central province logo.png

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Saint Dominic,

My apologies for this important newsletter coming out a week late. However, better late than never! The goal with this short and sweet quarterly email is to keep everyone abreast of developments and needs at the provincial level. It will be sent in August and November of this year, and so long as it seems worthwhile, will continue in February and May 2023, etc.


Please also read the invitation below to submit for September's Veritas. We need articles on some specific topics as well as updates from across the fraternities. Hope you have had a blessed summer.



— Mrs. Rebecca W. Martin, OP


As always, feel free to reach out to me any time with contributions, ideas, questions, comments, or corrections.

NB: The index of three-letter designations for each fraternity may be found here. Please note that this is a working document and subject to change.

Veritas — Invitation to Submit

For our September issue of Veritas, we need brief submissions on the following topics from any Lay Dominican who is willing to share their preaching apostolate in this way.


  • Report on August 11 event in Chicago with the Master of the Order (multiple reports appreciated)
  • Personal reflection on the topic of Dominican governance and leadership
  • Article on the structure and hierarchy of the Dominican Family as a whole
  • Article on the history and nature of Dominican democratic governance
  • And, as always, fraternity updates and reflections or articles on preaching, Dominicana, and mission!


Please keep articles to no more than 250 words and submit by September 8 at this link or email editor@layopcentral.org. If you would like to write but need a few extra days, please let me know.

Thinking ahead

The winter issue of Veritas will be themed around book recommendations by and for Dominicans, whether for formation, group study, or personal prayer. Submissions will be due December 1.

Open Provincial Positions

Please read and pray with the following descriptions, and be open to the possibility that the Holy Spirit might need you to answer the call for the sake of the province. Please fill out this application and email to president@layopcentral.org, vicepresident@layopcentral.org, and secretary@layopcentral.org.

Promoter of Preaching


The principal role of the Promoter of Preaching is to develop the preaching competence of all Lay Dominicans in the Central Province and provide resources. This is accomplished via regular communication with fraternities across the province using regional conferences, newsletter articles, and virtual presentations with live question and answer sessions (i.e. Zoom, MS Teams, etc.) just to name a few.

The Promoter will coordinate with other branches of the Dominican family within the province, as well as regionally and nationally, to plan and schedule annual workshops for Lay Dominicans to hone their preaching skills. Travel is required to attend and participate in national preaching conferences, regional preaching workshops, the annual Provincial Council meeting, and other events, as necessary.

The Promoter will work with the Formation Committee to help develop formation materials that focus on the charism of preaching among all Lay Dominicans of the Central Province. Each year, the Promoter will provide a presentation at the annual Provincial Council meeting and will submit written materials for all delegates to bring back to their communities. The Promoter also communicates regularly with the Executive Council regarding all preaching events planned or attended.

This position requires:

  • good coordination and communication skills
  • the use of technology for scheduling and hosting virtual meetings
  • creating promotional and educational materials
  • writing articles for the Provincial newsletters,
  • availability to travel and to attend preaching events.

The Promoter of Preaching is appointed by the Executive Council for a term of three years.

Vocations Director


The call to be a Lay Dominican is a vocation and should be treated as such. The Vocations Director helps to educate formation directors and other fraternity leadership to understand this concept.

In order to effectively do this, the Vocations Director must plan and attend “come and see” events within the Central Province, create and distribute promotional materials for these events, as well as work with the Formation Committee to develop formation materials that focus on developing the Lay Dominican vocation.

The Vocations Director will also coordinate with the Promoter of Preaching, spiritual assistants, religious assistants, formation directors, and spiritual directors to develop educational materials, as well as plan regional workshops for fraternities to plan “come and see” events in their areas. Events such as these will require local coordination with other Orders, such as the Secular Franciscans or Secular Carmelites, in case they would like to be included as well. The Vocations Director helps coordinate these efforts by knowing where these other Orders are located throughout Central Province, knowing the current points of contact for the other Orders, and helping to organize the event itself.

