The Aspirancy period begins with a candidate writing an application letter to the Vocations office, expressing his desire to join the Order. It lasts for at least one year, in which the potential candidate is encouraged to visit one of our Dominican houses for a few days. During the visit, the Vocations Director (VD) may assign a friar to guide and journey with the candidate. After the visit, the friar may communicate his observation about the candidate to the VD. During this period, the aspirant attends at least two vocations workshop organized by the VD.
For candidates to be admitted into the Order, in the Vicariate of Eastern Africa, the following must be met:
1.0 They must have completed the 21st year and not more than 35 years old. (Cf. RFP 20, draft).
2.0 They must not be married (Cf. Canon 643#2).
3.0 They must not be bound by sacred bonds to some institute of consecrated life or incorporated in some society of apostolic life, without prejudice to the prescript of Canon 684, (Cf. Canon 643#3).
4.0 They must enjoy the freedom necessary to make a free act of will. They should not be induced by force, grave fear, or malice (Cf. Canon 643#4).
5.0 They must reveal their incorporation, if any, in some institute of consecrated life or in some society of apostolic life (Cf. 643#5).
6.0 The candidate for admission must declare fully all personal (financial) obligations (such as if he has a patrimony or any debt), which might in any way preclude his full participation in Dominican life.
7.0 The following are the documents that are required for entry into the postulancy. (Most of these requirements are taken from RFP draft and the LCO, see LCO 170 and RFP, 24, draft, others have been taken from various documents that have been used in the past):
7.1 A letter of application.
7.2 A copy of the National Identification Card or Passport, which should indicate date and place of birth.
7.3 A copy of Birth Certificate, which should indicate date and place of birth.
7.4 A certified copy of the baptismal card. (Cf. Canon 645#1).
7.5 A valid copy of First Holy Communion and Confirmation certificate/Card, which must indicate date and place of reception. (Cf. Canon 645#1).
7.6 Letter of recommendation from the parish priest which among other things certifies the freedom of the candidate to join religious life.
7.7 A letter of recommendation from any of the three of the following: parish council, previous or current employer, ordinary, religious or priest who knows the candidates (or Local Ordinary, Major superiors, Rector or Formators, if it concerns the admission of clerics or those who had been admitted in another institute of consecrated life or a society of apostolic life, or in a seminary, (Cf. Canon 645#2)).
7.8 An academic qualification which allows for entry into an East African University and also demonstrates aptitude to perform well at university level studies. (The certificates should include both primary, A and O level). The candidate should also demonstrate aptitude to perform well in university level studies. (Cf. LCO 169#1, See also the Guidelines for academic qualifications).
7.9 A certificate of health completed by a registered medical doctor of our choice following a comprehensive medical check-up, the specifics of which are determined by the Vicariate Council.
7.10 Results of a Psychological test conducted by a Psychologist determined by Dominicans.
7.11 Candidates should write an autobiography which must follow the guidelines for writing an autobiography, provided by the VD.
7.12 Two passport size photos, passport and Visa for non-Kenyan candidates, (those about to enter the postulancy to have their government papers in order).
7.13 Kenyans to have a health insurance (NHIF- which the Vicariate will help to maintain the subscription during that period).
7.14 All candidates to have done an eye check-up and be fitted with corrective lenses (if needed), and have been treated for any chronic conditions.
7.15 A signed statement concerning personal history of sexual abuse, whether as a victim or victimizer.
7.16 A signed letter or form indicating willingness to protect the children and vulnerable and adherence to children and vulnerable protection policy put in place.
If you have any question please click here and write to us.
Dominican Friars, Vicariate of Eastern Africa,
P.O. Box 230, Village Market,
00621 Nairobi, Kenya.
The Novitiate is “…a time of probation directed to this purpose, namely, that the novices come to know more deeply their divine, and indeed Dominican vocation, experience the Order’s way of life, be formed in the Dominican spirit in mind and heart, and manifest their intention and suitability to the brethren (LCO 177).”
