Who are Associates?
Dominican Associates are lay persons, men or women, married or single, or all ages, backgrounds and Christian beliefs, who are attracted to the values, goals and spirit of the Great Bend Dominicans and are willing to share responsibility for living this spirit in their own unique Christian life styles. With mutual support, Associates and Sisters share prayer, educational and ministerial experiences in the spirit of St. Dominic and a desire for Christian unity. We strive towards a profound love of God, self, and neighbor. Dominican Associates do not make public vows, do not live as members of the corporate community, but do continually strive to reflect simplicity, gentleness, joy and peace in the daily living of their particular vocation in life.
Why become an Associate?
Many of the laity are coming to realize their proper roles in the Church and in society, but they need a more substantial support community in order to be able to minister to others. They see in the Great Bend Dominican Community the possibility of deepening their own spirituality through shared prayer and educational experiences.
How can I become an Associate?
· General Requirements for Admission
1. Is striving to live a Christian life.
2. Is able to give as well as receive in relationships.
3. Is attracted by our Dominican spirit and desires to grow in it so that together we can live more effective lives in the contemporary church.
4. Is willing to share goals and values of the Great Bend Dominicans.
5. Is willing to live the Spiritual Agreement according to the Guidelines for Dominican Associates.
· Admission Process
1. Contact the Director of Dominican Associates
2. Spend a period of time for initiation and discernment (length of time and how the initiation will be accomplished will be determined by the Director and the Initiate). The discernment is accomplished by listening to taped lectures on the history of the Dominican Order and its ideals of prayer and study, on Dominican mottoes and saints, and further information about the Dominican Laity and their ministries.
3. After the discernment process is completed, which may take anywhere from six months to a year, the Initiate completes the application form to become a Dominican Associate of the Great Bend Dominicans.
4. The Director recommends the Initiate to the Associate Council and the Executive Council of the Congregation for admission into the membership.
5. At an arranged time, the Initiate will enter into a unique relationship with the Great Bend Dominican Sisters and the entire Dominican Family by signing a spiritual agreement with the Community, and is officially a member when the agreement is mutually signed.
6. If possible, the agreement is blessed during a prayer service or a Eucharistic Celebration at the Motherhouse in Great Bend, Kansas. During this reception, the Dominican Associate is given a Dominican pin as a symbol of belonging to the Dominican Family.
7. The Initiate pays a yearly fee of $20.oo to help defray the costs of mailings.
· Termination Process
Since it is within the context of dialogue and discernment that a person is initiated into membership, it is also by a mutual process that a member may terminate the agreement. For serious reasons, either an Associate or the Congregation may question whether this bond remains a life-giving relationship. Either the Associate or the Congregation may initiate the process of dialogue and discernment prior to termination. The decision to terminate is then put in writing and mutually signed.
If you feel you could share in the Great Bend Dominicans’ call, we need YOU to help make a difference in our world! Contact the Associate Director for a visit and begin the process. Write or call:
Sister Kathy Goetz OP
Great Bend, KS 67530
Sr Kathy Goetz OP
Great Bend, Kansas 67530
The Associate Director guides lay women and men, who are attracted to the values, goals, and spirit of the Dominican Sisters of Great Bend, in the process of making a commitment as an associate who lives the charism in her/his home.