Priestly Fraternities

The PRIESTLY FRATERNITIES OF ST. DOMINIC are diocesan priests who are formally affiliated to the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) through a Rule of life that they profess, and so strive for evangelical perfection under the overall direction of the Dominican friars.

Who We Are

The origins of the Dominican fraternities can be traced from the Dominican third Order secular, which then included both priests and lay persons as members. With the cessation of terminological references to first, second and third Orders in the Dominican Order in 1968, there ensued the creation of separate Rules for the laity and for the priests, and the corresponding constitution of one and the other as distinct fraternities. Now existing as a separate association from that of the laity, and with its own distinct rule to follow, the Priestly Fraternities of St. Dominic continues to be guided by the Order in embracing the gift of the spirituality of St. Dominic in the unique context of the diocesan priests.

Along with the special grace of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, which helps them to perform the acts of the sacred ministry worthily, they receive new spiritual help from the profession, which makes them members of the Dominican Family and sharers in the grace and mission of the Order, to the sure advantage of the local and universal Church.

While the Order provides them with these spiritual aids and directs them to their own sanctification, it leaves them free for the complete service of the local Church, under the jurisdiction of their own Bishop.

What We Do

Priests who join the Order in this way, with a view to being a part of the Dominican Family, “strive to be imbued with the spirit of Saint Dominic” and tend “to a more perfect apostolic life”, so that from the assiduous contemplation of God which unites untiring study of Sacred Doctrine with fervent prayer and voluntary poverty, they attain a firm faith and an apostolic spirit which is fully concerned for the salvation “of every creature” “to the ends of the earth.” (From the Rule for the Priestly Fraternities of Saint Dominic)

The Dominican diocesan priest lives a life consecrated to God not only by his baptism and ordination to the priesthood, but also by sharing in the spirit and mission of the Order of Preachers. He remains under the jurisdiction of his Ordinary, but takes up a new relationship with the Order and with his brother priests in the fraternity. 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.

Practically speaking, the priest now becomes part of a chapter, that is, a local Fraternity attached to a nearby Dominican convent of friars, engaging in a regular encounter with other members of the fraternity not only in fellowship, but also in days of reflection and more intense theological discussion and study. Enriched by a new way of life guided both by the Rule of the Fraternity and by the particular directory of his own chapter, he is now given more opportunities to grow in his private prayer life and to seek higher spiritual perfection.

While sharing in all the spiritual benefits of being a member of the Dominican Family, in his life and ministry in the diocese, he can likewise collaborate with the friars, nuns, sisters, laity and other members of the family of St. Dominic.

Where We Are

Dominican Priestly Fraternities in the World

AFRICA  | Angola (Province of Portugal) 1
ASIA | Philippines 175
AUSTRALIA | Australia 1
EUROPE | Spain 3 I Toulouse 15 I France 10 I Italy 24 I England 6 I Bohemia 26
SOUTH AMERICA | Mexico 1 I Argentina 1 I Central America 1

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Contact info

 Piazza Pietro d'Illiria, 1 | 00153 Roma | Italy


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