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Good Evening. A story and a question for padre.
1. I wanted to join the Lay Dominicans, because I was inspired by the notion of having a well structured spirituality that is both communal and personal. I also wanted to join as an act of thanksgiving to God for his blessings and His mercy towards me and for my mother who recently survived a long illness. So I felt like I was called. Or at least to try and find out.
Like any ordinary person, I am not a perfect practicing Christian or Catholic. When I saw the requirements for our local fraternity here, I felt overwhelmed and discouraged because of being afraid of not being able to meet all of the requirements, especially the requirement of the approval of my parish before I could join, since some of the people in my parish are not necessarily welcoming or accommodating. So, as a result, I felt discouraged and wanted to give up trying, to be part of the Dominican Family, because of such obstacles. I feel like I have to be perfect, in order to join, which is overwhelming. I want to join, but I feel powerless to carry it out.
2. My question dear padre is, what should I do in this time of confusion and uncertainty? My prayers and sufferings to yours and for the growth of your ministry. Many Thanks.
Answer from the priest
I have come to answer to your email of the past 9th of March only today. I am sorry, and I apologize.
1. It is not easy for me to answer your question because I do not know the situation of the Dominican laity in the Philippines.
I understand the dismay that you may feel when you read the requirements to become a tertiary or a layman or a Dominican.
You shouldn’t be frightened.
You tell me that you have read the requirements. But it is even more important to actually approach a community of lay Dominicans.
2. Start by seeking out the Dominicans nearest to you, both friars and lay people.
Present your aspirations to them and then let them decide if you have the aptitudes to become a good Dominican lay person or tertiary.
3. To become a Dominican (friar, nun, or layperson) you are not required to already be a saint, rather to have a desire for holiness.
If you will be granted the grace to become a Dominican layperson, on the day of the admission you will be asked, “What do you ask?”
You, as the Dominicans of all times have answered from the beginning, will say, “I ask for God’s mercy and yours.”
And you will see that very willingly they grant you their mercy.
I wish you well, remember you in prayer and bless you.