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Lay Dominicans Profess Vows

professionST. LOUIS, MO February 6, 2009 -- Queen of the Holy Rosary Chapter of Lay Dominicans in Saint Louis in the presence of the Dominican friars of St. Dominican Priory and guests witnessed the final promises of three of its members on Sunday, February first.  Michael Porterfield, O.P., Moderator of the Chapter, received promises from Donna Chesanek, O.P., Robert Hughes, O.P, and Kimberly Naegele, O.P. made to the Master General of the Order of Preachers to live the Dominican charisms of prayer, study, community and ministry for the rest of their lives.  A fourth member, Eleonore Stump, O.P., will make her final promise within the next several months.  At the same time Sebastian Mahfood was formally received into candidacy.

Donna is a mother and grandmother involved in caring for her extended family and in an internet ministry of prayer.  Robert is a physical therapist helping others in physical and spiritual rehabilitation.  Kimberly is completing her Master’s degree at Aquinas Institute and an internship in social work as part of that degree.  Eleonore is a professor of philosophy at St. Louis University recognized internationally for her expertise in medieval philosophy.  Sebastian teaches inter-cultural studies at Kenrick Seminary and assists the seminary faculty with the use of contemporary technology in theological education.

Lay Dominicans seek to live the charisms of the Dominican Order in their lives as lay Catholics.  Preparation for the final promise involves a four to five year program of living the four Dominican charisms or “pillars” that includes studying the teachings of the contemporary Roman Catholic Church about the lay vocation and the history and the present-day Order of Preachers, and in particular of its lay branch.