Novice Program

Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic

Novitiate Formation


Some of the readings assume you have a little background in philosophy and/or have read some of Thomas Aquinas. If  you haven’t, you may wish to read the following materials for background.

Aristotle for Everyone; Mortimer J. Adler This little classic is an excellent introduction to “The Philosopher”, Aristotle, frequently quoted by Aquinas.

If you are new to reading the Summa, you may wish to review the document, How to Read and Cite the Summa.

Readings for each module consist of provincial material and chapter material.

Provincial Study Materials

I. Then and Now

A.  History of The Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic (PNM I.1 History)

B.  Rule of the Fraternities of St. Dominic (PNM I.2 Rule)

II. Pillars of the Lay Dominican

A. Prayer

1. Prayer (PNM II.A.1 Prayer )

2. Dominican Devotion to Our Lady’s Rosary (PNM II.A.2 Rosary)

3. Liturgy of the Hours and Psalms (II.A.3 LOTH)

4.  People of the Word – Lectio Divina (PNM II.A.4 Lectio Divina)

B. Dominican Study (PNM II.B Study)

C. 1. Community and Leadership (Mod2c1CommunityANDleadership)

C.2. Community Life (Mod2c2CommunityLife)

D. Apostolate – Coming soon

III. The Sacramental Life

A. Introduction to the Sacraments (PNM III.1 Sacraments)

B. Baptism and Confirmation (PNM III.2 Baptism)

C. Forgiveness of Sins (PNM III.3 Reconciliation)

D. The Eucharist (PNM III.4 Eucharist)

Immaculate Conception Chapter Material

Units 1 to 3 – Vocation and Mission

Novice Class Module 1 (pdf)
Torch-Lite Vol 20 No1 (MS Word)

Theme: The Apostolic Life


  1. Acts 2:42-47; Acts 4:32-35.
  2. M.H. Vicaire, O.P., The Apostolic Life (Chicago: © 1966), pp. 4-5, 12-49, 96-119.
  3. E. Cachia, O.P., The Apostolic Ideal of the Early Dominicans (Rabat, Malta: 1956; rpt. 1966), Intro., table of abbreviations, table of contents, and pp.1-15.

B. de la Torre, O.P., ed., “The Church Speaks to Lay Members of the Order of Preachers”, Torch –Lites, vol. 20, no 1, Jan.Feb.Mar., 985, p. 7-10

Novice Class Module 2 (pdf)
Theme: The General Purpose – The Perfection of Charity


  1. Mt 22:34-40
  2. Spiritual Theology; Fr. Jordan Aumann, O.P., Chapter 5, “The Perfection of the Christian Life”
  3. Come prepared to speak for ten minutes; sharing your insights, contemplations and application to the  life of a Dominican tertiary.
  4. Optional Supplemental Readings: As much of the book as your time permits; any part of it that may interest you.

Note: You may download this book in PDF format; Kindle; epub and other formats by clicking on the link: Spiritual Theology By Fr. Jordan Aumann O.P.

Novice Class Module 3 (pdf)  
How to Read and Cite the Summa (MS Word)

Theme: The Specific Purpose: Preaching


  1. Mt. 28:18-20; Acts 4:33; Mk 16:15
  2. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologia Part 3, Question 40 to Question 42, Article 2. (Note: It is recommended that you obtain a copy of the Summa Theologia. It is available online and in ebook format. ( There are very good apps for smart phones and tablets that include the Summa. If you are new to reading the Summa, you may wish to review the document, How to Read and Cite the Summa.
  3. R. Koch, Preaching, in Vol 1 of Sacramentum Verbi – An Encylopedia of Biblical Theology; pages 686-693

Units IV to XII – The Means

Novice Class Module 4 (pdf) (April 13, 2014)
Novice Class Module 4 (MS Word)

Theme: The Evangelical Counsels


  1. Mt. 6:24, 19:1-30
  2. Supplemental Readings; Treatise on the Love of God; St. Francis de Sales; Book VIII – especially chapters VIII and IX. (St. Francis is a Doctor of the Church; a Thomist and a champion for the laity.) Good foundation for the following Summa readings.
  3. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologia Part 1 of 2, Question 108, Article 4; Part 2 of 2, Question 19, Article 12, Question 104 all, Question 151 through 154, Article 5.

