From the earliest days of the Order, lay men and women have been an intrinsic part of the Dominican Family, gathered to share the Dominican mission and way of life. In whatever lifestyle they find themselves, married or single, Lay Dominicans enrich the Dominican Family with their passion for the Truth, their love of Dominican prayer and apostolic zeal.
Lay Dominicans have a direct role in the preaching mission. Many pursue degrees in theology or liturgy, are engaged in justice ministries and fully participate in St. Dominic’s call to contemplate and share with others the fruits of contemplation.. Lay Dominicans preach primarily in the marketplace or wherever our station in life finds us. We preach by our lives and example, and when opportunity arises, with our voices as well. Dominican Lay men and women pursue study, particularly in theology, Scripture, and catechesis in order to preach well when called upon to do so.
The Lay Dominicans make promises to follow The Rule of the Lay Chapters of St. Dominic and the Particular Directory of the Province in which they live. They meet in community regularly and participate with the friars, nuns, and sisters, as well as the Church in general, in praying the Liturgy of the Hours. They engage in active apostolates such as letter-writing on issues of peace and justice, ministry to the poor, liturgical ministries, teaching, authorship, and spiritual counseling. They endeavor to live lives of simplicity and generosity.
As Dominican Sisters typically relate to Dominican associates, the Dominican Friars have had a long tradition of working with the Lay Dominicans and, indeed, reflect the direct connection that the Lay Dominicans have with the Master of the Order. Dominican Sisters, as well, mentor chapters and thus fulfill the collaborative nature of the Family. Each province of friars has a strong connection with local chapters.