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Dominican Young Adult USA Formed

STANDING: Danielle Douglas, NY, Allie Jeffs, IN, Daniel Breitfeller, OH, Kimmi Ferrari, NY Seated: Jenn Purcell, IL, Elizabeth Campi, CA

COLUMBUS, OH , - This past weekend, close to twenty young adults gathered here at Ohio Dominican University, to discuss creating Dominican Young Adult USA. On Saturday, July 21, 2007, the group unanimously agreed that this was the time and they were ready to answer the call.

This group is formed to help those who are Dominican by their formation -- in Dominican High Schools, Colleges, Universities, parishes and other Dominican experiences-- to continue their connection with the Order. The connection includes deepening their relationship with God and the world through the four pillars of study, prayer, community and ministry. Each group of young adults will have as a mentor a friar, sister, associate, laity or nun.

Vowed members of the Order helped to set the stage.  Mary Ellen O’Grady, OP (Sinsinawa) Executive Director of the Dominican Leadership Conference spoke about the common context and language of the Dominican Order. Friday morning’s presentation by Arlene Flaherty, OP(Blauvelt) was entitled A Call to Dominican Life and Mission: Story-telling, Begin Family and Paving the Pathway to Peace. Luke LaTour, OP, (St. Martin) extolled the Preaching Of and In Our Lives emphasizing the need to know who you are when you preach. On Saturday morning, Margaret Ormond, OP,(Columbus) Former Director of Dominican Sisters International (DSI) and Rose Ann Schlitt, OP (Adrian) Dominican Volunteers International, shared the fullness of the Order in over 100 countries.

Later that afternoon, Jenn Schaaf (Columbus) , associate, and Mary Soher, OP (Adrian) reviewed the growth of the movement and recounted their participation at the representative assembly last August in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

By Saturday evening, the group decided to form an interim board consisting of a representative from each of the four regions of those who attended the meeting. Two young adults will share the responsibilities of keeping the communications flowing among all those interested. In addition, committees were set up to look at the Mission/Vision Statements of the group, to begin formulating initial and on-going formation materials, a group to plan next year’s gathering and a committee to look at the organizational structure.

Some Background to the Dominician Youth Movement

The IDYM, International Young Adult Movement, started in Ireland in the early 1990’s when young adults were looking for small faith communities and felt the draw of the Dominican charism. By 1995, Father Timothy Radcliffe, OP, then Master of the Order, met with the young and encouraged them to dream. In Spain in 1996 almost 300 youth between the ages of 18 and 35 gathered under the theme, “Drinking from Our Own Well.” Representatives were present from Africa, Asia and Latin America in addition to Europe.

In the 1998 Chapter of the Dominican Friars in Bologna, Italy, a representative of
the IDYM was invited to attend. It was at this gathering that the friars officially
recognized this group as part of the Domincian Family.

Sister Pat Brady (Adrian) became interested in the second gathering in Spain in
1997. It was from this energy that the Dominican High School Preaching
Conference was born. In 2002, Sister Gina Fleming, OP (Amityville), and Sister
Madeleine Murphy, OP (Sparkill) collaborated to launch the first College and
University “Preaching In Action” Conference. The outgrowth of both conferences
is now the Dominican Young Adults USA. This movement will be designed,
implemented and promoted by the young adults on fire with the Dominican

The formation of this new entity will allow our young adults from the United
States to make the leap into the International scene and begin the process of
membership in IDYM (the International Dominican Youth Movement). Our young
adults who become members of DYA USA will be invited to attend the next
gathering of IDYM to be held in Portugal in 2009.




Related Links:

Dominican High School Preaching Program

Dominican College Preaching Program

International Young Adult Movement



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