As a lay Dominican, having membership in a venerable, 800-year-old Catholic Order, one of the privileges I have is to note this membership using the Order's suffix, "O.P." (short for Ordo Praedicatorum or Order of Preachers, which is the proper name for Dominicans), along with a prefix that identifies me as laity such as Mr., Mrs., Ms. I also typically wear some indication of that membership, as we are encouraged to do, which as of late for me tends to be a simple, black and white (the colors of the Order) bracelet my wife made for me that spells out V-E-R-I-T-A-S (Latin for truth, a motto of the order) in block letters. That's pretty much the extent of the external signs we lay Dominicans wear most of the time, and of course, we're free to identify ourselves as lay Dominicans, as I do on this blog and elsewhere.
My membership and these signs indicate a calling, a vocation to live my life according to the Rule of the Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic. They indicate and in doing so promote accountability for my solemn promise to live that way: to study, to pray, to contemplate--in community--and share what I can with the world. They do not indicate that I speak in an official capacity, either for the Order or for the Church, nor are they any kind of guarantee that what I say is without error.
What I share on this blog and elsewhere is my personal take on all this stuff. If any of it is right or true, it's only because I happen to be correctly representing the truth; if any of it is not, it's because I am imperfect and only see the truth dimly. All I can guarantee is that I do my best to represent what is good and right and true, and hopefully my being a lay Dominican helps me to do that more often than not.
Mr. Ambrose Little, O.P.
(Br. Albertus Magnus, in the Order)
P.S. If you're interested in learning more about being a lay Dominican, check out our province's Web site. You can also email me at ambrose at laydominicans dot org.