Lay Dominicans in Utah profess life vows

Friday, May. 10, 2019
Lay Dominicans in Utah profess life vows Photo 1 of 2
Gwen Linde, and Danny Schoenfeld, lay members of the Dominican Order, make their life vows April 29 at a special Profession Mass at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Newman Center.
By Linda Petersen
Intermountain Catholic

SALT LAKE CITY— Two lay members of the Dominican Order made their life vows at a Rite of Reception and Profession during a special Mass April 29 at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Newman Center.

The Dominican order, formally known as the Order of Preachers, was founded in 1216 by Saint Dominic de Guzman.

Lay members of the Dominicans devote themselves to the four pillars of prayer, common life, study and preaching. The lay Dominicans were sanctioned as a chapter at Saint Catherine’s in 1995. At the April 29 Mass, Gwen Linde, the chapter’s new moderator, and Danny Schoenfeld, vice-moderator, made their vows before Paul White, former chapter moderator.

Victor Siebeneck, who has been attending meetings for more than two years, was received in as a new chapter member.

“The Lord has called us to live the apostolic way … and to receive into the Dominican family those who have chosen to be identified as lay Dominicans,” White said prior to the Mass. “This profession will bind them more closely into the Dominican family, into justice and truth.”

 The Rite of Reception and Profession for Linde, Schoenfeld and Siebeneck was celebrated on the feast of Saint Catherine of Siena, who was herself a lay Dominican.

“This is a great day when some will profess their life profession … to walk on the path of St. Dominic and preach the truth with their lives,” said Father Lukasz Misko, OP, at the beginning of the Mass that he celebrated with Father Jacek Buda, OP.

Fr. Jacek is pastor of St. Catherine Newman Center; Fr. Lukasz is the director of campus ministry.

Siebeneck, a St. Thomas More parishioner, said his association with the lay Dominican chapter has had a positive effect in his life.

“Because the charism of the Dominicans is to preach, study and pray in community, it has really helped my prayer life,” he said. “Most chapter meetings are very edifying and offer a different perspective to the Gospel. Overall, it is fulfilling and provides help for me to grown in faith.”

Linde, a Cathedral of the Madeleine parishioner and RCIA director at St. Catherine’s, made her simple profession three years ago after one year of inquiry and two years of formation.

“The bottom line of any religion or church is to get closer to Christ,” she said. “Any that don’t, you should just run away from; any that do should just grab you. The Dominican charism suits me, founded as it is in prayer, study and preaching.”

The Dominican way “is a great way to serve Christ and build up the kingdom of God and do it in a way that has been aligned with the Church for 800 years,” she said.

The Dominican formation process is long “but also meaningful,” Schoenfeld said. “You don’t just get to sign up for it tomorrow; it has helped me deepen my spiritual life.”

Schoenfeld, a St. Thomas More parishioner, became a lay Dominican to broaden his Catholic faith and to take a deeper step whereby he was “not just going to church on Sundays but living [that faith] daily, knowing the community worldwide is doing the same thing,” he said.

As moderator, Linde will set up formation and work with chapter members to find ways that the chapter can serve both the parish and the diocese.

The lay Dominican chapter meets the third Sunday of the month at 1 p.m. at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Newman Center, 170 University St., Salt Lake City, for prayer, study and preaching. Inquiries are welcome; contact

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