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Dominican Youth

Dominican congregations across the U.S. are joining efforts to reach out to young adults to invigorate them with the Dominican pillars of preaching, prayer
and study. One such effort is the annual Dominican High Schools Preaching Conference held in the summer for junior and senior students interested in participating from the 31 Dominican high schools in the country.

For more information about the annual preaching conference, contact Patricia Brady, OP, at (708) 409-8779 or pbrady8798@aol.com, or visit the Dominican youth web site at www.op.org/opteens/.


Siena Heights University Hosts Teen
Preachers from Dominican High Schools in 2006
Father Timothy Radcliffe spoke of finding hope in today's troubled world.

The Dominican High Schools Preaching Conference was in full swing Monday morning, June 26, as Former Master of the Order Timothy Radcliffe, OP, addressed the students gathered in Lumen Ecclesiae Chapel at Siena Heights University in Adrian. Focusing on “Preaching and the Signs of the Times,” Father Timothy shared a bit about his path to becoming a Dominican, then spoke about what he views is the biggest challenge for Dominicans today: how to transmit hope in a chaotic world.

“There is a real crisis of hope,” Father Timothy said, citing examples such as war, terrorism, the AIDS crisis, high suicide rates among young people, and ecological devastation. “We don’t have a story of hope to tell us where humanity is headed. We haven’t got a story about the future — we know we’re on the way to the kingdom, but we don’t know what will happen in the next 100 years.”

Father Timothy connected with the teens during his talk, which was peppered with anecdotes about his experiences of visiting the poor and marginalized peoples of the world.

Father Timothy said it’s necessary to look for signs of hope and forgiveness in our everyday lives, and to share hope with others using signs that speak of the value of a person and that are about communion and happiness — signs that Jesus exhibited during the Last Supper. Even though Jesus knew he was going to be crucified, Father Timothy noted, he still had a joyful, communal experience of sharing the Last Supper with his disciples. “What are the signs you can make now for a life of happiness?,” he asked the junior and senior high school students.

Following Father Timothy’s talk, the students broke into focus groups devoted to the signs of the times, including the United Nations and peace, human trafficking, capital punishment, and the future of our natural world. During the rest of the conference, which ends June 29, students will participate in immersion experiences in Ann Arbor that will enable them to put their faith in action. They will also participate in workshops on preaching through the creative arts as well as meet the Adrian Dominican Sisters who have served as their prayer partners.

Though Monday was only the second full day of activities, the students were already having a blast. Jordan Dawn, 16, of Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy in La Canada, California, said she’s enjoyed meeting the different teens from across the U.S., and looks forward to the rest of the week. Her classmate Laura Montorio, 15, agreed, and added that she liked Father Timothy’s talk. “He knew what to say to us,” she said