Monday, March 7, 2011

The vocation of the Dominican Co-operator Brother



The friars of the Irish Dominican province have been blessed with having, over the generations, many co-operator brothers among its ranks. These are men who decide not to become ordained priests in the Order and whose vocation is centred on the universal call to holiness and the deepening of their relationship with Jesus Christ through the living out of their vowed life. They are involved in a variety of ministries.

Their vocation provides a unique witness that all Dominican friars, both ordained and non-ordained, are first and foremost consecrated religious bound together as friars by their common religious profession in a Dominican vocation.   It is religious profession that makes the friars full, unlimited and unrestricted inheritors of Dominic’s vision and the charism of our Order, expressed in our contemporary world.  All are brothers of St. Dominic but called to different ministries. 

The Dominican friars both in Ireland and internationally have been reflecting on the vocation of the co-operator brother quite a lot in the past years, especially as the numbers of Dominican co-operator brothers has fallen substantially. There is a universal and unequivocal appreciation and understanding of the vocation of our brothers which is summed up in the words of a recent General Chapter of the Order (the governing body of the Dominican Order) in these words:

 Since it is the whole community which preaches, the Order's mission and community life is weakened in the absence of our Brothers.  Proclaiming the good news to people and in places that others cannot reach is the special charism of the Dominican Brother.

The Irish Dominican friars continue to welcome enquiries from those interested in becoming co-operator brothers in our province and if you feel called, then please make contact with me by email frgd@eircom.net


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