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Preaching In Action
2007 Program
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 in Action.
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 campus.

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."
Ann Willits, OP

Participating Schools

Albertus Magnus College

Barry University

Caldwell College

Dominican College

Dominican University of Califonia

Dominican University

Edgewood College

Molloy College

Ohio Dominican University

Purdue University

Siena Heights University

St. Louis University

St. Thomas Aquinas College

Xavier University