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Become a Dominican Associate

Dominican Associate Life Mission Statement

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.

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. Associates follow a formation path that includes classes and mentoring by other Associates and Dominican Sisters.

Associates learn to draw on the wisdom and practices of spirituality practiced by Dominicans for more than 800 years. That Dominican heritage holds up liturgical and contemplative Prayer, formal and information Study, concern for community and the Common Life of all peoples.

Associates enjoy a unique and transformative opportunity to engage in fruitful relationships with others who are on journeys of faith and spirituality. They engage in study groups, engage in matters of social justice, and reach out to serve and share blessings of the spirit with others.

Associated with the worldwide Order of Preachers, our Associates preach through their presence — in word and deed. They find joy in sharing the good news of the Gospel in many diverse ways. Like others in the Dominican Family, Associates are empowered by their faith and deepen that faith through Prayer, Study, Community, and Service.

Our patron, St. Dominic de Guzman, preached that mercy is a gift from God and he traveled to spread the Good News. In the Dominican tradition, we trust in the truth that we are formed, and transformed — over and over — through the pillars of our Charism: prayer, study, community, and service. And, as preachers, we extend invitation to you, to others, to be transformed in the same way. Two of the ways we foster the ability to let ourselves be mercied is through contemplation and study. Contemplative prayer is a practice that we can cultivate ourselves and teach to others as we listen for God’s promise of mercy, love, justice, hope. These are the truths we seek.~ Maureen Geary OP

Join Us

Are you drawn to the Dominican contemplative path?
Find out about becoming a Dominican Associate.

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

Questions & Answers

Learn more about what it takes to become an associate.

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.

Stay Connected

Don’t miss our 1x monthly email with news and information about the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids.