Lay Associations are groups of lay or ordained persons who are associated or affiliated with a religious community of brothers or sisters. These associates do not take vows, as members of the community do, but they do make a commitment to pray, learn and serve with members of the religious community and to emulate the community's charisms, principles or values in their personal and public lives. Most communities require potential associates to engage in a period of discernment and preparation; the length of commitment varies. Local members of lay associations usually meet regularly for prayer, study and discernment with a spiritual guide or director. The following are lay associations in eastern Iowa:
• Associates of the Iowa Cistercians are affiliated with New Melleray Abbey and Our Lady of the Mississppi Abbey near Dubuque. Members of the Lay Cistercians seek to enrich their spiritual lives by adopting a contemplative lifestyle and other spiritual practices of the Rule of St. Benedict and the Cistercian tradition that are compatible with a non-monastic lifestyle. Members meet once a month for prayer, lectio, study and discussion.
Contact Teresa McMahon at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Information online at: www.aicassociates.org/.
• Associates of the Sisters of the Presentation are affiliated with the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Dubuque. Presentation Associates include lay women and men who believe in the mission of the community's foundress, Nano Nagle, and wish to foster the Presentation spirit and charisms while continuing to live in their own lifestyle. Contact Presentation Associates Office at 563-588-2008.
• Third Order Dominicans or Dominican tertiaries (now commonly called Lay Dominicans) are associated with religious communities of women or men We have been known since the 13th century as Third Order Dominicans or Dominican tertiaries, but are now usually referred to simply as Lay Dominicans. Men and women, singles and couples; Catholic lay faithful (as well as some secular priests and permanent deacons) organized in fraternities to constitute a "secular" branch of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans).