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"What does the grace of preaching mean today?

International Preaching Commission Calls on
Dominican Family to Reflect Together on Mission

dominic and the innkeeperSANTA SABINA, ROME - March 12, 2007-- The first meeting of the newly created International Preaching Commission of the Order was held here February 11-14, 2007.

Quoting fr. Carlos Azpiroz Costa: " the grace of preaching had been given by the Holy Spirit to the entire family for the renewal of preaching in the Church and world,"-- the commission explored a variety of questions and realities around how Dominicans collaborate in the preaching mission. The promoters of preaching have recieved information and a report on this meeting and are being asked to follow up within their own congregations and provinces to inititate conversation and reflection.

Mary Catherine Hilkert (Akron) reported that the meeting was a wonderful experience of Dominican collaboration and dialogue among the friars, sisters, and lay members of the Order.

She noted that the nuns were among the first to send their reflections on the preaching charism of the Order to Santa Sabina and that they supported the meeting of this Commission with their prayers as well. Catherine commented that although the members of the Commission came from diverse contexts and had different concerns and expectations, the group was in full agreement that preaching is at the heart of our vocation and identity.

The Commission was eager to invite all branches of the Order to explore the implications of that conviction for our theological formation, for the lifestyle in our houses, and for more effective forms of collaboration among the branches of the Order. Read the Commission's Letter to the Family.

The Commission was established in 2006 by the Master of the Order Carlos Aspiroz as a standing commission of the Order. When he met with the Commission in February, Carlos encouraged the members to consider the following questions: "What does the grace of preaching mean today? How do we bring about the renewal of preaching in the entire Order as essential to our common vocation? Within that context, how can we open and widen institutional authorization to preach?" He also remarked that this was not a task for the friars alone, but needed the reflection of the whole family if the Order was to grow in all its branches.

Catherine expressed the hope that those in positions of leadership in the Dominican Order in the United States and the promoters of preaching will take up the invitation of the Commission to find ways to structure conversations in our congregations, provinces, and area meetings around the following two questions and to send the results of those discussions to the Commission as a resource for its future work.

1. We invite you to share with us your own experiences of collaboration and your hopes, difficulties and dreams of how we can work together more fully in the future.

2. We urge you to share with us models for making our houses a Holy

Members of the Commission are appointed for a four-year term. In addition to the questions listed above, future meetings of the Commission will include discussion of new forms of evangelization and the specific challenges that preachers face in diverse settings around the globe, the necessity of listening to the concerns of our hearers and the world before preaching, the importance of emphasizing the liberating power of the Word and action on behalf of justice and peace as integral to our preaching of the Gospel, and study and discussion of the question of authorization for preaching by the non-ordained in the liturgical context.

Related Links:

A Report on Work in Progress A letter to the Domincian Family about the Preaching Work of the Order.

Download a Word version of the Commission letter here.

Read the Summary on Dominican Charism of Preaching
(Word document)

International Preaching Commission:

Sr Viviana Ballarin, OP
Sr. Blanca Gomez, OP
Sr. M. Catherine Hilkert, OP
Sr Petronille Kayiba, OP
(DR Congo)
Duncan MacLaren, OPL (Scotland)
Allan White, OP
Sidbé Sempore, OP
(Cote d’Ivoire)
Daniel Cadrin, OP
Felicisimo Martinez, OP

Ex officio members
Marcio Couto, OP
Chrys McVey, OP

Cathy Hilkert
US member of the International Preaching Commission, Mary Catherine Hilkert, OP (Akron)


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