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Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, Mikhail Vrubel, 1885 — Public Domain via WikiArt

In This Issue

  • From the Editor: Reflection on vocation
  • Dominican Liturgical Calendar (July - September)
  • Governance: New vocabulary
  • An important announcement on provincial committee updates
  • Tech Tips: How to run a successful and prayerful hybrid meeting
  • Dominicana: The Gift of Grace
  • Prayer and Preaching: 10 Books Every Catholic Should Own
  • Chapter updates
  • Important news and links
  • And more!

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Saint Dominic,

Welcome to this second edition of Veritas, the quarterly newsletter for the Dominican Laity of the Central Province. Thank you all for the warm reception you gave our initial efforts, and for helping your fellow fraternity members who might not have received the first email.


I'd like to welcome a new member of the Veritas team, Mrs. Mary Reinhardt, OP. She joins us from Albuquerque, New Mexico, with plentiful experience in communications and an inspiring Dominican sense of apostolate!

As we continue to dwell on the Spirit-filled encounters of our regional gatherings, we find ourselves challenged to embrace the idea of Lay Dominican vocation. We are often stunted, these days, by considering vocation only as regards the Big Three: priesthood, religious life/consecrated virginity, or marriage. Yet the best explanation I've ever heard for vocation is the way God is calling you to live out His love in the world. The shape of that call is as individual and unique as each one of us, and draws us not only towards a state in life but towards a mode of holiness.


We must reject the lie that we must somehow be holy in all the ways it is possible to be holy. It's impossible to be a priest and a lay person at the same time; and it's impossible to be both a martyr in blood and a victim soul. It's also impossible to say all the prayers in the treasury of the Church, while spending the night in rapt contemplation and feeding the poor with everything we have! (And, for the record, it's impossible to be simultaneously a Secular Franciscan, Lay Dominican, Lay Missionary of Charity, Secular Carmelite, and Benedictine Oblate.)


Rather, just as God crafted us with a unique personhood, he also calls us to different paths of holiness rooted in eternal truths. This, then, is the question at the heart of our Lay Dominican vocation: Is this path of holiness, first trod by St. Dominic, the path God himself desires me to walk? If so, how can I become the best Dominican I can be, knowing that through this spirituality I can reach God?

— Mrs. Rebecca W. Martin, OP


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

Dominican Calendar


4: Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati (o)

9: St. John of Cologne and Companions (o)

    Sts. Francis Fernández de Capillas, Peter Sanz, Augustine Zhao Rong, and Companions (o)

22: St. Mary Magdalene (f)


2: Bl. Jane, mother of St. Dominic (o)

8: Holy Father Dominic (s)

17: St. Hyacinth of Poland (m)

18: Bl. Mannes (o)

25: St. Rose of Lima (m)

28: St. Augustine (f)


5: Anniversary of deceased friends and benefactors

18: St. John Macias (o)

28: St. Dominic Ibáñez de Erquicia, St. Lawrence Ruiz, Bl. Alphonsus Navarrete, and Companions (o)

om - optional memorial

m - memorial

f - feast

s - solemnity


You're Invited

to an important assembly held by the friars this August in Chicago. The Master of the Order, Father Gerard Timoner III, OP, will be present and will celebrate the Mass for solemn profession of our brothers.  Brother John strongly encourages every Lay Dominican to attend and provide a vibrant presence as part of the Dominican Family.

Thursday, August 11

Mass of Solemn Profession

10:00 AM CST

St. Vincent Ferrer Church

River Forest, IL

Reception following

 Request for Reports from Regional Meetings 

Dear friends, if you attended one of the regional meetings with Brother John, please share your reflections, comments, or feedback with us so that we can continue the important (and sometimes difficult!) conversations across the province. Email your personal or chapter report to editor@layopcentral.org.


governance committee.png

 Committee News Coming August 21 

The Communications Committee decided at a recent meeting that, as part of our efforts to support the Provincial Council, we would provide a platform for the various committees to reach the whole province. We are inviting all committee chairs and secretaries to provide a quarterly update on their work, which will then be emailed to Veritas subscribers on a quarterly rotation beginning in August. Veritas: Provincial Committee Updates will be overseen by Mrs. Mary Reinhardt, OP. 

