ODU Students Connect their Passion with a Purpose at New York Preachers Conference
Kathryn Bachman didn’t know what to expect when she and four of her Ohio Dominican University classmates stepped onto a van and embarked on a nine-hour, 580-mile trip to Rockville Centre, New York.
The ODU students traveled to Molloy College for the 12th annual Preaching in Action Conference, which was held May 20-25. The conference offers students from Dominican colleges and universities an opportunity to learn about the charism of preaching and how they can incorporate that preaching into their daily lives.
“I had zero expectations and a small level of fear of what I was getting myself into,” said Bachman, who is entering her junior year and majoring in both Mathematics and Integrated Mathematics Education at ODU. “Upon our arrival at Molloy College, I felt welcomed into a group of students with similar fears and faiths.”
Kelly Litt was attending the conference for the second time.
“I had the privilege to return as a mentor for ODU,” said Litt, who graduated in May with a degree in History.
Bachman and Litt were among 57 students who participated in fun and life-changing activities. They learned about the Dominican faith; how to preach by using the mediums of art, drama, dance and music; and how to put that preaching into action in the community.
“The students were steeped into Dominican life and tradition through studying, and they experienced the four Dominican Pillars: Prayer, Community, Study and Service,” said ODU campus minister, Sister Margie Davis, O.P., who also attended the conference.
“One of the main ways I was shown how to preach the Dominican faith was through art,” Bachman said. “I was able to explore my own spiritual journey through the use of water colors, doodles, and silent periods of meditation.”
“(The Conference) included fun activities such as a pizza and dance party, exploring New York City, and a Dominican talent show,” Litt said. “(The days) were filled with new friendships, laughter, learning and sharing of passions.”
The conference also offered students opportunities to practice their preaching as they served the local communities.
“One of the ways we preached the good news was through service projects,” Bachman said. “Peggy McVetty, one of the presenters, challenged us to participate in a service option that we normally would not consider doing. Based on this challenge to try something out of my comfort zone, I found myself knee deep in drywall dust in a house that was damaged by Hurricane Sandy.”
The experience inspired her to find opportunities to keep serving after the conference. Litt had a similar reaction.
“I returned from this conference with a renewed passion for the Dominican tradition and a reignited spark for peace and social justice,” Litt said.
Next year’s conference will be held May 19-24 at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan.