The Dominican Order is comprised of different branches.
In addition to the friars (which includes priests and cooperator brothers), there are also cloistered nuns, who spend their lives in prayer, and active sisters who teach, work in hospitals, parishes, and other ministries.
There are also lay Dominicans, who may or may not be married and have families. They preach and minister in many ways that are appropriate to their lay vocation.
There are also those diocesan priests who, while called to their diocesan vocation, also deeply feel the Dominican Charism. These men join the Priestly Fraternity of St. Dominic.
Cloistered Dominican Nuns
The nuns have withdrawn from the world, seeking God in and through their cloistered life of prayer for the Church and the world.
They maintain their withdrawal from the world by enclosure and silence, by working diligently, studying the truth eagerly, searching the Scriptures with ardent heart, praying intently, willingly practicing penance, pursuing communion through their manner of government, in purity of conscience and the joy of sisterly concord, "in freedom of spirit."
In the Dominican Order, nuns hold a special place. St. Dominic founded the nuns before he founded the friars. In 1216, when the Dominican Friars were officially established, the first community of nuns had already existed for two years. They were founded with the express intent of praying for the success of the Dominican Preaching. And their mission is a vital one.
The Dominican Order needs women who will aid the preaching mission by a consecrated life of prayer. To learn more contact a Vocation Directress or use our embedded map listing the different monasteries and their locations.
Sr. Emmanuella, O.P. from the Dominican Nuns in Springfield, IL wrote a reflection for Friarly on the nature and place of the Nuns in the Order of Preachers.
Check it out here.
Monasteries in our Provinces
Monastery of the Infant Jesus
Monastery of St. Jude
Monastery of Mary the Queen
Monastery of the Blessed Sacrament
(Farmington Hills, MI)
Monastery of Mount Thabor
Active Dominican Sisters
These active sisters in the United States are a diverse, vibrant and colorful mosaic of the Church. Their mission to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ is carried out in countless ways.
Throughout the history of the Order, women have responded to Dominic’s vision in numerous ways.
The active sister congregations, recognized as belonging to the Order by the Master of the Order, retain various degrees of independence and autonomy.
These active sisters have responded to the needs of their own time and joined together for prayer, study, common life, and announcing the good news of God’s tender compassion through a variety of apostolates.
These apostolates include: education, ministering to people who are sick or who are mentally or physically challenged; evangelization; serving people who are poor, and much else.
Today, faithful women still respond to this call and work locally and across cultures and international boundaries to address new challenges and extend the historic visions of their various congregations.
They draw strength from both personal prayer and heartfelt common celebrations of the liturgy while studying resolutely, looking for the God in all things.
These women know that personal and communal contemplation shapes and supports our witness to the reign of God.
It speaks of our interdependence upon God and one another. Contemplation is the foundation of our lives, our relationships, and our ministries.
Today, there is a vital urgency and need for a profound commitment of Dominican women and men to embrace the mission of the holy preaching with one another.
We are convinced that speaking the truth in love continues the new creation and builds the reign of God here and now in the midst of our broken, fragile world.
And together, we are the Dominican Family and our very lives together and in our ministry and prayer are the Holy Preaching.
In the Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic, men and women, both single and married, live lives inspired by St. Dominic and the Dominican saints as lay people in the midst of the secular world.
In the Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic, men and women, both single and married, live lives inspired by St. Dominic and the Dominican saints as lay people in the midst of the secular world. These “Lay Dominicans” devote their lives to prayer, study and preaching the gospel.
By adopting a Rule of Life, Lay Dominicans committed not only to living holy lives and doing works of charity, but also to being a part of the preaching mission of the Order.
Each Lay Dominican promises to follow The Rule of the Lay Chapters of St. Dominic, as well as the particular guidelines of the Province in which their chapter subsists. Each Lay Chapter emphasizes different things with their ministries, but they all are connected to a province of friars and prayed for by the nuns, and so relate to the mission of St. Dominic in a special way.
Most of the 25 states served by our two provinces have at least one Lay Dominican Chapter, and some have as many as five or six. If you would like to know more about the Lay Dominicans in our provincial territories, see these links below:
If interested in becoming a member of the lay Dominicans, check out both the province-wide sites as well as the list of local chapters located on those sites. We have also provided the link for the local St. Louis chapter of Lay Dominicans which meets regularly at our priory, St. Dominic's.
Priestly Fraternity of St. Dominic
Just as members of the Dominican Lay Fraternities live secular lives inspired by the example of St. Dominic and the Dominican saints, so do members of the Priestly Fraternities of St. Dominic.
A diocesan priest who wishes to serve his diocese and his local bishop, but who still experiences a draw to the Dominican Order is a perfect candidate for joining a Priestly Fraternity.
A member of the Priestly Fraternity makes profession according to a unique Rule. He becomes a true member of the Dominican Family after he makes his solemn promise to live according to the Rule of the Priestly Fraternities of St. Dominic until death. He receives grace through his profession to live a life that is guided by the Dominican spirit of contemplation, disciplined by theological study and prayer, and combined with apostolic zeal to preach the Good News.
In living that Rule, in collaboration with Dominican Friars, the Priestly Fraternity member strives to be a more perfect evangelist.
Promoters for the Priestly Fraternity
St. Albert the Great (Central) Province:
Fr. Michael Joseph Monshau, O.P.
Fr. James Dominic Rooney, O.P.
St. Martin de Porres (Southern) Province:
Fr. David Keong Seid, O.P.
Phone Number: 510-326-3815