At the last European Assembly in Slovakia in 2008 it was proposed that the European Dominican laity make use of modern technology by launching a lay preaching website to publish stories of fruitful use of our opportunities to preach the Good News by word, gesture and example. The Assembly appointed a team of four – three lay Dominicans and the Promoter General – to manage this new initiative. The lay members were chosen not least because they are all in one way or another professionals with words: they are a couple from Brussels, Guido Van Damme, who is a journalist; Bénédicte Van Damme, his wife, who is a translator; and me, Ruth Anne Henderson, a Scot living in Italy, an academic in the field of English language studies.  It is useful too that we are each fluent in at least two languages and competent in at least one more.

State of the Laity within the Dominican Family today – 2009

(concise summary)


Increasing awareness of the apostolic aspect of vocation:

The friars discern that the laity are not only the object of their preaching, but they are considered more and more as companions in preaching, especially in places where the friars are not so skilled: in family life, the neighborhood, in the professions, in society, the economy and politics. The laity, too, discern more and more that they are protagonists of preaching in their typical environment, where they are specialists. There is an increasing esteem and mutual respect. In the spirit of the Church, understood as Mystery of Communion, the secular branch is respected no longer like a “third Order” of Dominicans, but as  integrated members of a religious family, called by the development of their own charism to respond to the same universal vocation.



The European Council of Lay Dominican Fraternities (ECLDF) hereafter referred to as the European Council (E.C) or the “Council”, is motivated by the love of Christ and His Church as expressed by the apostolic spirit of Saint Dominic. It is established, in accordance with Rule 22(b) of The Rule of Dominican Fraternities, in March 1998 following the IVth European Meeting of Lay Dominicans Fraternities in Vienna
While recognizing that each Province and Vicariate is entitled to its own autonomy according to the rights and responsibilities as defined in the Rules, the Council draws on and also supports each one’s specific charism.