DYA USA National Online Gathering

Young Preachers Gather For Virtual Meeting

By Sean Mundy

On the precipice of the Aug. 8 feast day of St. Dominic, local chapters of the Dominican Young Adults (DYA) met on Saturday, Aug. 2 in New York at Molloy College and St. Thomas Aquinas College, in Chicago, in Michigan at Siena Heights University, and even in Kenya, Africa (special appearance by Br. Lorenzo Laorden, OP doing mission work there). Connecting via technology, more than 20 young adults were able to gather nationally without paying a cent!

Seven years ago, DYA-USA began. A nation of college students who had attended the College Preaching in Action Conference had met in Columbus, Ohio, to plant the seed of a national group of young Dominicans. They met again in 2008 in Madison, Wisconsin, and DYA-USA officially formed and launched their web site. In 2009, DYA was officially recognized by the International Dominican Youth Movement (IDYM), at the International Gathering in Fatima, Portugal, and IDYM held its International Gathering in Bogota, Columbia in 2013, where two DYA USA members were elected onto the five person International Commission (Sean Mundy from Chicago as Promoter of Communications and Lyamar Diaz-Rodriguez from Puerto Rico as Promoter of Formation).

In 2010, members from various DYA groups met at the first National Gathering in Chicago. Many members are excited about the possibility of representing DYA-USA at World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland in 2016, at various world activities for the 800th Jubilee of the Dominican Order, and at the next IDYM International Gathering abroad.

The DYA Executive Board felt that it was necessary to find a way to meet nationally, yet allow for young adults to attend without incurring travel expenses. Google+ has designed a way for people in different locations to “hangout” in a video chat room (with numerous other features, including chat, Google Drive integration, screen sharing capabilities, the ability to watch a common YouTube video right in the chat room, and more). With a great deal of tech preparation by Sean Mundy, DYA Executive Board National Coordinator, each local chapter was able to connect.

The online gathering began with Sean giving an introduction to the Dominican Young Adults. Then, the groups came together to recognize God’s presence among them in a national prayer service. The service included opening and closing prayers collected by Andrew Abberton of the Molloy chapter, a reading from Corinthians, Psalm 91, and a reading from the Gospel of Matthew. Preaching from Sister Jenn Schaaf, OP (Blauvelt) regarding alternatives to obsessions with money, sex, and power, guided us in reflecting about what it means to be a young adult preacher in our chaotic world. Petitions were collected prior to the meeting from the chapter members. Others were spoken aloud and some were kept in the silence of our hearts. We closed with a song by the JJ Weeks Band called, “Let Them See You.”

After this, the voting for the 2014–2015 National Executive Board was held via an online form on Google Drive. Applicants sent in a short video introducing themselves and why they want to be on the Executive Board. These were posted on the DYA YouTube Page so the local chapter members could learn about each candidate. In a change in the structure of leadership, the members of DYA USA elected Andrew Abberton (from the DYA Molloy Chapter) as President/National Coordinator, Carissa Rivera (from the DYA St. Thomas Aquinas Chapter) as Vice President/Formation and Membership Chair, Mike Malinowski (originally part of the Molloy chapter, but is working to create a DYA Barry University Chapter) as Secretary/Communications Chair, and Brianna Frazer (from the DYA Siena Heights University Chapter) as Finance/Social Justice Chair. Continuing his leadership will be former National Coordinator, Sean Mundy (from the DYA Chicago Chapter) to mentor the new Executive Board in this transition.

Much gratitude was given to the outgoing 2012–2014 National Executive Board, Sean Mundy (National Coordinator), Lyamar Rodriguez-Diaz (Membership/Formation Chair), Katy Somerfield (Communications Chair), and Andrew Vivian (Social Justice Chair) for their two years of service and leadership.

Next, a representative from each chapter was able to speak about their progress over the past two years, including numerous acts of service, and to share their hopes and future plans. This insight allows newer or continuing groups to learn about best practices for such a young organization.

Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, members of the International Commission of IDYM were unable to present about their progress, but videos will be coming to the DYA Youtube channel shortly with updates. Sean Mundy helped shed light on some of the work of the International Commission. For example, International Coordinator Jose Alberto de Blas (Spain) visited both the Philippines and the African gathering of Dominican Youth, and Daniel Toledo (Guatemala) and Leo de Laquila (Brazil) visited Colombia and other Central and Southern American countries to speak with the young adults there. Sean Mundy and Lyamar Rodriguez-Diaz will also be participating in the Dominican Laity Congress in Dallas, Texas to speak about DYA and IDYM.

In trying to continue the connection between Dominican Volunteers USA and DYA (many young adults participate in both programs), we decided to end with the tradition of singing the Dominican Blessing as a commissioning of its members.

Overall, the event was a huge success. With the help of the new Executive Board, we are excited to create new DYA chapters throughout the United States. Existing chapters will undoubtedly continue to make an impact in their local areas through prayer, community, preaching, and service.

For more information about Dominican Young Adults USA, visit their web site at http://www.dya-usa.org.

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National Gathering Executive Board Election

When we all connect via Google+ for our National Gathering on August 2nd, we will be electing a new National Executive Board. Essentially Sean Mundy will stay on for a year as a mentor to help in the transition to the new board, then we will elect a President/National Coordinator (will serve 1 yr term, then stay on as mentor for 1 more), Vice President/Membership and Formation Chair (Will serve 1 yr as VP, then assume the Presidency for 1 yr, then advisor for 1 more), Secretary/Communications Chair (1 yr term), and Finance/Social Justice Chair (1 yr term). If you are interested in applying, please send a short video introduction (Name, age, college/university/job, hometown/state, and why you think you are qualified to serve on the Executive Board) to dyacommunications@gmail.com. All submissions will be put on our YouTube channel and viewed by all active members before elections are held. Any questions? Please e-mail DYA National Coordinator, Sean Mundy, at dyanatcor@gmail.com.National Board Election Structure

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Save the Date!

Save the Date!

DYA National Online Gathering on August 2, 2014!

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Acts of the Apostles 2: 44-47

44 All who believed were together and had all things in common; 45 they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

Acts of the Apostles 4: 32-35

32 Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. 33 With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. 35 They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.

Acts of the Apostles 5: 14-16

14 Yet more than ever believers were added to the Lord, great numbers of both men and women, 15 so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on cots and mats, in order that Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he came by. 16 A great number of people would also gather from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all cured.

  • How can we look to religious communities of Dominican friars, brothers, and sisters as examples of the good works of many committed to the faith?
  • How can we as lay people in the church and Dominican Young Adults gather and share our resources with others?
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Luke 15: 12-17

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

  • What current events in our world are showing an absence of love for one another?
  • How can we study the commandments and implement them in our own lives?
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Matthew 6: 5-6

5 “And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.

6 But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

  • How can we pray in public without being like the hypocrites?
  • What do you gain out of personal prayer in private?
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“No one has eve…

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank

Want to give to the DYA USA community? As the Board begins planning for our National Gathering this summer, we are looking for dedicated and generous members to pitch in with some extra tasks. If you are interested, please contact one of our board members. 

Sean (National Coordinator) –  dyanatcor@gmail.com

Lyamar (Membership & Formation) – dya.membershipformation@gmail.com

Katy (Communication) – dyacommunications@gmail.com

Andrew (Social Justice) – dyausa.socialjustice@gmail.com

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Luke 4:17-19

17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are oppressed,
19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”

  • How do you preach the Good News to the poor, the captives, the blind, and the oppressed?
  • How has ministry brought you joy? How has it been challenging to you?
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John 17:20-23

20 “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.

22 The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.

  • What can we learn about community from the Trinity?
  • What do it mean to you to be “perfected in unity” with all God’s people?
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John 1:17-18

17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

  • How have you come to know God through Jesus?
  • What has been the impact of grace on your understanding of truth? And vice versa?
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