“We know it’s a truism to say “young people are our hope,” but indeed, I experienced the TRUTH of that on July 16 when I spent a morning with about a dozen Dominican Young Adults on the topic of how one finds one’s mission in life and seeks out ways to live that out in service. I found the young women & men so open & enthusiastic about their Dominican vocation in the world … which they have absorbed, it seems to me, from a variety of sources: their education in Dominican institutions of higher education, the variety of Preaching Conferences they have attended, and the individual Dominicans who have befriended, taught, and mentored them.
I have ministered long enough in college campus ministry (30 years) to pick up when the ardor of the young is a “flash in the pan” & when it promises to really catch fire in their lives. My experience of these young adults, even for such a short but intense time, leads me to believe that this is “for real.” They are grasping what the four pillars are & their importance for their own lives and for the life of the world. And they are owning the charism of preaching as a baptismal responsibility, as well as a lasting legacy of their Dominican education.
During the time I was with them, I heard two fine homilies in the context of communal prayer.
On that Friday, I went from the DYA meeting to the Pax Christi National Conference in another part of Chicago. Bryan Massingale was keynoter for that. He ended his presentation with the story of his grandmother, who attended his graduation, perhaps at the conferring of his doctorate (I’m not sure of which degree) and asked him this question: “Who are you going to help with your education? What are you going to use it for?” My sense of the folks in DYA is that they intend to use their education for the building of a holy and just society.”
During the weekend, several Dominicans offered valuable input and material that supported our work. Maureen McDonnell, OP (Sinsinawa) began the weekend by deepening the group’s awareness of the mission of the Order and the intricacies of service. “Sr. Maureen spoke to us about the importance of the love of God and the love of neighbor and being able to keep both of those in balance,” Louise Phelps (Wisconsin) explained. www.wisdomswell.org