Chairs, send a paragraph or two on your committee’s recent and planned efforts to editor@layopcentral.org NO LATER THAN August 1.

Governance Committee Report

Ms. Renee Valenzuela, OP

Governance Committee Chair

Provincial Vice President

Hey, everyone! Just a little note from the Governance Committee regarding a change in terminology that you’ll see in our soon-to-be-published governance documents. In order to bring us into compliance with the Rule and General Declarations, which were officially translated into English for all of the English-speaking Provinces in 2019, we’ve decided to adopt the same official language used in these documents. Historically, these documents were published in Latin and left to the Provinces to translate. Now all of the English-speaking Provinces worldwide will be following the exact same translation. Consistency is a very good thing.


As a result, we’ve adopted the terms fraternity in place of both chapter and group, president in place of moderator, and vice president in place of vice moderator. There will no longer be groups or pro-chapters, because we’re also adjusting the number of finally professed members necessary to establish a fraternity from 6, possibly to 5, to be consistent with the other American Provinces. This is great news for those smaller groups who just can’t seem to get to the current requirement of 6. 


Other terminology changes are in our formation program, where Initiate is now Inquiry, Candidacy I is now Candidacy and Candidacy II is now Temporary Professed


These are some of the changes that you will see in the coming months as we publish interim governance documents, which will eventually be part of the Particular Directory. God bless!

Tech Tips: Hybrid Meetings

A few things to consider if your fraternity is hosting a hybrid meeting (video call + in-person):


  1. Ask each person to raise their hand and wait to be called on before speaking.
  2. Designate one in-person member to monitor video chat and facilitate an integrated conversation (“X person has their hand up” or “Did anyone on video want to add something before we move on?”)
  3. Encourage in-person attendees to look towards the camera and speak towards the microphone so they can be heard and seen clearly.
  4. Invite remote attendees to keep video on, if possible.
  5. Minimize side-conversations both in the room and online. It doesn’t take much ambient noise to muddle or overwhelm the remote experience.
  6. Pray together, asking all remote attendees who aren't leading to mute their mics to avoid overlap. 
  7. Consider inviting one or more remote attendees to lead part of the Liturgy of the Hours, or to preach.
  8. Remember to reach out to members or visitors who must be remote, and make sure that they are feeling included and welcomed in the life of the fraternity.



The Gift of Grace

Mr. Hiromi Konishi, OP

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Chapter

Ann Arbor, MI

The Catechism defines grace as “the free and undeserved gift that God gives us to respond to our vocation to become his adopted children.” When God offers the free gift, we’d better be ready to accept it. Can we forfeit the gift? Absolutely, yes. When Adam committed the Original Sin, he lost sanctifying grace, in which God shares His divine life, allowing us to become partakers of divine nature to live with Him. Adam lost sanctifying grace for the rest of mankind. Therefore, Baptism is so significant in our lives for us to regain the lost sanctifying grace, and Confession, Holy Communion, and Anointing of the Sick are critical to maintain the supernatural gifts.


God also provides the free gift of actual grace to Christians, unbaptized, atheists, and all people to help us conform our lives to His Will and become more fully conformed to His Divine Nature. As Catholics, every time we receive Sacramental grace, we are increasing sanctifying grace and receiving actual grace to help us to do His Will. 


God also gives charismatic grace to certain people for the salvation of others, such as the gift of tongues, healing, preaching, etc… As I learned in RCIA, a gift is not a gift until it is received. Jesus knocks on your door, and it is up to you to open and receive.

Prayer & Preaching


10 Books Every Catholic

Should Own

Mrs. Kathryn Willen, OP

Saint Catherine of Siena

Carmel, IN (CAR)

I recently had to pack up my library during a home remodel. As I unpacked my many, many books, I wondered what volumes I considered to be the most important and necessary to my Catholic library. What follows is a short list of 10 books that I think every Catholic should own and read.

