Brothers in the Order of Preachers are consecrated men religious who believe their vocation is rooted in their baptism. Cooperator brothers are men who have freely, without condition or limitation, heard and responded to God’s call to come preach with Him. In responding to this call cooperator brothers believe that the lived expression of the Dominican vocation, through the vows of obedience, poverty and chastity, is centered in, and radically dependent, on a common life devoted to prayer and liturgy, study and scholarship, preaching and other ministries, and especially by caring for one another.
The ministry of preaching is a communitarian task, and it pertains primarily to the whole community; thus, in the beginning of the Order a convent was called “Holy Preaching” (sacra praedicatio). The cooperator brothers have a role in the apostolate of the whole community not only by their work of providing for the needs of the convent but also by a ministry properly so called both by working with the priests and by engaging in their own apostolic activity according to their talents.
Made sharers in the apostolate of the Order by their profession, the brothers shall be prepared for exercising suitable apostolic activity so that they might become true cooperators in the mission of the Order.
In the Province of St. Joseph, cooperator brothers serve in a variety of ministries: preaching ministries, such as religious education and pastoral counseling; community ministries, including financial management and supervision, maintenance and services of buildings and properties, health care of the brothers, and food service management; and professional ministries, such as social work and healthcare services.