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Oblates and others

On Saturday I attended an unusual ceremony. A friend of mine is a Lay Dominican and he had been studying for six years for a BA through the International Dominican University. He had completed his studies successfully and was awarded the degree in a brief ceremony at the Dominican church by his priest supervisor after the Saturday lunchtime mass. Peter is a former Methodist Minister who became a Catholic about ten years ago. Clothed in his new academic robes, he gave us a talk afterwards, ending with an appeal to the congregants to consider joining the Lay Dominicans. They are of course the equivalent in the Dominican Order of the Seculars in the Carmelite Order, and other Orders have a lay branch - for example, there are the Benedictine Oblates. I think this old idea of lay members of an Order is a very beautiful one and very suited to the modern world. We Seculars tap into the riches of our Carmelite Order and receive graces from our wonderful Carmelite saints as the leaves on a tree are fed by the sap ....

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