State of the Laity within the Dominican Family today – 2009

(concise summary)

DEVELOPMENTS

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.

STATUTES

Preamble

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.

Ten years of the Dominican community in the Netherlands: ten years of rich fruits.

On 24 October 2009 the Dominican Lay Community in The Netherlands (DLN) celebrated its tenth anniversary. Lay Dominican Jan van Hooydonk offers a personal reflection: the foundation has been laid.

One of my bookshelves still exhibits the beautiful congratulation card sent by our Dominican sisters of ‘Voorschoten’ to each of the nineteen people who, on 24 October 1999, were the first to take their profession as members of the Dominican Lay Community in The Netherlands. The card has a text from St.John’s gospel (15,16): “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last”. Ten years later I can say with deep conviction: so far the journey has proved more than worth the effort, it has borne rich fruit. Rich fruit – first of all – for me personally, but also within the larger Dominican movement.