Dominican Associates are like-minded lay men and women from across our Mission Areas who are drawn to and live out the charism and continue the mission of the Dominican Order which is to praise, to bless, and to preach.
Our Associates do not take vows, but rather make a commitment to be partners with our Sisters, and strive to extend the Dominican presence across their own lives , with their families and in their churches, workplaces, neighbourhoods. In other words they commit to be a Dominican presence in their day to day lives.
At present we have Dominican Associates in the Mission Areas of Ireland, South Africa and Argentina.
Below Elsabe and John O’ Leary from Cape Town, South Africa reflect on being Dominican Associates.
My first connection with Dominican Life began in the 1960’s as a young girl going to St Pauluskloosterskool in Pretoria, South Africa. The courage of the Cabra Dominican Sisters to venture into uncharted waters in the educational world in South Africa shaped my way of being in the world from this early age. The Sisters crossed language and cultural borders to open our world as learners to what I would today call a Dominican Way of Life – preaching through courageous action and presence. As a university student my way of thinking about what was happening in South Africa was deeply shaped by Fr Albert Nolan OP who was Student Chaplain at the time.
These Dominican men and women created opportunities for us to encounter others and to get to know people as people regardless of different language, race, religion or status.
Over the years I have continued to enjoy the gifts of Dominican hospitality, friendship, and spiritual formation. As my family and professional life took shape, I realised more and more how I had absorbed the mottos of Veritas and Contemplata aliis tradere and that they have become an embodied way of approaching life.
Being part of the Dominican Associates in Cape Town gives a space and way of connection with the Sisters. Our quarterly meetings keep alive an on-going reflection on the Dominican Way of Life in an ever-changing world.
Elsabe O’ Leary
Being associated with the Dominican Order means many different and wonderful things to me. It is a relationship which creates space for sharing many things: reflection, friendship, communal discernment, solidarity in caring for each other and for our planet. There is also space at the table for joy, humour, celebration, determination and honesty. The era we live in especially needs to be reminded of the Dominican story: a commitment to truth without borders.