The Third Order of Saint Dominic (Latin : Tertius Ordo Praedicatorum; abbreviated TOP), also referred to as the Lay Fraternities of Saint Dominic or Lay Dominicans since 1972, is a Roman Catholic third order affiliated with the Dominican Order.
Lay Dominicans are men and women, singles and couples living a Christian life with a Dominican spirituality in the secular world. They find inspiration following the same spiritual path taken by many saints, blesseds, and other holy men and women throughout the 800-year history of the Dominican Order. The Life of a Dominican layperson is all about having a passion for the Word of God. It is about committing one self to a community of like minded brothers and sisters that immerse themselves in the word of God. There are Lay Dominican provinces all around the world.
Dominic de Guzmán established the Ordo Praedicatorum in 1215. There are four principal branches:
In the eleventh century there were secular associations, called Penitential Orders, connected with some Benedictine congregations, and later with the Premonstratensians, as well.As the Dominican friars established monasteries and priories, there were lay people who assisted them. Many were attracted to the Dominican's way of life, but for various reasons could not themselves join the order. They formed fraternities or religious guilds affiliated with the local priory. This was a way those who sought a more dedicated way of life embraced a lifestyle similar to that of the Dominicans while retaining their status as a lay person. At first vaguely constituted and living without system or form, its members gradually grew more and more dependent on their spiritual guides. In 1285 Munio of Zamora, the seventh Master General of the Friars Preachers, formulated a definite Rule for these lay penitents. It was based in part on the rule Francis of Assisi gave the Brothers and Sisters of Penance around 1221.
Members who chose to follow this rule would be under the direction of a local Dominican priest. They were called the "Brothers and Sisters of Penance of the Blessed Dominic".Pope Honorius IV granted this new fraternity official Church recognition in January 1286.
A military order, called the Militia Jesu Christi, was founded in Languedoc around 1221. Also supervised by the Dominicans, they were merged with the "Brothers and Sisters of Penance of the Blessed Dominic" at the close of the 13th century.This amalgamation is admitted by the Bollandists to have become general in the 14th century. The confraternity was commonly referred to as the Order of Penance and were not specifically called a third order until after papal recognition in 1405.
Many held that the condemnation passed on the Beguines and Beghards at the Council of Vienna in 1312 applied no less to the Orders of Penance. In consequence the master-general petitioned Pope John XXII in 1326 to clarify the matter. As a result, he answered by a bull of 1 June 1326 (Cum de Mulieribus), which is a long eulogium on the work of the Dominican Third Order. After the plague of 1348, a good deal of laxity and disorganization crept into the Third Order, but there were also a number of saints such as Catherine of Siena whose influence strengthened it.
Because they belonged to the Third Order, members were often called Tertiaries. Now, the most common term is "Lay Dominicans".
The initial purpose behind the Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic was the preaching of penance; but under Dominican influences it leaned to the intellectual aspect of the faith and based its message on the exposition of the creed. This focus on penance remains a central part of the Dominican charism."In complementarity with brothers, sisters and nuns they share the charism of St. Dominic through study, prayer, preaching and fraternal life." These are known as "The Four Pillars of the Order", and give shape to Lay Dominican spirituality.
The Third Order as it exists today can be divided into two categories: regular, i.e. comprising Tertiaries who live in community according to a common rule and wear the habit; and secular, i.e. whether married or single, lay people, who live their lives like others of their profession, but who strive, as far as individual circumstances permit, to live a more religious life.l0
Just as the friars and nun, lay Dominicans follow the Rule of St. Augustine, plus the Rule of the Lay Fraternities of Saint Dominic. The obligations of the Laity are:
1) Daily praying of Lauds and Vespers 2) Daily 5 decades of the rosary 3) Daily Our Father, Hail Mary, and Eternal Rest for all Dominicans 4) Daily 15 minutes of mental prayer or Lectio Divina (prayerful reading of the Sacred Scriptures) 5) Daily Mass and communion is recommended 6) Confession at least monthly 7) Attendance at the monthly Chapter meeting 8) Yearly participation at 3 Masses for Dominicans 9) Fasting on the vigils of St. Dominic, St. Catherine of Siena, and Our Lady of the Rosary if possible.
There are five provinces of Lay Dominicans in North America: one in Canada, and four in the United States.
In 1842 Margaret Hallahan founded the Dominican Congregation of St. Catherine of Siena in Coventry, England.
In 1850, Boniface Wimmer, a Benedictine from Saint Vincent Abbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania visited the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Ratisbon, Bavaria and persuaded the prioress to send some nuns to minister to German immigrants in America. In 1853, they founded the Congregation of the Holy Cross in Brooklyn, New York. From this, seven additional congregations sprang serving in thirty-five dioceses.
Also in the United States, in 1995, the three congregations of Dominican sisters merged to form the Dominican Sisters of Hope.
In 2009, the congregation of the Dominican Sisters of Peace was formed with the union of seven previously separate Dominican communities. This included the Congregation of St. Catherine of Siena, founded in Springfield, Kentucky in 1822; the first of the third order foundations of women of the Dominican order in the United States.Also included were the Dominican Sisters of St. Mary of the Springs, founded in 1830 in Columbus, Ohio as a daughter house of the Kentucky community. An eighth congregation joined in 2012.
The Dominican Sisters International Confederation has a membership of 19,407 sisters representing 147 congregations in 109 countries.
