Dominican High Schools Preaching Conference
June 24 – June 29
Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan
Written by: Dahissa Auguste, Sandy Angeli, and Sarah Jeantel
At the Dominican Youth Preaching Conference, we were introduced to four important aspects of our lives: study, prayer, service, and community. We learned that study is crucial for success, as it is what God wants for us out of love. Mr. Michael Petro emphasized the importance of prayer and remarked that our Bibles were most likely sitting and collecting dust. He asked, “How are we supposed to get closer to God and understand his sayings if we do not open our Bible?” By reading and applying God's teachings in our daily lives, we can grow closer to him. We do this through service when we give back to the community.
We had the opportunity during our time in Michigan to serve at various outreach programs, such as Habitat for Humanity, the Catherine Cobb House, and Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Michigan. We discovered that when we reach out to our communities and join one another, we share our weaknesses and strengths, so we no longer see the world solely through our struggles.
Preaching proclaims the story, memory, presence, and grace of the Living World. It serves as a reminder of God's continuous presence, regardless of the preaching environment. We learned there were various ways in which Dominicans use art to spread the Gospel: through liturgical dance, music, collage, creative writing, and clay work. The sessions we attended taught us to combine images, sculptures, and movement to convey religious themes and expressions. We also attended workshops on contemporary issues, like the human rights of women, the plight of migrants, and the Gospel call for the inclusion of people with disabilities.
In our home groups, we made new friends and reflected on our preaching skills. We attended presentations on St. Dominic, St. Catherine of Siena, and St. Rose of Lima, and learned how they devoted their life to God despite the challenges they faced along the journey. In addition, we learned the basics of group facilitation: leaving expectations at the door, creating a safe environment, engaging with others, and sharing leadership. We gained insight into the many branches of the Dominican Family: Friars, Sisters, Brothers, Nuns, Lay Dominicans, Associates, and Dominican Young Adults USA. We learned about their lives and how each of their roles serves as direct forms of preaching through teaching, social work, and more.
We, the preachers of Albertus Magnus High School, hope to bring back what we learned from the preaching conference. This includes offering a student reflection at our monthly masses and seasonal prayer services, posting an inspirational quote of the week around our school, and focusing on a different Dominican saint each month and highlighting his/her efforts to preach the Truth.
Dahissa Auguste, Sandy Angeli, and Sarah Jeantel
Albertus Magnus High School
Bardonia, New York