PRESS RELEASE: Foundation Retreat

Lay Dominicans Exploring Boise Foundation


Fr. George Matanic During a weekend retreat-conference, October 2-4, at St. Paul's Catholic Student Center, interested laymen and women will gather for prayer and study on the possible establishment of a new chapter of lay Dominicans for the Boise area The retreat will be under the direction of Father George Matanic, OP, provincial promoter of the Dominican Laity for the Western United States.

"There has been sufficient initial interest," Father Matanic said, "to justify my coming to Boise to conduct this retreat and explore more carefully the establishment of a new chapter." This would be a first for Idaho.

Lay Dominicans have experienced a flurry of growth in the last ten years, establishing new chapters in Tucson and Mesa, Arizona in 1995, and in Salt Lake City in 1994. In addition to Boise, Father Matanic is exploring the possibility of establishing new chapters this coming year in Eugene, Oregon and at Stanford University. There are currently 259 active professed members in the ten western states from Anchorage to Tucson, from San Francisco to Salt Lake City.

Many religions Orders have a lay component or branch. Lay men and women have been part of the Dominican Order from its foundation in the úthirteenth century. The Dominican charism focuses on study, in addition to the traditional elements of prayer and service, and always within the context of a supportive community.

Father Matanic said there are three aspects that create a unique spiritual experience for lay people: 'First, they make a public commitment to strive to live a life of holiness. There is a public ceremony whereby people say, 'I promise, to the best of my ability, to live this kind of life.'"

"Second, there is an intentional community that they form which gathers together monthly to support each other in that commitment," he said. "Finally, they are associated with the traditions of a religious Order and its charism that has been around for centuries. They follow in a long line of holy men and women, many of them laity, who have striven to live this kind of life."

Among the lay members of the Dominican Order are; Catherine of Siena, Rose of Lima, and Lawrence Ruiz (the proto-martyr of the Philippines).

Th retreat will begin Friday evening at 7:30 pm and continue til noon Sunday. For further information or to pre-register, please call John Keenan at (208) 375-2532, or Mark Gross at (208) 343-6894. A donation will be asked to cover the cost of the weekend retreat. Those who are already lay members of other Orders, such as Benedictine Oblates, lay Carmelites or Secular Franciscans, are not permitted dual membership.

St. Paul's Catholic Student Center is located at:

1915 University Drive
Boise ID 83706
(208) 343-2128


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