We are often asked about how one might start a new fraternity, especially if there is not currently a group that meets near you. The formal process of beginning a fraternity must be undertaken by the Lay Dominicans, who would need to get permission from the local bishop and begin the process of affiliation– whereby a new group is formed under the guidance of an already-established fraternity. This process takes time, and is only undertaken after deliberation at the local, regional, and provincial levels.
That being said, if you are interested in the possibility of having a group of Lay Dominicans near you, here are some concrete steps you could take:
- Contact the nearest fraternities and see if they already have members who are from your area, or if they have thought about establishing a new group in the area before.
- Begin formation with a fraternity. The process of establishing a new fraternity can oftentimes move more quickly if it’s not composed of entirely new members.
- Talk with your parish priest, Bible study group or other parish group about inviting the Lay Dominicans to host something at your church.
- Find out if anyone else in your community or the surrounding area would be interested in the Lay Dominicans. Gauging interest and commitment level is important when considering where and when to establish a new fraternity.
- If you have an interested group, get together and begin praying the Liturgy of the Hours, the Dominican Rosary or starting a Dominican reading circle. A healthy understanding of Dominican spirituality will go a long way towards priming a community for establishing a fraternity.