The Order of Preachers, also known as the Dominicans, is an order of the Catholic Church founded in Toulouse, France, by the Spanish priest, saint and mystic Dominic of Caleruega. It was approved by Pope Honorius III via the papal bull Religiosam vitam on 22 December 1216. Members of the order, who are referred to as Dominicans, generally carry the letters OP after their names, standing for Ordinis Praedicatorum, meaning of the Order of Preachers. Membership in the order includes friars, nuns, active sisters, and lay or secular Dominicans. More recently there has been a growing number of associates of the religious sisters who are unrelated to the tertiaries.
The Franciscans are a group of related mendicant Christian religious orders, primarily within the Catholic Church. Founded in 1209 by Francis of Assisi, these orders include three independent orders for men, orders for women religious such as the Order of Saint Clare, and the Third Order of Saint Francis open to male and female members. They adhere to the teachings and spiritual disciplines of the founder and of his main associates and followers, such as Clare of Assisi, Anthony of Padua, and Elizabeth of Hungary. Several smaller Protestant Franciscan orders exist as well, notably in the Anglican and Lutheran traditions.
A friar is a member of one of the mendicant orders founded in the twelfth or thirteenth century; the term distinguishes the mendicants' itinerant apostolic character, exercised broadly under the jurisdiction of a superior general, from the older monastic orders' allegiance to a single monastery formalized by their vow of stability. A friar may be in holy orders or a brother. The most significant orders of friars are the Dominicans, Franciscans, Augustinians, and Carmelites.
Munio of Zamora, O.P., was a Spanish Dominican friar who became the seventh Master General of the Dominican Order in 1285, and later a bishop.
Saint Dominic, also known as Dominic de Guzmán, was a Castilian Catholic priest, mystic, the founder of the Dominican Order and is the patron saint of astronomers and natural scientists. He is alternatively called Dominic of Osma, Dominic of Caleruega, and Domingo Félix de Guzmán.
The Servite Order, officially known as the Order of Servants of Mary, is one of the five original Catholic mendicant orders. It includes several branches of friars, contemplative nuns, a congregation of active religious sisters, and lay groups. The Order's objectives are the sanctification of its members, the preaching of the Gospel, and the propagation of devotion to the Mother of God, with special reference to her sorrows. The Servites friars lead a community life in the tradition of the mendicant orders.
The term third order signifies, in general, lay members of Christian religious orders, who do not necessarily live in a religious community such as a monastery or a nunnery, and yet can claim to wear the religious habit and participate in the good works of a great order. Roman Catholicism, Lutheranism and Anglicanism all recognize third orders.
The Third Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, also known as the Lay Carmelites, is a third order of the Carmelite Order of the Ancient Observance, established in 1476 by a bull of Pope Sixtus IV. It is an association of people who choose to live the Gospel in the spirit of the Carmelite Order and under its guidance. Its members are mainly lay people.
The Discalced Carmelites, known officially as the Order of the Discalced Carmelites of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel or the Order of Discalced Carmelites, is a Catholic mendicant order with roots in the eremitic tradition of the Desert Fathers and Mothers. The order was established in the 16th century, pursuant to the reform of the Carmelite Order by two Spanish saints, Saint Teresa of Ávila (foundress) and Saint John of the Cross (co-founder). Discalced is derived from Latin, meaning "without shoes".
Margaret of Savoy was Marchioness of Montferrat, and a Dominican Sister.
The Third Order of Saint Francis is a third order in the Franciscan tradition of Christianity, founded by the medieval Italian Catholic friar Francis of Assisi.
The Dominican Nuns of the Perpetual Rosary are a religious institute founded in 1880 in Calais, France, by Father Damien-Marie Saintourens, Mother Rose of Saint Mary Werhle and Mother Mary Imelda Gauthier, all of them from the Order of the Preachers.
The Anglican Order of Preachers is an Anglican religious order sometimes loosely referred to as "Dominicans".
The Secular Franciscan Order is the third branch of the Franciscan Family formed by Catholic men and women who seek to observe the Gospel of Jesus by following the example of Francis of Assisi. Secular Franciscans are not like the other third orders, since they are not under the higher direction of the same institute. Brothers and sisters of the Secular Franciscan Order profess to their own Rule, and Secular Franciscan fraternities can exist without the presence of the first or second Franciscan Orders. The Secular Franciscan Order was the third of the three families founded by Francis of Assisi 800 years ago.
Francisca del Espíritu Santo de Fuentes is a Spanish Roman Catholic religious figure. She was the first Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena in the Philippines.
Margaret Hallahan was an English Catholic religious sister, foundress of the Dominican Congregation of St. Catherine of Siena.
Siena College of Taytay, also referred to by its acronym SCT, is a private, non-profit Catholic basic and higher education institution run by the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena in Taytay, Rizal, Philippines. It was named St. Catherine Academy at foundation in 1957 by the Dominican Sisters of Siena and it is one of six Dominican educational institutions in the Philippines. Its sister schools are Siena College of Quezon City, Siena College San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, Siena College of Hermosa, Bataan, Siena College of Tigaon, Camarines Sur
The Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena is a Dominican congregation of religious sisters under the patronage of St. Catherine of Siena. It was founded by Fr. Juan de Sto. Domingo, O.P., in 1696 for Spanish women only.
The Dominican Order was first established in the United States by Edward Fenwick in the early 19th century. The first Dominican institution in the United States was the Province of Saint Joseph, which was established in 1805. Additionally, there have been numerous institutes of Dominican Sisters and Nuns.
When referring to Roman Catholic religious orders, the term Second Order refers to those Orders of cloistered nuns which are a part of the mendicant Orders that developed in the Middle Ages.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Third Orders". Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company.