(Revised and approved May 30, 1998 by the Congregations sponsoring the collaborative novitiate.)
Becoming Dominican in any generation, country, or culture, is a deepening of our discipleship in the Word of God. Our way of being disciples as Dominicans is to contemplate the Word in prayer, integrate it within every aspect of our life and preach it to the world. Moved by the deepest needs of the human family, we embrace the mission of preaching in whatever form our world demands. Our mission of preaching, like that of Jesus, Dominic, and Catherine, requires us to be itinerant and mendicant. Dominican life is always situated in the midst of the dialogue between God and humankind and among humankind. Our engagement with the Word of God compels us, personally and communally to study Scripture, Theology, the Arts and Sciences, as well as to cultivate lives of contemplation and action. The Word of God will always be the critical challenge to our own personal and communal lives; instructing, connecting, and building us up into Christs’ faithful people. As preachers we need to enter into dialogue with one another, the broader Church, and with those who are journeying other paths to God.
As preachers in this generation, we need to enter into partnership with others, addressing the systemic injustices of our day, especially the developing role of women in church and society, and the disregard for the sacredness of creation as seen in the growing violence and exploitation in our world. Entering into mutually respectful dialogue and partnership requires a contemplative attitude, intellectual work, social adaptation, personal flexibility, willingness to collaborate with others, and the prophetic courage of Dominic and Catherine. Our relationships are marked by a spirit of co-discipleship, joy, respect, mutuality, openness, and inclusion. We celebrate the grace of the multiculturalism present among us, and we open ourselves to welcome even greater diversity. Dominican life is an adult choice made by those who have come to love what they see in Dominican lives. It is a response to a call to live interdependently with others in the context of the Dominican Family and the world. It is a movement towards wholeness and freedom in which we support and sustain one another. Becoming Dominican is a life long communal venture.