The Vocations Director will also be the first contact for inquirers looking for a local fraternity. To effectively be this first contact, the Vocations Director must keep in regular communication with fraternities across the province to ensure that inquirers are put in contact with a current fraternity council member and formation director.

This position requires:

  • good coordination and communication skills
  • the use of technology for scheduling and hosting virtual meetings
  • creating promotional and educational materials
  • writing articles for the Provincial newsletters,
  • availability to travel and to attend vocation events.

The Vocations Director is appointed by the Executive Council for a term of three years.


The Archivist is responsible for:

  • identification and preservation of Lay Dominican historical materials
  • implementation of best practices, given archival scale and resources
  • communication with Dominican Family archivists to stay current about historical projects and research initiatives
  • compilation of reports or requests to the Provincial Council (or Executive Council) concerning archive issues
  • solicitation of membership engagement with current Dominican history projects
  • development of an ongoing historic consciousness in the membership.

The last duty involves heightening awareness across the province about how the questions, events, practices, and problems of the current age are a window to future generations about Lay Dominican life during this era.

The responsibilities of the position make the Archivist a voting member of the Provincial Council except when he/she simultaneously serves in another post with an associated vote.

The term of office is three years, renewable once at the discretion of the Executive Council.

IMPORTANT: The Liturgy, Communications, and Financial committees are all soliciting applications for membership. Many hands make light work!

Please complete this application and send it to president@layopcentral.org, vicepresident@layopcentral.org, and secretary@layopcentral.org.


Hey everyone! I’d like to introduce the Governance Committee to you as well as give you a summary of the scope of the work we’re doing. My name is Renee Valenzuela and I come from the Blessed Mary, Mother of Dominic Fraternity (CED). I was elected VP of the province last year and then was appointed the chair of the Governance Committee. The three other members who comprise this committee are Dr. Sebastian Mahfood, Queen of the Holy Rosary Fraternity (STL); Rachel Meyer, St. Albert the Great Fraternity (LOS), and Lisa Shoemaker, St. Catherine of Siena Fraternity (CML). We meet on the third Thursday of each month via Zoom and stay in touch via phone and email between meetings in order to discuss and produce the documents that will eventually comprise our Particular Directory.


I would like to take a moment explain the order of governance for us as Lay Dominicans.

  1. The Rule is our highest level of governance. This comes from the Master of the Order.
  2. The General Declarations, which also comes from the Master, declares governance directives of the Rule, such as authorities. Both of these apply to Lay Dominicans worldwide.
  3. The Particular Directory is the direction from the Province about how we, in the Central Province, are to live according to the Rule and General Declarations. Each Province is to have a directive that is particular to them, hence the term Particular Directory. This is the priority of the Governance Committee: to create the Particular Directory for the Province of St. Albert the Great, USA.


I hope this helps to explain the purpose and scope of this committee. We have a lot of very important work to do ahead; and we are honored to serve the province.


Yours in Christ,

Ms. Renee Valenzuela, OP (CED)

Provincial Vice President

Governance Committee Chair


The Formation Committee was appointed by our province’s Executive Council with the goal of providing additional resources for formation directors, encouraging communication and collaboration between formation directors, and updating materials for progressive formation.

The Formation Committee is made up of provincial representatives and persons leading the formation process for their fraternities, whether as formation director or in a delegated role. I oversee candidacy formation for the Holy Rosary fraternity in Minneapolis and serve as chair of the Formation Committee. Other members of the committee include Diana Caponigri (OAK), Gwen Weinberger (ANN), Jose Dominguez (CHI), Lorretta Serna (ALB), Mary Ellen Barringer (STL), Nancy Rowland (LOS), and Renee Valenzuela (CED).

In the last year, the formation committee has completed our recommendations for the Particular Directory. We have also updated formation forms with additional guidance for both the formation directors and those in formation. Finally, we are in the process of creating a guide for formation directors.

