Sharing the Dominican tradition with a new generation: The 2018 Dominican High Schools Preaching Conference

Albertus Magnus High School (AMHS) in Bardonia, NY, is a long-held sponsored ministry of the Sparkill congregation. Since the school was established in 1960, the Sisters have focused on providing their students with a quality education dedicated to teaching Catholic doctrine and Gospel values and instilling in them an appreciation for the Dominican tradition of preaching God’s Word. For the last 5 years the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill have taken pride in providing grant funding to their students so that they may attend the annual National Dominican High Schools Preaching Conference, which empowers high schoolers to discover and deepen the preacher within themselves through prayer, study, community, and service (the Four Pillars of Dominican Life.) 

“We see this as an important opportunity to share our Dominican tradition with a new generation,” Sr. Eileen Gannon said, who presented to students at the conference for many years. “I have personally witnessed their enthusiasm and commitment to taking the Dominican values they learn back to their own school communities to engage their classmates and deepen their identities as members of the Dominican Family. It is wonderful to see the results of that learning here at Dominican Convent, too, when Albertus students come to preach during our Advent and Lenten Vesper services.” 

From June 25-30, Sr. Nancy Richter, Campus Minister at AMHS, traveled with four student members of the school’s Preaching Team to participate in the 2018 conference. Giovanni Cotaj, Cole Fredericks, Faith Metcalf and Tricia Possell, pictured below with Sr. Nancy, joined students and mentors from 19 other Dominican High Schools from across the US at Siena Heights University in Adrian, MI. 

From planning and conducting prayer services, listening to energetic keynote speakers, “meeting” Dominican Saints, exploring social justice issues, and experiencing creative workshops, to engaging in service, the students learned that preaching is done in many ways. They were then challenged to create goals to bring home to their schools to deepen faculty and student awareness of the Four Pillars of Dominican Life.

The conference was born out of the Dominican Youth Movement USA, which connects today’s youth and young adults to the Dominican tradition of preaching, creating future leaders of the Church who will preach the Good News as they share, explore, and integrate their faith with family, community, and the world.

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