Preaching In Action: Dominican College Program
MIAMI SHORES, FL -- “We
must preach what we believe, believe what we preach,
and live what we believe," said Ann
Willits, OP at the 2007 College Preaching Program: Preaching
During the week of May 22, forty
students from Dominican universities and colleges or colleges
with a Dominican presence gathered at Barry University
here for the fifith national conference.
Students came together to learn about the Dominican charism
of preaching and how that charism can be incorporated into
their own lives. The participants were taught how the Word
of God is vital to the life of all Dominicans and were
introduced to a variety of ways they can make that Word
come alive to bring life to themselves and others. The
young adults were introduced to an array of speakers and
presenters representing the various congregations and provinces
in the Order and were given the opportunity to experience
themselves as preachers using art, dance, drama, and music.
Most importantly they were encouraged to fulfill their
own Christian mission of preaching the Good News to all
they come in contact with. It was a great week and one
that will hold wonderful memories for a long time.
Ann Willits, OP(Sinsinawa) began the conference by making
the connection between the Dominican tradition of preaching
and the participants own call to preach. “We
must preach what we believe, believe what we preach, and
live what we believe.” A presentation depicting “Dominicans
through the Ages” welcomed some of our Dominican
Saints to the conference. Mary of Magadala began the conversation
and introduced, Dominic, Catherine, Antonio de Montessino,
Mother Benedicta Bauer, and our sister from Iraq Luma Khudher,
OP. It was a very moving experience for the students, in
particular meeting our Iraqi sister. Joe Kilikevice, OP
(St. Albert) highlighted the Interfaith Mission of the
order by introducing the students to dance and song from
a variety of different faiths. Eileen Gannon, OP (DLC/Sparkill)
our NGO representative at the United Nations spoke to the
students about their responsibility as citizens, and introduced
them to the Millenium Development Goals.
Margaret Galiardi, OP (Amityville) gave a wonderful presentation
on “The New Cosmology” and Tony Butler, Assistant
Director of Dominican Volunteers USA spoke about a call
to service for all Dominicans. Joann Timmerman, OP (Sinsinawa)
concluded the presentations by calling the participants
to “seek the creativity of God within themselves.” She
brought the concept of Preaching through the Arts alive
with her musical talents and creativity. Later on in the
day Nancy Murray, OP, (Adrian) Barbara Schwarz, OP (Amityville)
and Sarah Fairbanks, OP (Adrian) presented additional break
out sessions on preaching through art.
During the week the students are given opportunity to use
their creativity, musical talents, and giftedness of voice
to prepare the prayer services which are an integral part
of the conference schedule. This was a very powerful experience
for some of the students who do not ordinarily have this
opportunity in their parishes or their colleges. As a result,
many expressed the desire to become members of the planning
committee for their campus prayer services and liturgies.
The creativity was a wonderful thing to behold and the
singing voices were a welcomed sound throughout the entire
At the closing liturgy each student is commissioned to
go forth and preach the Good News to their fellow students.
Each college student presented their individual action
plan for the upcoming school year. This plan is a vehicle
for incorporating what they learned at the conference into
their own lives and the life of their college campus. It
was moving to see each student committing themselves to
continuing the Holy Preaching.
So, with a song of joy on their lips and the Dominican
spirit firmly planted in their hearts, these young people
prepared to leave the conference. In this short period
of time they formed community which will continue after
this experience. But wherever they go, whether it is California,
Connecticut, Illinois, New Mexico, Texas, Ohio, Indiana,
Wisconsin, Michigan, Louisiana, Florida, New Jersey, Missouri,
or New York, they are now a part of our Dominican Family.
Next years conference will be at Barry University from
May 20-25. We look forward to another great group
of young people at next year’s conference!
Gina Fleming, OP (Amityville)
College Preaching Program website
“We must preach what we believe, believe what we
preach, and live what we believe."
University of Califonia
Ohio Dominican University
Siena Heights University
St. Thomas Aquinas College