The Cooperator Brotherhood: Formation

The Cooperator Brotherhood: Formation

 


Dominican Cooperator Brother

Preaching the Gospel to the whole world

Do you have a desire to intensify your personal relationship with Jesus and to share this relationship in service to your brothers and sisters in Christ in the world today?
Are you interested in being poor, joyful, disciplined, learned, rooted in prayer and eager to live the life of a Dominican Cooperator Brother?
Are you interested in joining us in continuing the great tradition of the Dominican Order through contemplation and sharing the fruit of that contemplation in service to others?
Are you ready to take the risk of following the path and vision of St. Dominic in order to spread the Gospel message of true compassion and healing wherever people are in need?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, God may be calling you to become a Dominican Cooperator Brother!

 

Who Are We?

Dominican Cooperator Brothers in the Order of Friars Preachers are men consecrated to the Word who believe our vocation is rooted in our baptism and given full expression through our Solemn Profession. We are men who have freely, without condition or limitation, heard and responded to God’s call to come preach with Him.
We believe that our lived expression of the Dominican vocation, through the vows of obedience, poverty and chastity, is centered in, and radically dependent, on a common life devoted to prayer and liturgy, study and scholarship, preaching and other ministries, and especially by caring for one another in community.
We  are committed, courageous, free, happy and holy. We freely endure suffering and loss and willingly become vulnerable in our personal transformation in order to cooperate with God’s Word and then share this Word with our brothers in community and with the world.
We are inheritors of Dominic’s vision and the charism of our Order. We model the life and ministry of Saints like Martin dePorres and Juan Macias who cared for their brothers and the unwanted of their day.
 

 

Our Dominican vocation:  What does it mean to have a vocation as a Dominican Cooperator Brother?  The vocation of the Dominican Brother is at the very core of  Dominican Life. Modeled after St. Dominic, our life is:
  • centered in our universal call to holiness and our mission within that call to bring ourselves and others into an intimate relationship with Jesus.
  • a mystery unfolding which provides a unique witness that all Dominican Friars, both ordained and non-ordained, are first and foremost consecrated religious bound together as “friars” (brothers) by our common religious profession.
  • through our vows, the means by which we become full inheritors of St. Dominic’s vision and unrestricted sharers in the charism of his Order. What is unique about the ministry of the Dominican Cooperator Brother? Our ministry is joined with that of our priest-brothers,
  • the dynamic expression of St. Dominic’s vision. It empowers us to enter into the lives of people and travel to places wherever the Holy Preaching is desperately needed.
  • exciting, challenging and life-giving because it is imbued and driven by the power of God’s Word. Our lifelong commitment through the vows and regular observance together with  our various ministries cooperate with this Word to transform our hearts and minds, as well as those of our brothers in community, and all those to whom they are sent.
  • preaching from many pulpits, Brothers respond not merely with words – but with the Word of God that lives in our hearts.  We are called by Divine Providence to be contemplative preachers in the Third Millennium and are, by profession, committed and obligated to the Holy Preaching, to one another and to the whole world.
The Formation Program for Cooperator Brothers:
The formation program for men who are called to Dominican life and ministry as Cooperator Brothers consists of several phases:

The Aspirancy

This provides the opportunity for interested men to discern their vocation while remaining at home and in their current employment or career activities. The length of this phase depends on the needs of the individual and the assessment by the Director of Vocations. During this phase, suitable aspirants are invited to formally apply for admission to the Province. CLICK HERE FOR ASPIRANCY GUIDELINES
The Novitiate
If the aspirant is accepted by the vocation council and provincial, a two week residential program immediately precedes the beginning of the Novitiate.The Novitiate is the formal beginning of Dominican life during which the novice comes to a better understanding of his vocation as a Dominican Cooperator Brother, the nature of Dominican life and ministry, liturgy and prayer, and the history of the Order.  The novice is clothed with the Dominican habit at the beginning of the Novitiate. At the conclusion of this one year period the novice petitions for permission to make Simple Profession of Vows, for a period up to three years.

Ministry Formation Program

This builds on the foundation began in the Novitiate and focuses on the continued preparation for community life and ministry. Student cooperator brothers will participate with student clerical brothers in a common formation program for Dominican life and mission under the direction of the Master of Students and his assistants that includes preaching, the common life, study, spiritual direction, living the evangelical counsels, liturgy and prayer, and pastoral competencies and behaviors of public ministers..
The specific formation program for ministries of cooperator brothers, i.e. preaching, community and professional (described below), is under the direction of the Master of Cooperator Brothers who is charged with the responsibility to assess the interests and competencies of the Brothers and to facilitate their preparation for ministry in collaboration with the Master of Students, the Prior Provincial and the Regent of Studies.
The Ministry Formation Program extends for five years following the completion of the Novitiate. Three years following First Profession of Vows, Brothers petition again to make Solemn Profession which binds them to the Order for life.
Ministries of Cooperators Brothers: Responding to the mission and needs of the Province of St. Joseph, the Church and the talents of the brother, three options for ministries may be pursued:
  • 1. Preaching Ministries: religious education programs, catechetical formation, campus and parochial ministries, retreats and workshops, lay evangelization, pastoral counseling;
  • 2. Community Ministries: financial management and supervision, maintenance and services of buildings and properties, health care of the brothers, food service management, sacristans, musicians, liturgical planners, stewards of devotional shrines;
  • 3. Professional Ministries: social work, counseling, health care services, administration and management, teaching, pastoral administration, communications media and the internet, artistic design.

COME PREACH WITH US 
For nearly eight hundred years, Dominican Cooperator Brothers, impelled with the power and grace of the Eucharist, the Sacrament of Charity, have followed the vision of St. Dominic and “gone forth into the whole world to proclaim the good news to all creation” (Mk 16:25). As Dominican Cooperator Brothers we freely and generously bring to others the gifts of our presence and our lives vowed to the Order’s mission of evangelization through preaching. The greatest gift we as Dominican Cooperator Brothers are privileged to bring to the encounter with others is the very person of Jesus in the Eucharist made flesh in them. In your discernment please listen patiently, pray persistently, then come and preach with us!
+ click here for the next vocation weekend at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington DC

*an interview with Bro. Ignatius Perkins OP    (another interview with Bro. Ignatius Perkins OP Jan. 2016)

*Saints and Brothers to All: Martin de Porres, O.P. and Juan Macias, O.P. Consolers of the Sick and Those in Distress

*The new Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life document: Identity and Mission of the Religious Brother in the Church   (press release)