A Night to Remember…
The night began with a warm welcome to all as gala attendees joined virtually across the USA. Many heard, for the first time, about how DYM USA was formed from our existing programs serving our youth and the plan to financially sustain these programs, as well as new programs, both now and into the future. The brief presentation of DYM USA’s history was followed by an introduction of the 12 members of our current board of directors.
A few young adults were highlighted during the gala, including Michelle Martin, Enrique Trejo, and Mateo Gomez. Each spoke about their involvement in DYM USA and the impact the organization has had on their lives.
We moved on to answer the question, “Who was Sister Pat Brady, and why does she have an award named after her?” This award given out at the gala was named after Sister Pat because of her proactive visioning in initiating the first National High School Preaching Conference and planting the seed for this organization. She may not have known it then, but her vision was the impetus of a dream we were able to put into action – a national organization that would house all of the youth programs for the Dominican Order.
As the night proceeded, Sister Patricia “Patty” Harvat, OP stepped in to introduce the honoree Sister Mary Soher, OP, an Adrian Dominican and a newly elected member of the leadership team of the Adrian Dominicans. Sister Patty framed her remarks about Mary in the context of three genres, “Mardi Gras,” “Winnie-the-Pooh,” and “Teilhard de Chardin.” In summary, she explained that Mary “caught” the graces of generosity, inclusivity, kindness, and compassion, makes “every day special” for those she encounters, and is deeply spiritual in all of her endeavors.
Patty also spoke about Sister Mary’s untiring work to create the best possible conference for our young high school students. She spoke about Mary’s creativity in updating the conference with presentations that were timely, informative, and very thought-provoking. Under Sister Mary’s direction, the number of participating schools in the conference doubled. The number of participants grew exponentially, from the original 23 to, at times, over 100 per conference. The conference was focused on creating opportunities for the students to “awaken” the preacher within each of them. For some, it was an experience that will change their lives forever, and in some cases, it already has! Yes, Mary has worked tirelessly for the past 10+ years in passing on our beloved charism to the next generation of preachers.
Unbeknownst to Sister Mary, we arranged to collect videos from many of her friends, colleagues, sisters in the congregation, and family members congratulating her on receiving the Sr. Pat Brady award. It was very touching to see her reaction to all the praise and adulation.
After the congratulatory video, DYM USA presented the award to Sister Mary, and the gala attendees heard from Mary herself who spoke about her journey and those who played an important part in it.
Finally, it was time for the PRIZES!!!!! All of the names of those who purchased event tickets were put on our prize wheel ahead of time, so the only thing left was to have the computer spin the wheel and pick a winner! After the wheel finished spinning, the name of the winner was flashed across the screen accompanied by bells, whistles, and all the fanfare of a carnival drawing. It was a lot of fun to watch for both winners and attendees alike!
See snapshots from the event below!
Congratulations to our winners of the night…
Margie Davis, OP
The end of the evening came quickly. We ended the night with thank yous and special mentions for those who made the gala possible. Patrick Spedale, the co-chair of our Board of Directors, concluded with a final blessing. We are grateful for the technology that enabled us to host the event, and for all of our gala attendees and donors.
As this was our inaugural gala, we hope that it is the beginning of many to come! If you didn’t have the opportunity to join us this year, keep an eye out for the Save The Date for next year! Until then, “May the Preaching Continue in Our Very Lives.”
In Dominic and Catherine,
Sister Gina Fleming, OP