FORMATION

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Formation is a life long work, but a perspective inquirer –receives the Habit of St Dominic (in the form of a Scapular) after a year of inquiry formation.   Thereafter, as a candidate the second year culminates with a profession into the Dominican Order as a Lay member.   The first profession is generally for a short term of years, followed by subsequent renewals that eventually may take the form of a life time profession.  

For that purpose, we meet monthly and have annual community retreats and liturgical celebrations.   

We are blessed with the spiritual guidance of Fr. JEROME CUDDEN, OP, our Religious Assistant.


The Four Pillars of Dominican Spirituality center around:  Prayer, Study, Community and Apostolic Mission.


First Year:   Inquirer

The Formation director of the chapter, organizes and executes the Formation program for those in their first year of formation.   The first year person, an inquirer, is simply exploring possibilities while adapting their prayer life to the prayer style of the order; studying about the Beatitudes and about the Dominican Saints as models of the Dominican charism; and, participating not only in the formation meeting but also with the rest of the community at the monthly meeting.   Thus, the inquirer begins to experience the pillars of Prayer, Study and Community -with Apostolic Ministry as a future fruit.

    First year formation ends with the presentation of the Habit of St Dominic to be worn by the now candidate, who begins a second year of formation.   The Habit is given in the form of a white Scapular.

Second Year:  Candidate

The Formation director of the chapter, organizes and executes the Formation program for those in their second year of formation.   The second year person, a candidate, is continuing to adapt, with greater commitment, their prayer life to the prayer style of the order; continuing studying about the Beatitudes and the Dominican Saints as models of the Dominican charism; and, increasing their participation more actively in the life of the community at the monthly meeting.   Thus, the candidate begins to internalize the pillars of Prayer, Study and Community -with Apostolic Ministry as a more visible fruit.

Second year formation ends with the presentation of the Dominican Cross to be worn by the now professed (promised) Lay Dominican, who begins a promised commitment to live the life of the Order in accordance with the Rule.


MEETINGS

There are two regular chapter meetings per month:  One for those who who have not completed formation; the Other for all members.      

The Inquirer and Candidate must meet in community at the mandatory Formation Meeting.  The time designated for the Formation Meeting varies from year to year, depending on the residence location of perspective new members.  (Formation meetings sometimes occur at the home of one of the Chapter members).

The Chapter meets on the 1st Wednesday of the month.   This meeting is mandatory for all members to attend: inquirers, candidates and those who have previously completed the two-year formation program.       

Chapter Monthly Meetings are held at St Charles Borromeo, located at 5049 W Caldwell Ave. Visalia, CA  (This is the south east corner of Akers and Caldwell Avenues).  

All meetings begin exactly at 6:30PM and end at 8:30 PM.


ANNUAL DOMINICAN CHAPTER RETREAT

The Chapter participates in an Annual Retreat -under the direction of a Dominican Friar.   The retreat is generally timed around the Feast of St Catherine of Siena in late April.

    In the past we have had Missionary Dominicans friars, Dominican friars involved in Radio and Television ministries, and most recently a Dominican friar who is a well-regarded published author.


APOSTOLIC MISSION

The defining characteristic of Dominicans is that the Dominican order is an Order of Preachers.  Hence, the designation OP for priests and religious and for professed lay persons.    

Dominicans preach

If you love to share the Gospel with friends and others, have an insatiable desire to study Scripture and the Tradition of the Church, and would love to do so in a group of persons, who together form a tight, supportive and joyful community – then you need to explore the possibility that God may be calling you to a more active participation in these areas within the context of a Dominican expression.

CONCERNED about public speaking?

Don’t be.

The Order is committed to preaching the Good News, but the commitment can be realized in many ways apart from actual public engagements or finding oneself being the teacher in a religious education classroom.

The Formation Program will address and most likely alleviate these concerns.  The program is designed to encourage sharing by participation in a safe environment among friends.     Sometimes we do not consider a formation program because we don’t feel the possibility exists in fulfilling a call, yet the whole reason for the formation program is to determine whether that possibility should be explored.  

REMEMBER the purpose of formation

Formation exists precisely for the person who is not sure of a call.    Otherwise what would be the purpose of a program which admits exclusively those who already know they don’t need it?