Lay Dominican life is truly a vocation, and so the process of formation is undertaken over a number of years, in the context of a community and with the specific guidance of a formation director. A member’s formator, council, and brothers and sisters in the Order will all help that person discern whether God is calling them to this particular way of living their baptismal promises. As part of that discernment, Dominicans also undergo a formal study program. Here is how the process of formation usually progresses:
Inquiry: Come and see! You are welcome to come to meetings at any time without a commitment.
Postulancy: You will meet with a formation director and go through study modules in preparation for entering the Order. This period is usually 6 months.
Novitiate: You will be received into the Order as a member of the fraternity. Your studies with a formation director will bring you further into the Dominican Way of life as you discern whether to make promises in the Order. This period lasts about one year.
Temporary Profession: This stage is designed to help you discern a life vocation, through ongoing formation in your fraternity life and the practice of each of the Four Pillars. You promise to live the Dominican Rule for three years, after which time you can choose to leave, to make life promises, or ask for a one-year extension of your temporary promises.
Life Profession: You are fully received into the Order of Preachers for life. You promise to live the rule as an extension of your baptismal mission, and assume the privileges and responsibilities that this entails within the Order, which include sharing fully in the communal life of your fraternity through leadership and service.
…But what if I move? We get it. School, work, family duties and other life changes may mean that you have to move away once you have begun formation. But never fear: your Dominican status goes with you! No matter where you are in the process, we can help connect you with another Lay Dominican fraternity, either within or outside of the province. If you are still in formation, we will help transfer your preparation as well.