Fourteen Lay Dominicans form the first Flemish Lay Fraternity in the Dominican Order. On August 8th, feast of St. Dominic, they committed to live according to Dominican spirituality.
In Flanders, there have been Dominican-inspired lay groups for a long time and they meet regularly in regional and interregional meetings. Some lay people wanted to go one step further and to bind themselves to the Order of Preachers through a profession. With Br Marcel Braekers o.p. they started a formation programme.
Annemie Deckers, president of the Provincial Council, says: In this programme we worked on the pillars of Dominican spirituality and learned about the rich history of the Order. Nineteen people attended the programme, and fourteen made their profession. Meanwhile, another participant has entered the Order as a novice friar. The seriousness of our reflection on this commitment can be seen in some quotations taken from the written motivations:
- In the spirit and community of the Dominicans, I find a ‘home’ that gives me strength in my daily life, my spirituality, my faith. It is a new language to come closer to God, and I want to continue to learn, deepen, internalize and live this new language. And I want to convey that language, live my faith and live it with others.
- The training programme has confirmed us in our conviction. To form a community together, to pray together, to reflect together on the content of an attitude of contemporary faith and Dominican inspiration: this is what gives us strength to shape our conviction in our daily life.
- I feel that the double way of development by the via activa and contemplative is a fertile path in my life; formation by study strengthens me to witness the gospel, gives me strength to follow together the quest for in-depth study with others. Through a stronger association with the Dominicans, I hope to make my commitment to the mission of the Order even stronger.
The solemnity of the Commitment took place on Wednesday, August 8, 2018, feast of St. Dominic, in the church of the Dominicans in Knokke. We call it ‘Commitment’ for a reason: a celebration in which, united with others, we are united with the Order.
It was heartening to see that so many people wanted to be present: the Dominican Fathers and the Dominican Sisters and Lay Dominicans from the Netherlands, Wallonia and Brussels, members of our families and friends. Their presence and their enthusiasm reinforce our commitment.
After our profession we received a book of Psalms and a prayer shawl from the Promoter and the President, after a laying on of hands,. Then the brethren, sisters and lay Dominicans exchanged the kiss of peace with us as a sign of welcome to the Order. We are now part of the Order of Preachers. We can share their tradition and their wealth. Knowing this gives us energy and makes us happy.