By Mary Soher, OP
Twenty-five Dominican High Schools participated in the 14th Annual Preaching Conference, June 26–July 1, 2012 at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan. For six days, 99 students and their mentors immersed themselves into the Dominican charism.
The theme “In Every Moment” challenged the participants. We pray, in every moment, when we start, and don’t wait for someone else. As we study, in every moment, we gain momentum about what we are praying for. As community, we become momentus. And, as we preach in every moment, we leave each person we meet with a momento of the Truth.
Students and mentors took this challenge to heart as presenters shared with them the history of our Dominican Saints, our reading of the signs of the times, our willingness to be of service with others, and our opportunity to preach through the arts. At the closing liturgy, celebrated in the motherhouse chapel of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, schools proclaimed their action plans, the fruits of the conference that they would be sharing with their school communities in the coming year.
What are the fruits of the conference? The young preachers say it best:
This conference was a huge eye-opener to me. It displayed the diversity a single country can have while allowing a positive environment for teens to share their love for their faith. It is a conference that anyone should be honored to be invited to. — Madeline “Maddie” Munch, St. Mary’s Dominican High School, New Orleans, Louisiana
The truth, veritas, lies in being yourself — Natanael F. Perez Cordero, Colegio San Antonio, Puerto Rico
Thank you so much! It was a great opportunity that allowed my preaching and faith to take action! — Olivia Ceja, Sacred Heart High School, Los Angeles, California
There is no other place for any high schooler who loves his/her Dominican faith and truly wants to set the world ablaze. — Vincent King, St. Pius X High School, Houston, Texas
It lets God work inside of you. — Samuel Vitulli, St. Pius X High School, Houston, Texas
You may come a preacher, but you’ll leave knowing you will go out and PREACH! — Lauren Hand, St. Pius X High School, Houston, Texas
Being at this conference for a few days, I have had many experiences, memories, made great friends, and I’ll remember my time here forever. — Sophia Merino, Dominican Academy, New York City, New York
This conference really opens our eyes to the different ways we can go out and preach God’s word, not to mention creating very strong friendships with one another. — Maria Lipscomb, Dominican High School, Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin
You reach a place inside yourself that is unknown to you now. — Allyson Ihlenfeldt, Sacred Heart-Griffin High School, Springfield, Illinois
It’s a great experience for anyone who wants to lead a better life. — Nate Graham, Edgewood High School, Madison, Wisconsin
Preaching camp changed my life. I learned how to preach, what to preach, and who to preach to so that I may forever be with God, whether it be through dance, service, or prayer. — Margaret Korb, Edgewood High School, Madison, Wisconsin
Best week of my life! — Devon James, Rosary High School, Aurora, Illinois
This collaborative effort involves the Dominican sisters of Adrian, Amityville, Houston, Mission San Jose, Peace, San Rafael, Sinsinawa, and Springfield, and the Dominican friars of the provinces of St. Albert the Great and St. Martin de Porres, along with the Dominican Volunteers, the National College Preaching in Action Conference, and Dominican Young Adults USA. A list of 2012 presenters is available online.
Anyone interested in attending the conference or participating as a presenter is encouraged to contact Mary Soher, OP, conference director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit the High School Preaching Conference web site.