession). Only serious circumstances will dispense or expel a member after perpetual (life) profession.

The heart, or one’s desire, certainly plays its own part in the reality of being a Dominican and many candidates experience a sense of belonging as soon as they have been accepted into the postulancy (usually lasting six months). Intent alone though is not sufficient but intent with action, such as the Reception into the Novitiate is the qualifier.

A candidate, accepted for and actively pursuing a Dominican tertiary vocation, may request perpetual profession, if desired, under circumstance of terminal illness or serious accident, even if the time of First Profession has not been fulfilled. Each case requires evaluation based on the individual’s preparedness for this final commitment to a Dominican life. This special request does not apply to less serious infirmity nor is it a ceremony to be imposed upon one who does not desire it.

~Margaret Evans, OP
Former Regional Moderator, Region Four
Our Lady of Prouille Chapter
Elkins Park, Pennsylvania

The Profession Ceremony...

The rite begins with a prostration as the candidates invoke God's Mercy and the mercy of the Order. The candidates receive the habit of the Laity and stand before the Prior and the Spiritual Promoter as sharers in the grace of the Order. Humbled by the Love of God, candidates kneel before the community and make a promise to God and the Order to Live as Dominican Brethren until death.

The Work of the Lay Dominican...
For a Lay Dominican the journey to profession is only the start of the Dominican Apostolate. Dominican Laity serve our diocese in many active ministries...Praising, Blessing, Preaching...
As Dominicans we live to contemplate and to share the fruits of contemplation for the salvation of souls.

In addition to the teaching done by our brothers and sisters in the chapter meeting, Lay Dominicans work in many ministries through out the area.

  • Prison Ministry
  • Homeless Ministry
  • Care to shut-ins
  • Teaching
  • Scripture Sharing/Siena Circles
  • Internet Evangelization
  • Marian Ministry
  • Members choose the ministry that best uses their talents...from among these and many other ministry options.

Come and Celebrate with us!

Liturgy of the Eucharist...6:55am daily mass
7:00am Sunday mass
Rosary and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament...
Sunday 3:00pm

Rosary Procession...
First Sunday of October

May Procession...
First Sunday of May

Corpus Christi Procession...
2:00pm on the feast day

Third Order Community Meeting...
Third Sunday of each month 10am - 3pm

From the Corpus Christ Celebration 2006
Fr. Bruno Dongo, AJ
is the Main Celebrant
Fr. Anthony Cataudo, OP
Spiritual Promoter of the Holy Rosary Fraternity
Br. Tomas-Martin Bell, OPD
Formation Director and Region Four Moderator
assist at the altar

Our Meeting Place

The Monastery of the Perpetual Rosary
1500 Haddon Ave, Camden NJ

The Fraternity of Saint Dominic meets at the only cloistered monastery in the Diocese of Camden. The Monastery is the Shrine of the Perpetual Rosary and is the burial place of Father Damien Marie Saintourens, OP global founder of the Dominican Nuns of the Perpetual Rosary.

The Community meets on the Third Sunday of the month. Meetings begin with the Eucharist and include Community Formation, Fellowship time, Spiritual Direction from our Friar, and the Rosary and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament with the Dominican Nuns of the Perpetual Rosary.

The Chapel of the Monastery is a true work of art. The all-stone structure is one of the most beautiful church buildings in the area. Even though the current chapel was built in 1927, it has a centuries-old feel. Upon entering the chapel for the first time, one imagines walking back in time to a quiet monastery where you could find a monk arriving on horse back to deliver the latest papal bull from Rome... If you have never visited this oasis of prayer, you really should!

The sanctuary is flanked by curved stairs that lead to the Rosary Shrine above the main altar. Here the carved marble statute of our Lady, crowned as Queen of Heaven, holds the child Jesus as she gives the rosary to Saint Dominic and Saint Catherine of Siena.

The chapel is also home to an encased statute of Our Lady of Fatima. This statute is one of only five in the world like it. It was a gift of the Dominican Nuns of Fatima, Portugal. The cloister in Fatima was founded by the Camden Nuns.

You can visit the monastery chapel from 7am until 3pm Sunday through Friday.

Do You Feel the Call?

So many lay persons feel the call to live a life of deeper holiness, but few know that there is a way to answer that call while remaining in the lay state.

If you would like more information on a life of spirituality rooted in the traditions of Prayer, Study, Community, and Apostolate

Contact Us at...

Dominican Community of the Holy Rosary
Perpetual Rosary Shrine
1500 Haddon Ave
Camden, NJ 08103