Dominican Associate Life

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

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

An Associate heart is a servant heart — so needed in our world today. We participate in the faith and spirituality of the Congregation through family and faith community life, prayer, study groups, involvement in matters of social justice, and service.

Dominican preacher Fr. Timothy Radcliffe inspires us to consider the responsibility we have to all people in our world. “If you are going to live your life with Christ, one of the great challenges is to forget yourself. We live in a very introverted society, which is always focusing on me, me, me. I think the great challenge, if you are going to be alive, is sometimes the great liberation of forgetting yourself – that’s when you discover in other people their need for your love, and their need for your trust.” – Timothy Radcliffe, OP

Our Dominican Associate Life mission is to Preach in all ways through Prayer, Justice, Community, Service, Joy, and Study. Touched by the Holy One, we journey in solidarity with the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids and with one another. Connecting and collaborating in Christian mission and spirituality, we embrace the Dominican charism ministering in joyful faith and compassionate love. Scroll down to our blog to see news and events about Associate Life.

One hundred fifty Associates have made commitment to Associate Life, supporting one another and bringing Dominican values to their family, community, place of worship and workplace.

Lisa Mitchell, Director of Dominican Associate Life
616-514-3115 ext. 3115 or toll free: 1-800-253-7343

If you are going to live your life with Christ, one of the great challenges is to forget yourself. -- Timothy Radcliffe, OP

Discerning and Renewing Associate Life Commitment

Renewing Associate Commitment

Study is one of the gifts that Dominic de Guzman, founder of the Dominican Order of Preachers, gave to all of us. If it’s been awhile since you discerned your call to Associate Life, the discernment book is always available for review and study.

Another renewal resource is the Dominican Charism Initiative. The Dominican charism has been the driving force of the life and mission of the Dominican family for over 800 years. We invite you to experience this charism in light of contemporary culture, global reality, and the breadth of Dominican spirituality.

Dominican Associates have a private facebook group. Are you a member? It’s a great way to stay in touch with other Associates.

Discerning Associate Life

If you choose to begin the mentoring process to learn more about the Associates, you will meet monthly over several months to explore the defining characteristics of Dominican life and mission.

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.

We welcome you to learn 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.

Don't MissSaint Series

The Saint Series is a project of the Associates of the Dominican Sisters~Grand Rapids. Associates select a Saint to research and reflect upon, exploring the lives and times of each Saints. Then, they share the fruits of their study and reflection at Dominican Center at Marywood. Learn what was happening in the world, their village, or home during the lifetime of each Saint and understand how these times influenced their faith and actions.

Learn More

How do I begin exploring Dominican Associate Life


You begin by connecting with our Associate Director to request an application. You can call 616.514.3115 or email Completing this application is an important first step in the discernment process.  Once you have e-mailed, mailed, or dropped off your completed application, a meeting will be scheduled for a conversation to explore what you are seeking and how becoming a Dominican Associate may align with your life journey.

What does the mentoring process to become an Associate involve?


Mentoring sessions engage prospective Associates in the pillars of the Dominican Charism: Community, Prayer, Study, and Ministry/Service. The mentoring process to become an Associate draws on the wisdom and practices of spirituality practiced by Dominicans over eight centuries. During the discernment year, prospective Associates and Mentors study and reflect on the Dominican heritage, so focused on the Word of God, which holds up:

  • liturgical and contemplative prayer,
  • personal and communal study,
  • concern for the common life, and
  • service to those most in need.

How long does it take to become an Associate?


Discernment to become an Associate is a personal exploration. The mentoring process is designed to help Prospective Associates discern whether they wish to become an Associate of the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids. From October to June, prospective Associates meet with a Sister and Associate Mentor to learn about Dominican Spirituality and mission, and of sharing our stories in faith and of faith. Our hope is that the time you will spend in this process will:

• engage you in fruitful relationships with Dominican Sisters and Associates.
• acquaint you with the richness of Dominican spirituality and mission.
• deepen your spiritual journey.
• assist your discernment.

Who are the Mentors?


Mentors are women and men, Sisters and Associates, who have found in Dominican life and mission a spirituality that has both form and substance and that enriches their faith and relationship with Jesus of the Gospels and early Church tradition and with the God of Creation.

Associate Life News & Events

Introducing “Our Common Home One Human Family” Laudato Si Video Series


“Persistent work of men willing to be coworkers with God” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr


Marywood Campus Rain Garden Undergoing Maintenance




ADVENTure: A Warmhearted Gift of Dominican Presence


Advent O Antiphons Evening Prayer with Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids


Dominican Sisters Respond to Oxford High School Shooting


Dominican Month for Peace 2021 — We Pray for Venezuela