  1. The Holy Bible — A Catholic Bible is the first and most important book in a Catholic library. From the Douay-Rheims to the RSV-2CE, there is a translation to fit every reading and study style. There are even journaling bibles with wide margins for notetaking and artsy decorating. The point is to have a translation (or translations) that is useful for prayer and study.
  2. The Catechism of the Catholic Church  In his letter promulgating the Catechism, Pope John Paul II stated that the purpose of the Catechism was to be a full, complete exposition of Catholic doctrine, “enabling everyone to know what the Church professes, celebrates, lives and prays in her daily life.”
  3. A Catholic dictionary — What is a Golden Mass or black fast? A Catholic dictionary helps to explain these and many other unfamiliar terms. A Catholic Dictionary, edited by Donald Attwater or the Pocket Catholic Dictionary by John A. Hardon, S.J. are both excellent resources.
  4. Lives of the Saints – Butler’s Lives of the Saints arranges biographies of one or two saints for each day of the year. Our Sunday Visitor’s Encyclopedia of Saints lists hundreds of obscure and well-known saints.
  5. A book on Marian apparitionsThose Who Saw Her by Catherine M. Odell devotes a chapter to each of the major Marian apparitions from Guadalupe to Fatima. The book concludes with the two appearances of Our Lady in Belgium (Beauraing and Banneux) and a short chapter on Medjugorje. The current edition is 12 years old, but OSV is bringing out a new, updated version in 2023.
  6. The Liturgy of the Hours (4 volumes) or the one-volume Christian Prayer —With an annual Guide, it is quite possible to learn to pray the Divine Office with the book rather than an app. And there are no distractions or temptations to check one’s FB page or doom-scroll the news.
  7. Missal — a hand missal is invaluable to help one prepare for Mass by reading the prayers and Scripture ahead of time. There is a richness to the various prayers and readings that is often lost in a noisy church or by a distracted mind. Reading along with the priest and lectors also aids in comprehension.
  8. A prayer book — The Church has a rich heritage of written prayer, and a good prayer book avails us of this richness and gives us words to pray when perhaps we have none. Most prayer books will also include a basic outline of the faith and an examination of conscience before Confession. 
  9. Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales — Writing to “Philothea” (Lover of God), St. Francis gently draws the reader into the spiritual life and explains how a devout Catholic should fulfill his religious obligations and conduct himself in the world.
  10. The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis — Written in around the year 1418, this book instructs the reader on how to become more Christ-like. 

Chapter Updates

Front Row: Mr. Robert Croft, OP (Formation Director), Mr. Dominique Quintanilla, OP (Final Profession), Mrs. Jamie Gustin, OP (Final Profession), Mr. TJ Burdick, OP (Formation Director)

Back Row: Fr. Douglas Greer, OP (Spiritual Advisor), Mrs. Sandy Neff, OP (Moderator)

Rosary Chapter

Grand Rapids, MI (GAR)

For our May meeting, the Rosary Chapter of Grand Rapids fully welcomed two members as they made their final promises. We had a beautiful ceremony at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, beginning with the Dominican Rosary. We sang the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Latin, followed by the Divine Office with Final Professions. Fr. Doug Greer preached on the vocation of a Lay Dominican. Jamie Gustin and Dominique Quintanilla made their final professions. We concluded the Divine Office and followed with the Family of Dominic Song. We enjoyed fellowship with a luncheon after the ceremony.

