Emboldened by faith, serving with joy.

dominican associates

The very purpose of the gifts of the spirit – is to share them.

Associates near and far participate in the essence of the Congregation through a variety of activities such as prayer, study groups, involvement in matters of social justice and volunteerism. Our Grand Rapids Dominican Congregation has more than 100 Associates each of whom strives to bring Dominican values to their family, community, place of worship and workplace.


Are you drawn to the Dominican contemplative path but not to the commitment of vows?

Like Dominican Sisters, Dominican Associates rely on Prayer, Study, Community and Service to support their baptismal commitment to Jesus Christ. They find joy in sharing the good news of the Gospel in many diverse ways.

Dominican Associates are non-vowed women and men who desire to practice their Christian faith in the spirit of the Dominican Order of Preachers.

Dominican Associates are baptized Christians who are drawn by the Dominican spirit to a deeper way of living their Christian life and mission. Associates commit themselves to developing a contemplative attitude toward all reality, attending to God’s voice within, speaking the truth and proclaiming the Good News while joining with others in service for the common good.

The Dominican Associates ~ Grand Rapids follow a formation process that includes classes and mentoring by other Associates and Sisters. Each year, during the celebration of the Feast of St. Dominic, prospective Associates take part in a formal ceremony – their initial commitment to the Dominican way.


 Welcome Associates. Log in to the Associate site to read and engage with other Associates. Click on the button to sign in. 

For More Information About the Dominican Associate Life Program, Click on the button or contact Sr. Mary Kay Oosdyke.


Mary Kay Oosdyke, OP Onsite Coordinator for Associate Life 616-514-3115 ext. 3115 or
toll free: 1-800-253-7343
2025 Fulton Street East Grand Rapids, MI 49503-3895


The Path to Becoming An Associate

First, request an application by phone, e-mail or mail and send it in. Then you will meet with the director and have a conversation in which you can ask any questions you might have. And the director can learn a little about what you are looking for. If you choose to begin the Mentoring process to learn more about the Associates, you will meet monthly for an hour for several months to explore the defining characteristics of Dominican life and mission.

During this time you will learn more about prayer, study, service and community, and about St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena. You will reflect on the importance of seeking truth, praising God and witnessing to the gospel with joy! And, you will also be discerning if joining the Associates feels right for you.

During the Mentoring process, an Associate and a Sister will meet with you for those conversations as you explore what it means to become an Associate of the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids.


History of the Dominican Associates

The Order of Preachers, founded by St. Dominic, has drawn women and men to its life and mission since 1206. Over its long history, the Dominican charism has been lived by Christians with different callings: priests, contemplative nuns, apostolic brothers and sisters, and baptized laity.

The Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids is one of many women’s congregations in the United States.
It was founded by sisters sent in mission from Regensburg, Germany to New York; from New York to
Traverse City, Michigan; and from Traverse City to Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Dominican Sisters in Grand Rapids became a separate congregation in 1894. Over the years, many women joined the
Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids as vowed members, ministering in Michigan and beyond as educators, health care professionals, social advocates, missionaries and compassionate care-givers.

Today, women and men are hearing a call to deepen their relationship with God and they are expressing a desire for a formal but non-vowed affiliation with religious congregations. This is one of the new forms of Christian/Dominican life emerging in the Vatican II church of today. This affiliation offers the benefits of a long tradition of spirituality which supports living the Christian life and witnessing to hope amid today’s challenges.

Associates of the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids are baptized Christian women and men who are drawn by the spirit of St. Dominic de Guzman and St. Catherine of Siena to a deeper way of living their Christian life.

The charism of the Order, preaching the good news of Jesus Christ through a joyful spirit and an informed faith, guides their journey.