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Sister Joan Delaplane, OP, Speaks on the Dominican Charism of Preaching

May 20, 2021, Adrian, Michigan – St. Dominic, Dominican saints, numerous Dominican Sisters, and everyday people preach the Word of God in a variety of ways – not only from the pulpit. All Christians, in fact, are called to preach the love of God with their lives.

Sister Joan Delaplane, OP

That was the message that Sister Joan Delaplane, OP, brought in her presentation, “The Spirituality of the Preacher.” Her live streamed presentation on May 13, 2021, was part of a series of monthly talks coordinated by the Spirituality Committee of the Adrian Dominican Sisters.

“The Spirit has given specific charisms or gifts to certain people so their spirituality will have a focus,” said Sister Joan, a spiritual director, retreat director, and former Professor of Homiletics at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, Missouri. She gave the examples of Franciscans, who focus on poverty and simplicity, and the Sisters of Mercy, whose lives revolve around the Corporal and Spiritual Acts of Mercy. “We Dominicans – or Order of Preachers – remind the baptized that all are called to share the good news of God’s saving love for each of us,” she said.

While many equate preaching with the message of priests or ministers at the pulpit, Sister Joan emphasized preaching in a broader sense. St. Dominic spent one night on a bar stool preaching God’s love to a bartender. Preaching can also be through teaching or art and, in the case of Sister Joan’s sister, Adrian Dominican Sister Marya Delaplane, OP, through years of illness and suffering. But, Sister Joan emphasized, preaching can also take place in very simple ways. She recalled a maintenance man at St. Louis University who, when asked how he was, typically responded, “Ah, blessed!”

Sister Joan noted that in their lives of preaching, Dominicans are grounded in prayer, study, and community, which, together with preaching or ministry, make up the four pillars of Dominican life. “We have seen one another give witness to our Co-workers, our local community, our family and friends [through] our desire to pray, to live simply,” she said. “All is a holy preaching.” She encouraged her listeners to “go in peace and preach the Word with your lips and your life.”

Watch the entire presentation below.


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