Novice Class Module 5 (pdf) (May 2014)
NC Module 5 (MS Word)

Theme: The Evangelical Counsels and Perfection


Summa Theologia Part II of II

  1. Question 184, Articles 1 to 4
  2. Question 186, Articles 1 to 6
  3. Suppl. 41, 42

Novice Class Module 6 (pdf) (June 2014)
(Provincial Module PNM II.B Dominican Study)

Theme: Assiduous Study


  1. Dominican Studies – Provincial Module (PNM II.B DominicanStudy)
  2. The necessity of study. Mt 13:52; Act 2:42; Tit 1:1, 9, 1 Peter 3:15; Proverbs; Chapter 4
  3. Summa Contra Gentiles Book 1: Chapters 1 to 10; Book IV: Chapters 1-4
    Summa Theologiæ ST1 – Prologue,  I, Q. 1, Art. 1 & 6; Q.16, Art.1-6; Q.17, Art. 4
  4. From the Constitution of the Order; Chapter III, On Study; Article I – On the Importance of Study and its Sources

Novice Class Module 7 (pdf) (July 2014)

Theme: Principal Sources and Themes of our Study


  1. An Aquinas Reader, Mary T. Clark  – Selections in handout (Introduction; Sections on Christ and Sacraments)
  2. The Thomist, The Authority of St. Thomas Aquinas  – January 1952
  3. Decree On Priestly Training, (Optatam Totius) Section 15
  4. Declaration on Christian Education (Gravissimum  Educationis) “Section 10”
  5. Encyclical Humani Generis , pars.  2-5, 22-37

Novice Class Module 8 (pdf) (August 2014)

Themes: St. Dominic, St. Catherine, and the Holy Mother


Read complete documents unless otherwise specified.

  1. Lives of the Brethren of the Order of Preachers; Translated by John Placid Conway, O.P. Read Part I, Prologue, Chapters I, II, XXII-XXVII
  2. Fausto Appentente Die – Encyclical of Pope Benedict XV on St. Dominic, June 29, 1921
  3. Catherine of Siena: The Gift of Wisdom; Homily of Pope Paul the VI at Ceremony Proclaiming St. Catherine a Doctor of the Church (October 4, 1970)
  4. Catechismus of St. Thomas Aquinas; “Commentary on the Angelic Salutation”; pages 119-121
  5. Marialis Cultus – Pope Paul VI Apostolic Exhortation for the Right Ordering and Development of Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary of His Holiness, February 2, 1974, par.40-55
  6. On Devotion of the Rosary, Supremi Apostolatus Officio, Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII, September 1, 1883
  7. Rosarium Virginus Mariae, (On the Most Holy Rosary); John Paul II; October 16, 2002

Supplemental Readings

Highly recommended reading but not required as part of class preparation.

1.  History of The Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic (PNM I.1 History)

2. Dominican Devotion to Our Lady’s Rosary (PNM II.A.2 Rosary)

3. The Dialogue; St. Catherine of Siena; Translated by Suzanne Noffke, OP; Read the Introduction. Can be read on Google Books at but the print version is highly recommended.

Module 8 includes The Dialogue as translated by Algar Thorold in 1896 but his work is incomplete and scholars frequently criticize the translation as sometimes being less than accurate. Noffke’s translation is far superior but her copy right is in effect and no electronic format is legally available.  You can purchase the eBook for $10 from Google Books.

Novice Class Module 9 (pdf) (September 2014)

Theme: Grace and Free Will


On Providence; Predestination, Grace and Free Will.
The Summa Contra Gentiles of Saint Thomas Aquinas Literally translated by the English Dominican Fathers from the latest Leonine edition Book III, Chapters CXLVII-CLXIII (147-163)

NC Module 10 (October 2014)

Theme:The Apostolate of the Laity and the Royal Priesthood


  1. Lumen Gentium (pdf); Dogmatic Constitution on the Church; Chapters 1& II.
  2. Apostolicam Actuositatem (pdf); Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity; Read the entire document

Novice Class Module 11 (pdf) (November 2014)

Theme: Communal life, regular observations, mutual commitment, history of the Order, Dominican Saints and Blesseds, the Rule

  1. The Church Speaks to the Lay Members of the Order of Preachers 
  2. The Paradoxical Origins of the Third Order of St. Dominic; Torchlite XX (April – May – June 1985)
  3. Rule of the Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic – 2007 (pdf)
  4. The Four Pillars of Dominican Life; Fr. Michael Hurley, O.P. (pdf)

Novice Class Module 12 (pdf) (December 2014)

Theme: Prayer 


1. Prayer, communal and individual. Mt 18:19-20, 6:5-6
2. St. Thomas Aquinas, II,II: Q82, art. 3, 4; Q83 a. 2-16; Q84-85; 91 a. 1,2; Commentary on the Gospel of St. Mathew, 18:19-20
3.Individual Prayer (non-liturgical) (Research scriptural references and provide 10 minute reflection)
4. Liturgical Prayer Lk 22:19, Mk 16:15, Mt 28:19


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