Dominicans at National Preaching Conference
by Greg Heille, O.P., Promotor of Preaching

September 24--27 marked the second national preaching conference sponsored by the Catholic Coalition on Preaching. The conference--entitled "Word for a Hungering World"--welcomed to Chicago 300 participants from all over the United States, including 100 Dominicans.

In addition to sisters from 20 Dominican congregations, the following Dominican men participated: Central Province: Charlie Bouchard, Duane Brown, Chuck Dahm, Stan Drongowski, Greg Heille, Paul Johnson, Art Kinsella, Jerry McMullen, Michael Monshau, Jim Motl, Tom Noesen, Reid Perkins-Buzo, Ed Ruane, Bob Staes, Jerry Stookey; Southern Province--Wayne Cavalier, Tom Condon, Paul Philibert, Jorge Presmanes, Jude Siciliano; Eastern Province--Ron Henry, Ken Letoile, Aedan McKeon; Western Province--James Jenner.

The following Dominicans gave presentations: Chuck Dahm (Central Province), "Preaching and Violence;" Joan Delaplane (Adrian), "Imagination and the Poetic Spirit;" Carmelita Murphy (Grand Rapids), "Addressing the Hungers of Women;" Jorge Presmanes (Southern Province), "Hungers of the Hispanic Community;" and Jude Siciliano (Southern Province), "Back to Basics: A Fundamental Approach to Preaching." Additionally, Carmelita and Jude served as panelists, and Jorge, Jude, and Val Keller (Grand Rapids) preached.

The Catholic Coalition on Preaching is comprised of fourteen organizations seeking to improve Catholic preaching, including the Dominican Leadership Conference, Aquinas Institute of Theology (Saint Louis), and the Dominican Institute of Preaching (Berkeley).

Prior to the conference, 28 Dominican promoters of preaching met for a luncheon hosted by the Central Province. Presenters on "Preaching in a Media Culture" were Beth Murphy (Springfield) and Fr. Bob Bonnot (ACTS/VISN--The Faith and Values Channel). At a pre-conference reception for Dominicans, Mary Ann Wieseman (Akron) and Ken Letoile (Eastern Province) spoke about the Dominican charism of preaching in today's hungering world.

A spirit of mutuality and enthusiastic dialogue prevailed among diocesan clergy, Dominican women and men, and others who attended the National Conference on Preaching--expressing the hope that together as a Catholic Church we can proclaim the Word to a hungering world.

Strategic Planning
For Promoter of Preaching

Fifteen participants from the June "Preaching in a Media Culture" Study week volunteered to engage in a three-hour strategic planning session to identify critical issues and concrete action steps to promote preaching in the Province. Planners were Joe Bidwill, Joe Fogarty, Greg Heille, Art Kinsella, Jerry McMullen, Jim Motl, Rick Peddicord, Reid Perkins-Buzo, Pat Rearden, Ed Ruane, Bob Staes, Scott Steinkerchner, Jerry Stookey, Dennis Woerter, and Dennis Zusy. The following critical issues were identified:

Critical Issue 1: Promoting the communication of the Word of God through each of the three mission priorities of the Province: preaching, theological education, and the promotion of justice and peace. In September, Ed Ruane and Dave Wright (Provincial Team); Chuck Dahm (Promoter of Justice); Bob Staes (Promoter of Continuing Formation); Greg Heille (Promoter of Preaching); Dennis Zusy (Regent of Studies); and Brian Knecht and Bede Jagoe (Office of Development) met. The promoters of preaching, justice, and continuing formation were directed to assist the province toward making social justice an operative and constitutive factor in our province's preaching and theological reflection.

Critical Issue 2: Seeking clarity about the relationship of Evangelism to Preaching Justice. The issue is the difficulty of preaching social justice to persons and congregations with very little basic foundation in Christian faith and Catholic social tradition. The Midwest Promoters of Preaching are planning a conference at Sinsinawa next September 2026 on "Evangelization and Justice." More information will follow in the next newsletter.

Critical Issue 3: Networking full-time preachers. Twenty-seven full-time preachers of the Province have been invited to a planning meeting at Dominican Conference Center, River Forest, on 1718 December 1995. If you have not registered and would like to participate, contact Greg Heille.

Critical Issue 4: Assuring financial viability to the preaching ministries of the Province. Brian Knecht and Bede Jagoe (Office for Development) and Dennis Zusy (provincial grant writer) will be working on strategies for addressing this issue.

Critical Issue 5: Making prudent choices as a Province about our corporate use of the electronic network or Internet. Reid Perkins-Buzo, Al Judy, and Clint Honkomp have begun to work as an ad hoc committee to advise the Provincial Team and Provincial Council.

Gregory Heille, O.P.
Promoter of Preaching

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