Queen of the Rosary Chapter

Milwaukee, WI (MIL)

In April, early Easter joy was celebrated as our chapter had our first in-person meeting in five months. While grateful for virtual community via Zoom meetings, we rejoiced to re-connect at Mass with each other and our cloistered Dominican Sisters of the Perpetual Rosary, at whose religious house we meet. Our chapter study book, Saint Catherine of Siena: Mystic of Fire and Preacher of Freedom by Fr. Paul Murray, O.P., continues to engender lively discussions. Out of an abundance of concern for our Dominican friars and sisters in Ukraine and a desire to share our Easter joy, we made a $100 gift to our Central Province friars’ St. Dominic Mission Society (opcentral.org) that directly helps Dominican friars serving Ukrainian refugees and residents who remain behind in their war-torn country. They remain in our prayers. 

Holy Rosary Chapter

Minneapolis, MN (MPL)

Mr. Andy Milam, OP was received into candidacy on May 21, 2022.

Blessed Sacrament Fraternity

Farmington Hills, MI (FAR)

Following the Michigan area meeting with Brother John Steilberg, OP, the Blessed Sacrament Fraternity celebrated the temporary profession of Mrs. Ellen Licavoli, OP, during Evening Prayer at the Monastery of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Farmington Hills, Michigan.

L to R: Br. John Steilberg (Provincial Promoter), Gwen Weinberger (Provincial President), Ellen Licavoli (making her Temporary Profession), Fr. David Santoro, OP (monastery chaplain), Pat Shea (President)

Back row: Christine Hoeft-Loyer, Patricia Shea, Edward Shea, Br. John

Front row: William Loeber, Maria Dyer, Ed Kolodziej, Ellen Licavoli, Vyvian Gorbea-Opplinger, Gwendolin Weinberger, David McDonald

News & Links

Fr Michael Demkovich, spiritual advisor to the New Mexico Dominican Laity, will lead a pilgrimage to England this September for the Eckhart Conference. Find out more here.

Our cloistered nuns are the heart of the Dominican Family! Learn more about their vocation in this beautiful documentary video by Openlight Media.

Help our Dominicans in Ukraine and the important work they are doing.

Donate here.

 Read important updates from the Dominicans in Ukraine:

May 5 Letter

May 22 Letter


Requiescat in Pace

St. Mary Magdalene Fraternity

West Lafayette, IN

Our fraternity member Marilyn Rogers died in a car accident on March 9th. Her funeral Mass was offered at St.Thomas Aquinas in West Lafayette on March 16th, celebrated by Fr. Tom McDermott, OP. Marilyn was a kind and gentle soul, and she will be missed greatly.


We recently found out that another member, Ann Sullivan, died December 21st. She had been out of contact with us for about a year. Her obituary states that she had suffered from cancer. Ann added so much to our chapter, and her depth of love for Christ and his Church moved us deeply.

Provincial Dues Notice

Mr. Tom Weber, OP 

Provincial Treasurer


We are still collecting our annual provincial membership dues, which finance our operating budget and support the worldwide Lay Dominican Office in Santa Sabina, Rome, and the International Council of Lay Dominican Fraternities. 

Dominican Family members in good standing: 

  • Receive the spiritual benefits of indulgences and general blessings which apply to members; 
  • Attend meetings, unless excused; 
  • Have completed Initiate formation studies, been received into the Order, and are in continuing studies; 
  • Live by the Lay Dominican Rule and Guidelines of the Central Province once promised; and 
  • Pay annual provincial dues of $33 for individual or $43 for husband/wife/sibling members. 

If in financial difficulty, please pay what you can—even $5 helps. Make checks payable to LAY DOMINICANS. Active members, please pay provincial dues to your chapter treasurer. Inactive members, please mail your checks to: Lay Dominicans, PO Box 208, Williamston, MI, 48895-0208.

Thank you for your prompt response. Treasurers, please collect your members’ dues and, if possible, convert your payment to a single check. Please also include a list of your members with physical and e-mail addresses. That information updates our database and is never used for any other purpose. Thank you for reminding your members of their important responsibility of paying provincial dues. Please know your follow-through is vitally important.

Veritas Editorial Team

Mrs. Rebecca Martin, OP — Editor

Mrs. Mary E. Giltner, OP — Managing Editor

Ms. Renee Valenzuela, OP

Ms. Mary Reinhardt, OP

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