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Getting to know one another: Above all else, this first step permits the candidate to get to know the Order better. This step is normally conducted through regular meetings with one of the local chapters in the candidate's area. The vocation director at the candidate's local chapter will help the candidate to discern whether or not he or she is made for Dominican life. If there is a positive response at the end of this step, then the candidate will be invited to proceed to the next step.

Inquiry "Postulancy" Period: Through a series of classes ranging from six to twelve months, the local chapter presents an overview of what it means to be a Dominican. As this period of formation ends, the candidate may decide to request admission to the Order.

Novitiate: The duration of the Novitiate is twelve months. The Novitiate begins with the Dominican Order recognizing the candidate as a member of the Order. This is a more formal formation period in the life of a fraternity member. This period of twelve months includes diverse activities: the study of the life of St. Dominic and other great Dominican figures; the study of the Constitutions, the history of the Order, and the Rule of the Fraternities of St. Dominic; and the general practice of the commitments of a lay Dominican (e.g., daily mass, morning and evening prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours, daily rosary).

Simple Profession: As the Novitiate ends, candidates and the Order make a decision as to whether the candidate should make a commitment as a lay Dominican. Temporary profession is a commitment to live according to the Rule of the Fraternities of St. Dominic for a period of three years. Formation in Dominican life and spirituality continues during this time. At the end of this period, the candidate and the Order decide if the candidate is prepared to make final or permanent profession.

Final Profession: When the decision is reached to move ahead and make final profession, the individual makes a commitment to live according to the Rule of the Fraternities of St. Dominic for the rest of his or her life.

On-going Formation: Dominicans are particularly committed to on-going formation both in the chapter and individually. Even though one has made a permanent commitment to be a Dominican, on-going study continues in the area of Dominican spirituality, the Scriptures, the teaching of the Church, etc. Dominicans are always concerned about growing in understanding of both their faith and their Dominican vocation.


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