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Question

Father Angelo

Thank you for everything you do …. in a few days I will join the large Dominican family too, entering the tertiaries as a layman.

I wanted to ask you a question… Are Dominican lay people consecrated lay people or simple laity who live the charism of St. Dominic?

Thank you and God bless you always.


Answer

Dearest,

1. Those who are called today the laity of St. Dominic are those who have been called for centuries Dominican tertiaries.

Well, these lay people live in the world and in the secular state according to the charism of St. Dominic.

2. The laity of St. Dominic do not have a different task from that of ordinary Christian laity.

Their task is to live in the realities of this world (work, marriage, family, society …) according to God.

3. It is the Second Vatican Council that speaks in this way when it says that “by their vocation it is proper for the laity to seek the kingdom of God by dealing with temporal things and ordering them according to God” (Lumen gentium 31).

The peculiarity of the laity is precisely that of living “in the world, that is, implicated in all the different duties and jobs of the world and in the ordinary conditions of family and social life, of which their existence is as it were woven” (Ib.).

Their task is to spread the Kingdom of God (that is, their own sanctification and that of others) by being in the world, from within it.

4. This is unlike “members of the sacred order, who although at times may be engaged in the things of the world even by exercising a secular profession, nevertheless by their special vocation are primarily and properly destined for the sacred ministry” (Ib.).

5. And unlike the religious, who spread the Kingdom of God by choosing the same state of life assumed by the Word with His incarnation, that is, in a state (vows) of poverty, chastity and obedience.

6. Alongside priests and religious who are consecrated in a special way to God, there are lay people who, in addition to the common baptismal consecration, carry out another one, distinct from that of priests and religious.

And it is the consecration of those who belong to secular institutes.

They make the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience too, and with this they renounce the “goods of the world” which are patrimony, marriage and the free disposition of oneself.

But unlike the religious who renounce the “goods of the world” and also the “activities of the world”, that is, strictly secular activities such as politics, trade, forensic activities, and all the other activities that lay people do in the world (medical activity, accountants , pharmacists, … in a word  all temporal activities) consecrated laity renounce only the “goods of the century”, but not the “activities of the century”.

Therefore, they carry out externally all the activities that usually lay people carry out, they live in their homes, but they do so as consecrated, that is, with the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

And this is to better introduce the evangelical spirit, the spirit of the Beatitudes, into the realities of this world.

7. All this to clearly specify your “status” as a Dominican tertiary.

By entering the Third Order you do not acquire a new consecration because you do not give up either the goods of the world or the activities of the world.

It is not excluded, if you are not yet married, that you may also become a consecrated lay person of St. Dominic.

Or more!

Wishing you all the best, pleased to be your brother in our common Father St. Dominic, I assure you of my prayers and I bless you.

Father Angelo