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Dominican Life

Preaching the Gospel for the salvation of souls defines our vocation as Dominican Friars. St. Dominic founded the Order of Preachers with a specific mission, namely to preach the Gospel for the salvation of souls.

We accomplish this mission through living together as a community, sharing our personal gifts and talents, nationalities and cultures, all of which add to the beauty of our consecrated life.

St. Dominic, the founder of the “Order of Preachers” in the early part of the 13th Century gave his friars guiding principles which were called, “The Four Pillars.” They are the basis of all that we, even now, do in our prayer, study, life and ministry. Simply put, they are just that: Prayer – Study – Community – Ministry.

Every Dominican from the foundation of the Order in 1216 to the present must have these Four Pillars as part of his or her life and they must be observed in the order stated. First, we must have a foundation of prayer in our life. If we don’t establish a practice of prayer that is both personal and communal the other three “pillars” will collapse.

The second “pillar” study is necessary to keep us well founded in truth (the motto of Dominicans) and aware of how that truth is lived in our time – the modern world. The third “pillar,” Community is often the most difficult to live out and the easiest to avoid. Yet it is the pillar that holds all the rest together. Without community, even if I go out into the desert and sit on an isolated spot deep in prayer and study – but have no community – I can eventually convince myself of almost anything as being good and noble. Community keeps us honest even when the friars are brutally frank in assessing our stance.

If we have kept these first three “pillars” in order and followed them as best we can, there is little that needs to be said about “ministry.” Prayer keeps us focused on God. Study keeps us in the truth. Community keeps us honest. If these foundational pillars are in place, the ministry – no matter what it is – will flow out for the building up of the “people of God” and the “salvation of souls.” St. Dominic keep us faithful and honest. Amen!

Come and see

Do you feel Called to dedicate your entire life for the service of God and his people? Are you a good and healthy practicing Catholic? Do you meet university requirements for Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Sudan? Have you finished university? or are you a professional? Do you feel God calling you to preach the Gospel ?

We are the Dominican friars. A part of a larger group known as the Dominican Family sharing a common heritage with the spirit and charism of St. Dominic. In Eastern Africa (ie. Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya) currently we are in Nairobi and in Kisumu archdioceses in Kenya.

Others in the Dominican family are the Dominican Nuns who are in Nairobi archdiocese. These are cloistered religious women who live contemplative prayer life in their monastery, they have dedicated their entire life to pray to God for the entire world.

Also in the Dominican family are active Dominican sisters. In Eastern Africa there are sisters from Zambia and Zimbabwe who work in Thika as teachers and health workers. In Ngong Diocese we have Dominican sisters from Philipines running schools. In Kakumiro western Uganda and Namugongo near Kampala, we have Dominican sisters teaching in schools.

Apart from Dominican friars and sisters, we also have another group known as Dominican laity. Dominican laity are in Nairobi and in Kisumu. This is a group of professionals who are interested in preaching the gospel but as married and single persons.

Our number is still small in Eastern Africa, however the urgent demand for the Dominican charism of preaching in all its forms is urgently needed for the growth and the deepening of the faith in each of these countries. If you are interested to preach the Gospel in the Spirit of St. Dominic, ask St. Dominic to assist you in your discernment of God’s will in your life.

If you would like to join or learn more about the Dominicans please contact our Vocation Promoters :

Dominican Friars
P. O. Box 230 – 00627
Village Market, Nairobi – Kenya.
+254 792 819 948
+254 780 819 948

Send Email

Vocation Director
Dominican Missionary Sisters P.O. Box 380

Vocation Promoter
Dominican Nuns Corpus Christi
P.O. Box 24636—00502 Nairobi or


Novitiate is “…a time of probation directed to this purpose, namely, that the novices come to know more deeply their divine, and indeed Dominican vocation, experience the Order’s way of life, be formed in the Dominican spirit in mind and heart, and manifest their intention and suitability to the brethren (LCO 177).”

Coming to knowledge of a religious vocation requires time, silence, prayer and solitude. Our Constitutions and the law of the Church require that a novitiate last at least one year. Silence provides the framework in which the Dominican can pray and study, which must always precede our preaching.  Father Damien Byrne, O.P., the former Master of the Order wrote that vocations are drawn to us by a desire to preach the Gospel and because of a love for study, but even motives as exalted as these need to be tested by the experience of sustained prayer and solitude. And while involvement in the apostolic life of the Order must not be omitted, that is not the primary purpose of the novitiate. More than just a time of probation, the novitiate is a place and it is people.

The novitiate of the Dominican Vicariate of Eastern Africa is located at St. Martin de Porres House in Kisumu, KENYA near Lake Victoria. The novitiate year begins during first vespers of the Solemnity of Our Holy Father, St. Dominic on 7 August when the aspirants are vested in the habit of the Dominican friars and ends during the Mass of Simple Profession on the Solemnity of Our Holy Father Dominic a year and a day later. It is a time to discover whether one is fitted for the Dominican life – a blend of apostolic ministry and contemplative prayer. The emphasis is on prayer, the common life, and the study of the Dominican Constitutions and lives of Dominican men and women, both past and present. It is also a time for the Dominican community to determine the suitability of the man for Dominican life. It is a time of discernment (that is: prayerfully considering what God wishes for me and also considering my heart’s desires). It is discernment of God’s will.

Novices receive their most important formation by actually living the religious life. Classes in the life and traditions of the Order and assigned duties are part of the life but the matters that have primacy in the religious formation of our brothers are our communal celebration of the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours. Each brother becomes familiar with the cycle of the Church’s celebrations by taking an active part in the planning and performance of the Mass and Divine Office. In addition to these, the novices are expected to receive the Sacrament of Penance regularly and to foster a love for Our Lord in the Eucharist and devotion to Our Lady, especially through praying of  the Rosary.

The brothers engage in some apostolates. Even though the apostolic component of the life is limited by the nature and the purpose of the novitiate, it is nonetheless a component that brings before our mind that the Dominicans are a missionary Order founded for the preaching of the Gospel and the salvation of souls. The fruits of our prayer and study are the treasures that we share with our brothers and sisters.

Next to our novitiate house is the St. Catherine of Siena Home which is a hospice for children terminal with cancer run by the Hawthorne Dominican Sisters. The novices and the novice master assist the Dominican Sisters in a limited way in their apostolate to the Poor. In addition, the friars of St. Martin de Porres House run  Fr. Tom’s Kids program.




Making Vows during Profession

At the end of formation, brothers take vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience before the religious superior. Here in the photo, brother Andama, OP makes his final prefession before Fr. Maury Schepers, OP

Prayer & Worship

Prayer and worship is a pillars for Dominican life. Brothers  pray together daily in contemplation of truth.  Here is the chapel  at St. Dominic’s Priory in Nairobi.