At the upcoming Provincial Council, the recommendations for the Particular Directory and updated forms will be made available to council members for discussion. While the committee has spent some time discussing reform to formation materials, ultimately, it has become evident that we need to first be clear about the goals, structure, and nature of Lay Dominican Formation. It is our hope that upon completion of our recommendations and guide, we will be equipped to undertake a reform of the province’s formation materials.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be always with us all.

Mr. Joseph Odell, OP (MPL)

Formation Committee Chair


Your friendly local newsletter editor here! The communications committee is comprised of me, Mary Beth Giltner (ANN), Renee Valenzuela (CED), Mary Reinhardt (ALB) and Gwen Weinberger (ANN). Our first mission this year was to overhaul the quarterly provincial newsletter; so far so good on that front. We have also created some promotional materials, including a poster about the Lay Dominicans, a trifold brochure, and two holy cards. I will be working with our website team to make those accessible across the province very soon. This committee update newsletter will be an ongoing effort, hopefully bridging the gap between fraternity members and provincial governance, as well as communicating important governance needs. 


In the near future, we hope to have some exciting new projects to share, but we could also use a couple of extra hands, particularly as we begin to interface more with other committees for larger efforts. In addition to anyone with writing, copyediting, proofreading, or e-newsletter experience, we are looking for someone to assist with a province-wide survey.


Mrs. Rebecca Martin, OP (ANN)

Communications Committee Chair

Editor, Veritas


The Finance Committee reviews the monthly income statements and balance sheets and makes recommendations to improve overall performance. Also, when a member submits a proposal for use of educational funds, the Finance Committee reviews and makes a recommendation to the Executive Council. Currently the committee is comprised of our Treasurer, Tom Weber (LNG), and Tim Martin (EVN). We are in need of a couple more members, preferably who have experience with Quickbooks or familiarity with reviewing budgets.

Mr. Tom Weber, OP (LNG)

Finance Committee Chair

Justice, Peace, and Care of Creation

Dear Dominican Community,


My name is John McNichols. I am introducing myself to you as the recently appointed Promoter of Justice, Peace, and Care of Creation (JPCC) effective Friday February 25th, 2022. Currently this committee also includes Marie Levy-Ryan (ALB) and Petra Jimenez Maes (LOS). 


According to our Bylaws the duties of the Promoter of Justice, Peace, and Care of Creation and its Committee Members include functioning:


·     As a conduit: The Promoter ensures that Lay Dominicans within the Central Province have an opportunity to participate in efforts related to justice, peace, and care of creation.


·     As a researcher: The Promoter keeps track of various sources and websites that contribute to members’ understanding of JPCC concerns being promoted throughout the Order.


·     As a disseminator: The Promoter as a resource to both the officers and members of the Central Province. In this capacity, s/he provides articles and commentary covering current events and issues related to JPCC for the Veritas and responds to appropriate requests from individual fraternities.


·     As a representative: The Promoter attends the annual conference for Promoters of JPCC at the province’s expense, as well as regional/provincial meetings of JPCC Promoters for friars and religious sisters. S/He also provides, as requested, reports of such proceedings to the provincial delegates and Executive Council.


You can expect Sacred Scripture, Tradition, and our Church’s rich social doctrine to guide this committee as we perform these duties. I thank Gwen Weinberger, our President and Renee Valenzuela for their support and confidence in us. We humbly ask all of you to remember in prayer those individuals in your community and around the world who are suffering on account of injustice, tyranny, neglect, or environmental hardships.


Christ’s peace is with you.

Mr. John McNichols, OP (OAK)

JPCC Committee Chair

Veritas Editorial Team

Mrs. Rebecca Martin, OP — Editor

Mrs. Mary E. Giltner, OP — Managing Editor

Ms. Renee Valenzuela, OP

Ms. Mary Reinhardt, OP

Submit Articles
central province logo.png
Subscribe to Veritas
LinkedIn Share This Email