Preaching


The OP after our names stands for “Order of Preachers,” the formal name of the religious order founded in 1216 by St. Dominic. As Dominicans, we preach with our lives—in both word and deed—guided by a search for truth (veritas) and a commitment to contemplate and share the fruits of our contemplation (contemplate et aliis tradere). 

Our Dominican lives are shaped by the interconnecting movements of study, prayer, communal life, and ministry. 

Dominic so firmly believed in the importance of study to the preaching mission that he provided a rule of “dispensation” from other responsibilities in the event they interfered with study. We are women committed to study. Through prayer and contemplation we interiorize our learnings and enter into communion with the Source of all truth. Our communal life orients us to the common good of the whole Earth community. And in ministry, our preaching takes effect.

As women of the Gospel, our preaching is also expressed in word. Read reflections on the Word of God posted by Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates on the Praedicare Blog below.

 


Preaching for 2024 Jubilee Liturgy by Sister Elise D. García, OP

2024 Jubilee Liturgy
Preaching by Sister Elise D. García, OP

Saturday, June 22, 2024
Isaiah 12:3-6
Philippians 1:3-6
Luke 1:39-56

Sister Elise D. García, OP

Happy Jubilee, Jubilarians! ¡Feliz Jubileo! Congratulations y felicidades.

On behalf of all your Adrian Dominican Sisters let me express our deep gratitude to you for your 25, 60, 70, 75 and 80 years of life as faithful, loving Dominicans.

As I look around this chapel, I am so mindful of all the shoulders we stand on, of all those who came before us and have loved and guided us to this moment. It is right and just that we should bring into our awareness your parents, grandparents, siblings and family members who helped shape you before you entered, especially those who supported you in making this radical life choice.

It is also good to think about the teachers and Sisters who inspired you – the ones you credit with helping you become who you are today. I’m sure you can picture them or call up their names.

Think of your fellow crowd members here present, of all those we honored yesterday, and others in your hearts who helped you make it through, among other things, formation! And all the Sister-friends and other friends who have been with you through thick and thin over the years.

Let us remember too all the women, men and children you served through each of your ministries – who loved and challenged you in life-changing ways. And the amazing colleagues and partners in mission with whom you shared life and ministry.

This chapel is packed to the rafters with your ancestors, a host of beloved Sisters, friends, and admirers, along with, of course, the good friends and family members who were able to join you here today or watching via live stream. Welcome! ¡Bienvenidos!

They are all part of the incredible journey that the One who began a good work in you continues to shape and to mold in you to this day.

As I reflected on the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians and today’s Gospel reading of the Visitation, I wondered: Is it too far-fetched to think that the One who began a good work in you might have started it in your mother’s womb? Let’s look at the Gospel reading. Two pregnant women, relatives, encounter each other at opposite ends of child-bearing age – an unmarried teenager and an elder who thought herself well past child-bearing years. They are an unlikely and rather scandalous pair. But in their encounter with one another they at once recognize the One who had begun a good work in each of them – and through them.

As the authors of Wisdom Commentary write, “Mary’s blessedness is not only in bearing Jesus but in hearing and acting on the word of God, a prominent Lukan theme.”

At a time when both experience astonishment and vulnerability, Mary and Elizabeth lean on each other through the joy and the suffering that comes from hearing and acting on the word of God.

Hearing and acting on the word of God is what brought each one of you to the doorstep of religious life 25, 60, 70, 75, and 80 years ago. For all we know that call may have been in you – the essence of you – from the time you were in your mother’s womb, growing in God’s good time until it finally sounded. I am sure each of you can remember that moment – or those moments – when you heard the sound of the call.

The Visitation speaks to us of the salvific power of women’s love and companioning sisterhood. The authors of the Wisdom Commentary write:

“The companionship of Elizabeth and Mary is mirrored by that of the Galilean women who cooperate in financing Jesus’s ministry, work together to prepare the spices and ointments for his burial, go with one another to the tomb, and together to announce to the Eleven and all the rest the message entrusted to them by the heavenly messengers.”

The companionship of Elizabeth and Mary is likewise mirrored by your companionship, as Dominican Sisters, as you worked together and with so many others to advance the Mission in such an astonishing diversity of ways with extraordinary fruitfulness – through times of great joy and also, no doubt, of suffering.

Jubilarians, you have gifted us and all those you served as K-12 teachers, including music, speech and drama, and the arts; school principals, presidents, and superintendents of schools. Through ministries in colleges, universities and seminaries, you have served as vice presidents, administrators, deans, department heads, dormitory rectors, and campus ministers, as well as instructors, lecturers, and professors in a wide range of fields – from theology, liturgy and religious education to music, criminal justice, social work, and ceramics. You have served as educational and Montessori consultants, librarians, archivists, and literacy center directors and tutors.

Among you are those who have tended the hearts, minds and spirits of so many in need of your care as chaplains, social workers, counselors, psychotherapists, spiritual directors and directors of retreat centers. Your healing care has also been offered through your work in hospital administration and hospice care and as nurses, clinicians, massage therapists and in care for adults with disabilities

Many parishes have been blessed by your service as administrators, religious educators, music and liturgical directors, in faith formation, pastoral care and youth ministry. Some of you have also served as diocesan administrators and liaisons and as the executive director of a bishops’ conference.

And wait, there is more!

In this chapel are mentors of all sorts, social justice advocates, mission formators, ministers to migrants and refugees, human rights promoters, international development workers, and a United Nations representative. We have potters, sculptors and artists. Treasurers and bookkeepers. Volunteer directors and coordinators, nonprofit administrators and managers.

And we have been immensely blessed as a Congregation to have among you, Jubilarians who have served in elected leadership – as Prioress, Vicaress, Councilor, Treasurer, and as Chapter Prioresses, some more than once and for extended terms. We also are blessed by the service that a number of you have offered and continue to offer as directors of Congregation offices and ministries.

Sisters, your amazing gifts have been offered across 26 states, from Alabama to Washington – and in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, Italy and Canada.

The companionship of Elizabeth and Mary is mirrored by that of Dominican women like yourselves who cooperate in advancing the Mission of Jesus.

You are a gift to us and to the world. And although the litany of gifts I just recited may raise sweet memories of the past for many of you, your good works are still alive in the hearts and minds of all those you served. And, perhaps more importantly, the good work God began in you has not yet been brought to completion. As canonist Kelly Connors, PM, said: “The first apostolate of all religious is the witness of their consecrated life. We carry out that witness until we breathe our last breath.”

I close with words I heard a few weeks ago from a young leader of the Nuns & Nones movement named Brittany Koteles. It was at the closing of our Land Justice workshop when everyone shared their learnings and gratitude. Brittany spoke with poignant gratitude of her deepening awe at the lifelong commitment of us women religious to our mission and ministry together. She also was struck by the power of community, our companionship as Adrian Dominicans in mission. “You are women so committed to each other as to return to Earth to lie side by side in concentric circles.”

I am still deeply touched by those beautiful haunting words. They speak to the enduring nature of the lifelong commitment we celebrate in you and with you today – the eternal blessing of hearing and acting on the word of God.

Gracias, hermanas queridas. Thank you, dear Sisters. Salamat po.

 


Recordings of the 2024 Jubilee Liturgies are available on the Jubilarian webpage and in the Congregation's public video library.

 

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LINKS

word.op.org - International Dominican Preaching Page

Catholic Women Preach - Featuring deep spirituality and insights from women

Preach With Your Life - Video series by Adrian Dominican Sisters

 


 

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