Charism, Mission, and Ministry
7 With a passion for truth, Dominic and Catherine and Benedicta probed the implications of God’s Word in times of profound social and ecclesiastical change. What they learned in prayer and study and experience they lived and proclaimed. This charism, this gift of theirs – to probe, live, and proclaim the Word in community – has over the centuries been enriched by countless women and men whose lives it has formed. Fidelity to this charism remains the touchstone of our Racine Dominican spirituality and mission. As heirs of this spiritual heritage and birthright we are committed to truth, compelled to justice. (Jn 8,32 • Jn18,37-38 • Rom 12,2)
8 Commitment to truth in the light of the gospel compels us to consecrate whatever power we have, personally and as community to sustain the fundamental right of every person to pursue the fullness of life and to share in the common good. Today such a stance demands and explicit solidarity – in prayer, struggle, suffering, and hope – with those who are oppressed and alienated by systems designed to serve the interests of the wealthy and advantaged. This perspective governs our every ministry, whether that ministry is among the economically advantaged or among the economically poor. (Ps 85,9-14 • Is 11, 1-9 • Is 59)
8.1 In our varied ministries we seek to proclaim truth and promote justice
- by holding the word in prayerful solidarity;
- by addressing immediate needs of those oppressed and alienated by injustice;
- by changing unjust attitudes, structures, and systems through education and other forms of constructive influence;
- by helping to effect actual advances toward fuller justice whenever it is within our power to do so. (Is 58, 1-12• 1 Tim 6, 17-19)
8.2 The people we serve minister to us as well. We seek a sharing in their gifts as well as a shared and collaborative service with them and with all the people of God. (1 Cor 12, 4-27)
8.3 In a society which often uses communications media to advance the selfish interests of individuals and nations, we as Dominicans are particularly called to use those media for the study and proclamation of truth and the promotion of justice.
9 We determine our ministries in view of
- the congregation’s mission and its stated priorities;
- our personal gifts and competence;
- The principle that Dominican community living is ultimately defined by mission;
- discernment through prayer, study, and consultation with others, including a member of the executive committee; and
- provision for financial support of the ministry, living expenses, and the needs of the congregation.
9.1 By determining our ministries in shared discernment, we expand the possibilities of collaboration and strengthen the integration of all our ministries within the one mission to which we are committed as viewed Racine Dominicans.