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Steps in becoming a Dominican

Today young people are in an authentic search for the Dominican vocation, in order to join some 6500 friars and 32 000 apostolic sisters and cloistered nuns working in 83 countries. The different steps that bring a friar to a definitive commitment in the Dominican Order (or Order Preachers) are simple; they are directed toward a fundamental objective: to permit the coherent and progressive integration of the principles that make up Dominican life.


First Step: Getting to know one another

young men


The first step, above all else, permits the candidate to better get to know the Order. This is normally done through regular meetings with one of the local vocations directors. The vocations director will enable further contact with other Dominican communities with varied lifestyles as well as help the candidate discern whether or not he 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: postulancy.




Second Step: Postulancy

The candidate who aspires to become a Domincan is invited to live in a Priory (community of friars) for at least three months before the beginning of the novitiate. During the time of the postulancy the candidate can keep his job and/or continue to pursue studies. At the same time, this step permits a progressive integration into the life of a community: prayer, meals, community meetings, times for renewal and formation. The candidate is invited to undertake activities that engage him at both the social and pastoral levels.

During the postulancy a formation program is established by whoever is responsible for the postulancy. Monthly meetings of all the postulants are planned. These meetings develop fundamental themes such as the catechism, Dominican spirituality, particular areas of personal growth and affective maturity. At the end of the postulancy experience the community, or representatives of the community, is invited to offer an opinion on the admittance of the candidate to the novitiate.


Third Step: Novitiate

Brother DidierThe duration of the novitiate is 12 months. The novitiate begins every year on the 1st of August and lasts until the 8th of August of the following year. This time of retreat allows future friars (ordained or not) to know Dominican life more intimately than before. Through the daily shared experience with other novice brothers, those in charge of formation (Novice Master and the assistant) and the members of the welcoming community, the novice progressively discovers the major identity traits of the Dominican identity.

This period of 12 months includes diverse activities: the study of the life of St. Dominic and other great Dominican figures; the study of the Constitutions and the history of the Order; an introduction to the Bible, to personal and community prayer and liturgy; an elaboration of apostolic activities; visits to different Dominican communities and meetings with brothers and sisters in various apostolates.

The end of the novitiate is marked with the “simple profession” (for a period of three years) on the occasion of the Feast of St. Dominic, August 8th.


Fourth Step: Academic Studies



After the novitiate, the new friar integrates into a community of formation, usually the Couvent St-Jean-Baptiste d’Ottawa. Although integrated into the life of the community itself, the friars in formation form a more limited community called the “studendate” where one finds the space to consolidate the values acquired thus far. This new step corresponds to institutional studies pursued at the Dominican College of Philosophy and Theology in view of attaining bachelor and then graduate degrees in theology.






Fifth Step: Integration

This step usually marks an interruption. In keeping with certain objectives it is more profitable for future clerics to take this step at the end of a first degree in theology. This step consists of a pastoral placement that allows the friar to appropriate and apply theological learning to concrete needs and situations. This step also permits the friar in formation to reflect on his apostolic motivations and to clarify theological questions before undertaking the last step of studies.

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Dominican Institute of Toronto

372, Huron Street

Toronto (Ontario) Canada M5S 2G4

telephone : (416) 595-5665

fax : (416) 596-1017

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Dominican University College of Ottawa

University degrees in Philosophy and Theology

For more information :

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96 Empress Ave., Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 7G3

Tel.: (613) 233-5696 #330 Fax : (613) 233-6064

Institut de pastorale des Dominicains is specialized in the formation of pastoral workers, laity and priests, and offers university degrees in pastoral ministry and liturgy.


2715, chemin de la Côte Sainte-Catherine, Montréal (Québec), Canada, H3T 1B6


tel.: (514) 739-3223 #323 fax: (514) 739-1664

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For over 60 years, the Canadian Dominican Friars have spread the devotion to the Apostle Saint Jude. for more information, please:

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Sunday Mass

Anticipation Saturday: 5:00pm

8:00am 9:30am 11:15am 1:00pm 7:00 pm

5:00pm Youth Mass

St. Mary's Parish
5251 Joyce St.

Vancouver, B.C.
Canada  V5R 4G8
Contact Information: 

Phone: 604-435-9611
Fax: 604-439-9413
Parish Office email:

Parish Website


Provincial Office

2715 ch. de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine,
Montréal (QC)
Canada H3T 1B6

For any comments about the website Write to:

Provincial Webmaster

Contacts in Ontario and British Colombia


Priory of St Thomas,
372 Huron Street,
Toronto (Ontario)
Canada M5S 2G4

telephone: (416) 595-5665 fax: (416) 596-1017


Saint-Jean-Baptiste Convent,
96 Empress Avenue, Ottawa, ON,
Canada K1R 7G3

telephone:(613) 232-7363 fax: (613) 236-3869


Community of Saint Mary 3396 Auftrey Av.
Vancouver (BC)
Canada V5R 4V9

telephone: (604) 437-1852
fax: (604) 437-1852

St. Mary's Parish:
téléphone: (604) 435-9611

Our mission

Our Constitutions define our mission in the following way: "The principal reason we are gathered together is that we dwell together in harmony and have one mind and one heart in God, in other words, that we be found perfect in charity. . . Our Order is known to have been founded from the beginning expressly for preaching and the salvation of souls. ...This end we ought to pursue, preaching and teaching from the abundance and fulness of contemplation in imitation of our most holy Father Dominic, who spoke only with God or of God for the benefit of souls."