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Dr. John Planek, director of intercollegiate athletics at Dominican University, is featured in a Chicago Catholic newspaper article about the involvement of laity in religious life.

The Nov. 29 story, entitled “Third Orders Secular Offer Laity Alternative to Religious Life,” includes interviews with several laymen and laywomen who are members of a “third order secular”—devoutly Catholic individuals who live outside an ordained religious life, but are associated with a particular order.

According to the Chicago-based Institute for Religious Life, Third Orders are defined under Canon Law as “associations whose members, while living a secular life, strive after Christian perfection by observing a papally approved rule, under the direction and spirit of a religious order.”

Planek, a fully professed lay Dominican, was a founding member of the lay chapter that was started by Dominicans at Fenwick High School in Oak Park.

Planek told the newspaper it takes several years to become a fully professed lay Dominican, “because doing so is something that should be taken seriously.”

“For most people, it’s to continue their faith journey and to continue their understanding of the Catholic faith, and they’re looking for something that provides that to them,” Planek said.

Read the complete story at Chicago Catholic.