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Parable Conference for Dominican Life and Mission Announces Closure

(Forest Park, IL)  June 11, 2008 -- After thoughtful discernment and extensive consultation with leadership throughout the Dominican Family, the Board of Directors of the Parable Conference for Dominican Life and Mission has decided to dissolve the Conference. The anticipated announcement comes as the last Lands of Dominic pilgrimages wind their way through Spain, France and Italy. The closure comes at a time of substantial change within the US Dominican Family.

“We believe that our mission of ‘uniting the energies of the entire Dominican Family in the US for the sake of preaching the Gospel’ remains a dream worthy of our best efforts, and we can see many ways in which the dream is being fulfilled,” said Sr. Maureen Geary, OP, (Grand Rapids) President of the Board of Directors. “Today broad and deep collaboration among Dominican nuns, friars, laity, associates, sisters and companions in mission has become more of an expectation as Dominicans of all ways of life are coming together in person and in cyberspace to seek truth in order to speak truth.”

The Board solicited input in a letter sent to leaders of various Dominican entities across the United States in early January 2008. Board members came to their decision in light of limited financial resources and the input they received from the letter.  They are now planning for dissolution of Parable Conference in a manner consistent with their mission of collaboration, which will include:

  • fulfilling all program commitments, including the 2008 Lands of Dominic pilgrimages,
  • bequeathing program materials for open use by the entire Dominican Family, including the Lands of Dominic Pilgrimage and the At Home with Dominic Retreat, and
  • developing a plan to distribute Parable’s remaining assets to other Dominican entities in accordance with the Conference’s bylaws.

Sr. Connie Schoen, OP, Parable’s most recent Executive Director, noted: “We want to express our profound gratitude for the grace that Parable has been to the Order these past 32 years and for the women and men whose vision and hard work made the gifts of collaboration enjoyed today a reality and a legacy for future generations. We are all thankful for the preaching charism entrusted to us as a Dominican Family and we hope that each one of us will embrace personally our common call to collaborative preaching of the gospel through our shared life and mission.”

Parable Conference was born in 1976 out of dialogue and collaborative thinking from a group of US Dominicans, women and men, who believed that the Order’s preaching mission could best be carried forward by uniting their efforts to address the needs of the contemporary church and world. Following in the 800-year-old tradition and spirit of St. Dominic de Guzman, Parable Conference has worked with the Dominican Family—laity, associates, sisters, nuns, friars, and companions in mission—to preach the Gospel.

Parable Conference has offered itself as preacher, teacher, initiator, convener, scholar, writer, publisher, promoter, advocate, conversationalist, servant, and friend so that the Order of Preachers may fulfill its responsibility to announce God’s transforming Word of love, hope, justice, mercy, and peace throughout the world.

Contributors:   Maureen Geary, OP, Colleen Mary Mallon, OP, Nathan Mihelich, Mary Jean Traeger, OP

Resources from the Parable office, such as the Parable journal, will be available from their website until June 30, 2008.

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