General – Priestly Fraternity

PRIESTLY CONFRATERNITY

Who are the Priestly Fraternities

The Priestly Fraternities of St. Dominic consist of diocesan priests and deacons who are formally affiliated with the Order of Preachers. They share in the grace and mission of the Dominican Order, but remain under the jurisdiction of their bishop and are free for the complete service of the local Church.

This unique vocation integrates the vocation of the diocesan priest (whose Dominican profession does not alter his relationship with his bishop or his availability for full service in his diocese in any way) with membership in the Dominican Order with its life, mission and spiritual privileges. 

The priest, or deacon, becomes a true member of the Dominican Family after he makes his solemn promise to live according to the Rule for the Priestly Fraternities until death, and his manner of living the priesthood is shaped by this rule. 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.

History of the Priestly Fraternities

In the history of the Order, diocesan priests who belonged to the Order comprised, along with lay members of the Order, the Third Order of Dominicans, and were known as Dominican Tertiaries. Prominent Dominican Tertiaries included Pope Benedict XV and Pope Pius XII. At the General Chapter of 1968, the designations of first, second, and third Orders ceased to be used to refer to the different branches of the Order, and the Lay Fraternities and Priestly Fraternities came to develop their own, separate Rules.

Involvement with the Dominican Order

Members receive all of the spiritual aids of the Order. They are encouraged to develop a devotion to St. Dominic, St. Catherine of Siena – the Patroness of the Priestly Fraternities – and to all the saints and blesseds of the Order. They receive the faculty to use the Dominican Calendar, so that they may have a fuller share in the graces and merits of the order. Members are encouraged where possible to visit their local Dominican community regularly.

Why join the Priestly Fraternity of Evansville

Priests and deacons who seek membership in the Priestly Fraternities invariably are seeking a deepening of their priestly consecration. They are inspired by the example of St. Dominic and the mission of the Order he founded. Members of the Priestly Fraternities are encouraged to model their priesthood on that of St. Dominic, and to imitate him in his prayer, his study of the Sacred Scriptures, and his zeal for preaching. Their manner of living the priesthood is shaped by the Rule for the Priestly Fraternities.

The Priestly Fraternity of St. Dominic in Evansville, IN is a means for secular priests, with a missionary spirit, to engage with active lay Dominicans who are emboldened to “Go therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, know, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world”.

How to join

The process of joining the Priestly Fraternities begins by contacting the local promoter of the Priestly Fraternities. If admitted, the priest or deacon is received into the Order by a special rite of vestition. The priest or deacon then enters a preparatory period of 1 year, during which time he deepens his knowledge and understanding of the spirit of the Order. The priest or deacon is then able to apply to make his profession, in which he makes a solemn promise to live according to the Rule of the Priestly Fraternities of St. Dominic until death.

Contact

For more information, contact the Promoter of the Priestly Fraternity for the Evansville Diocese, Fr. Jack Durchholz at jdurchholz@evdio.org, or 812-431-6604.