Coming to knowledge of a religious vocation requires time, silence, prayer and solitude. Our Constitutions and the law of the Church require that a novitiate last at least one year. Silence provides the framework in which the Dominican can pray and study, which must always precede our preaching. Father Damien Byrne, O.P., the former Master of the Order wrote that vocations are drawn to us by a desire to preach the Gospel and because of a love for study, but even motives as exalted as these need to be tested by the experience of sustained prayer and solitude. And while involvement in the apostolic life of the Order must not be omitted, that is not the primary purpose of the novitiate. More than just a time of probation, the novitiate is a place and it is people.
The novitiate of the Dominican Vicariate of Eastern Africa is located at St. Martin de Porres House in Kisumu, KENYA near Lake Victoria. The novitiate year begins during first vespers of the Solemnity of Our Holy Father, St. Dominic on 7 August when the aspirants are vested in the habit of the Dominican friars and ends during the Mass of Simple Profession on the Solemnity of Our Holy Father Dominic a year and a day later. It is a time to discover whether one is fitted for the Dominican life – a blend of apostolic ministry and contemplative prayer. The emphasis is on prayer, the common life, and the study of the Dominican Constitutions and lives of Dominican men and women, both past and present. It is also a time for the Dominican community to determine the suitability of the man for Dominican life. It is a time of discernment (that is: prayerfully considering what God wishes for me and also considering my heart’s desires). It is discernment of God’s will.
Novices receive their most important formation by actually living the religious life. Classes in the life and traditions of the Order and assigned duties are part of the life but the matters that have primacy in the religious formation of our brothers are our communal celebration of the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours. Each brother becomes familiar with the cycle of the Church’s celebrations by taking an active part in the planning and performance of the Mass and Divine Office. In addition to these, the novices are expected to receive the Sacrament of Penance regularly and to foster a love for Our Lord in the Eucharist and devotion to Our Lady, especially through praying of the Rosary.
The brothers engage in some apostolate. Even though the apostolic component of the life is limited by the nature and the purpose of the novitiate, it is nonetheless a component that brings before our mind that the Dominicans are a missionary Order founded for the preaching of the Gospel and the salvation of souls. The fruits of our prayer and study are the treasures that we share with our brothers and sisters.
Upon completing the novitiate year and having made his simple profession, the brother moves to St. Dominic’s Priory in Nairobi, Kenya. Formation in the studium focuses primarily on four different areas: human formation, spiritual formation, intellectual formation, and pastoral formation. During the years in the studium, the brother lives in community, primarily dedicated to prayer and study. However, he is also assigned to various part-time ministries in Nairobi, Kenya, and throughout the Vicariate during the long holidays. Friars generally are assigned to the studium for seven years.
While in the studium, clerical student brothers begin their philosophical and theological studies for priesthood and prepare for the apostolate. All brothers study at Tangaza University College, a higher education institution run by a Consortium of Religious Congregations in Eastern Africa. The motto is “Teaching Minds, Touching Hearts, Transforming Lives”. All clerical brothers study for a Bachelor of Philosophy and Sacred Theology.
Cooperator brothers prepare for the apostolate with a plan of formation suited to his particular skills and the needs of the Vicariate. This includes academic studies at Tangaza University College, with the possibility for additional professional or technical training, as needed.
The year before a clerical brother is ordained to the priesthood, he is ordained a deacon. During this last year of formation, he is assigned to any community in the Vicariate, while continuing his studies at the Tangaza Universiry College (TUC).
The “initial” formation of a clerical brother culminates with his ordination to the Priesthood of Jesus Christ. This usually occurs either at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Nairobi, Kenya.
Once a clerical brother is ordained a priest, or a cooperator brother completes his formation after solemn profession, the friar’s initial formation is complete, and he receives an assignment to one of our communities and apostolates in the Vicariate of Eastern Africa.