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This is an intermediate page for formation materials. Here is a link to the Provincial Inquiry materials. It is one large file (~ 10 megs). Here is a link to a low res file that is~ 2 megs. I have tried to remove any St. Cecilia Chapter specific references. If you find any, or any typos let me know at

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Orientation and Intro

We welcome you today for the first stage of Formation in the Lay Dominicans. This first year is known as “Inquiry”. For the next year you will be learning the fundamentals of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans). It is only the beginning of a lifetime of continuous learning. Fundamentally, Dominican life is centered on four …

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Formation Guidelines

The intent of these guidelines is to provide a general framework for formation programs by identifying the essential elements for instruction. These guidelines are not intended to impose burdensome requirements, but rather to aid chapters in forming members to the Dominican way of life. It is crucial to acknowledge that the call to the Dominican …

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History of the Dominican Order

LAY DOMINICANS ARE MEMBERS OF A WORLDWIDE FAMILY The Dominican Family was founded by St. Dominic de Guzman, a Spanish priest born in Caleruega in 1170. In 1203 he organized his traveling preachers and founded the Dominican “Order of Preachers” (the meaning of the OP that you see after a Dominican’s name). Dominicans all over …

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Meeting 1

The Place of Study In the Ideal of St Dominic by James A. Weisheipl, OP The purpose of the Dominican Order is stated clearly and simply in the Constitutions: Our Order is known from the beginning to have been specially instituted for the sake of preaching and the salvation of souls. Consequently our study must …

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Meeting 2

The Pillars of Dominican Life: Community Life Community life is of key importance to all Dominicans. It is in fact, one of the pillars of Dominican life. For the members of the First, Second and Third Order Religious it means a group of men or women leading a common life according to a rule. It …

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Meeting 3

“History of the Dominican Laity” by Father Richard Webber, OP In 1974, on the seventh centenary of the death of St. Thomas Aquinas, I delivered a paper entitled: “A Modern Dominican Looks at His Out-Dated Patron.” Though the title was meant to be facetious, its intent was serious: St. Thomas, not “Thomism,” is the valuable …

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Meeting 4

The Pillars of Dominican Life: Liturgical Prayer Until about thirty years ago we had what was known as the Dominican Rite. We Dominicans celebrated Mass and Divine Office differently than the rest of the Western Church. The feature that most people noticed was that we took water and wine into the chalice at the beginning …

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Meeting 5

“The Purpose of the Dominican Laity” by Charles R. Matesta, OP Introduction  Before speaking of the Purpose of the Dominican Laity it is necessary to face and lay to rest certain ideas that seem prevalent concerning the Dominican lay vocation. In particular three such ideas must be mentioned. First, the Dominican Laity has been described …

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Meeting 6

The Pillars of Dominican Life: Loyalty to the Church Total obedience to the Church and its magisterium must be in the heart of every Dominican. It was for this very reason St. Dominic founded the Order. After witnessing the devastating consequences of the Albigensian heresy, St. Dominic realized that Friars must be formed to preach …

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Meeting 7

The Dominican Soul by M.M. Philipon, OP; translated by Cajeatan Kelly, OP A Dominican Soul is a soul of light whose rapt gaze dwells in the inaccessible splendor wherein God conceals Himself. It lives with Him by faith, is in the company of the Three Divine Persons, a true child of God, adopted through grace …

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Meeting 8

The Pillars of Dominican Life: Veritas — Truth Every major religious order can sum up its mission and spirit in a word or two. For the Benedictines it is the Opus Dei, the celebration of the Divine Office, or Christian Prayer, as they are calling it these days. For the Franciscans, it is Poverty. The …

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Selection of the Altar of Recanati
polyptch (1508) by Lorenzo Lotto

Meeting 9

Poems of St Catherine of Sienna CONSUMED IN GRACE I first saw God when I was a child, six years of age. the cheeks of the sun were pale before Him, and the earth acted as a shy girl, like me. Divine light entered my heart from His love that did never fully wane, though …

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Meeting 10

The Pillars of Dominican Life: Meditation andContemplative Prayer Union with God is the goal of the spiritual life. This union with God will, in turn, enrich and perfect our “active” life (preaching, teaching, giving alms, etc.) thereby making it more effective and enabling it to bear more fruit. That is why contemplative prayer and meditation …

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Meeting 11

The Pillars of Dominican Life: Devotion to the BlessedVirgin Mary A deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary has always been a hallmark of our Order, one of its pillars, you might say. It began with St. Dominic himself who was especially devoted to her and used to pray for long periods before her altar. …

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