The intent of these guidelines is to provide a general framework for formation programs
by identifying the essential elements for instruction. These guidelines are not intended to
impose burdensome requirements, but rather to aid chapters in forming members to the
Dominican way of life.
It is crucial to acknowledge that the call to the Dominican Order is a call to a vocation for
the purpose of sanctification of its members. Union with God and personal holiness are
the goals for every Dominican.
As followers of St. Dominic, it is important to instruct our newest members in the twofold
aspect of the Order’s charism; the contemplative life and the active life. To bear
good fruit in the active life, we must first begin with the contemplative life. Accordingly,
the greatest emphasis must be placed on developing a deep and rich contemplative life, so
we may thereby attain our goal in the active life, which consists in the salvation of souls.
A good Dominican formation program provides detailed instruction (which can be
tailored to the needs of each chapter), that helps us integrate The Rule, The Particular
Directory and the promises we make, into our daily lives. The guidelines presented here
list the standard aspects for proper formation. Also provided is a list of basic and
recommended materials for each year.
Welcome you today as you begin the first stage of Formation known as Postulancy,
(or for some chapters it is known as “inquiry”). For the next year you will be learning the
fundamentals of the Order of Preachers.
During this year of Candidacy (Novitiate), the new members continue to discern their
vocations and begin to practice the daily obligations. They also become more involved in
chapter life and continue to commit to the Dominican life of study. The focus of study
for year Two is on the Beatitudes.
The Gospels, by God
The Fulfillment of All Desire by Ralph Martin
Strangers in a Strange Land by Archbishop Chaput
The Soul: A Translation of St. Thomas Aquinas' De Anima by John Patrick Rowan
Theology for Beginners by Frank Sheed
Champions of the Rosary by Father Calloway
Humanae Vitae , Pope St. Paul VI
The Beatitudes: Soundings in Christian Tradition by Simon Tugwell
The Cross and the Beatitudes by Fulton Sheen
The Lamb’s Supper by Scott Hahn
Divine Comedy by Dante
St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, by St. Thomas