A Modest Proposal

A Modest Proposal: Lay Dominican Fraternities

In this newsletter is a wonderful idea. Read down to a "Modest Proposal." Since my world consists mostly of our Lay Dominican "cloistered brothers," and former "cloistered brothers" who are now regular, outside, Lay Dominicans, they encounter problems similar to England's Lay Dominicans.

Let me explain. The usual path to a vocation as a Lay Dominican is one similar to the one I took. I had an average life consisting of spouse, family, work, and my whole life comfortably fit in that arrangement. And when I felt the call to become a Lay Dominican, it was fairly easy to fit another component into that equation. I had reached a time in my life where my spouse and children were settled comfortably into their own worlds. I had been married 30 years or so. My children were adults and had moved out of the nest. Work also was not something I needed to worry about. Everything was so settled that it was quiet--quiet enough to hear God's whisper.

However, our "cloistered brothers" do not fit into that category. They live their "cloistered life." They enter the Order while they're living life in the "cloister." If or when they leave, they, as Lay Dominicans are hit with LIFE! We had a life before we became Lay Dominicans.

First they have to find living quarters. Then they need a job. In order to join a chapter they need a car. What if they meet someone they might want to marry; other demands are placed on them. Imagine adding children to the mix.

IOW, their vocational path is the opposite of the usual one. The average one is life happens and we then are called. It is the opposite for our "cloistered brothers." They are called and then LIFE hits them. It is extremely difficult for them to juggle all the balls.

Our religious assistant suggests phone contact. Face time and Skype are excellent but not all phones have that capability. But the point is to keep regular communication constant because community is important. We try to reach out, not only by phone, but by internet newsletter, and snail mail.

This Modest Proposal is welcome. I for one will promote the idea on this side of the pond.

And that's exactly the point in "A Modest Proposal." Modern methods of communication are needed not only to preach, but for another important pillar--community.


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