Caldwell University students Farah Leon and Sean Puzzo, along with Chaplain Father Albert Berner attended the Preaching In Action Conference from May 19–24 at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan.
They joined students from Dominican colleges and universities, and colleges that have a Dominican presence, to learn about many aspects of preaching.
Puzzo said he learned that preaching is “much more than spreading the Good News from a pulpit” and includes action in one’s daily life.
Seminars ranged from Preaching Through Service, Preaching Through the Signs of the Times, Preaching Through the Arts and more. They heard from speakers on the history of the Dominicans and the order of Preachers. They were talks from Dominicans who are engaged in social justice issues. They learned about prayer, service, community and ways of making preaching a living dynamic, through lens of the Catholic Dominican charism. They also took part in community service projects.
Leon was enthused to hear that the Dominican charism could be applied to one’s everyday life and jobs.
The conference was “full of energy”, she said, and she was grateful for the relationships she formed with the students and staff, in particular the Dominican Sisters. “They were so full of wisdom” and had so many interesting stories to share, she said.
The most rewarding aspect for Puzzo, was seeing the “living presence” of the charism of the Dominicans and the “strong presence of Christ” each day in the students, mentors and staff as they lived together, prayed together and served together at the conference.
Leon appreciated the presentations that focused on how to apply the Dominican pillars to one’s lifestyle, job, and everyday life.
Puzzo said St. Catherine of Siena’s saying “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire,” resonated with him.
Puzzo, Leon, and Father Al discussed a plan for Caldwell University to develop a Dominican Young Adults chapter. They will be working with Sister Kathleen Tuite, vice president of student life, to make that chapter a reality in the new academic year.