As members of the Order of Preachers, we are following in the footsteps of the apostles. So our Dominican vocation to “Go and preach” needs feedback in the form of sharing our preaching experiences with Jesus as well as with one another (Mk 6:30). Jesus was not only a ‘liturgical preacher’, proclaiming the Gospel in the Temple and the synagogue, but above all an ‘itinerant preacher’, using as his ‘pulpit’ the world around him, and as his ‘text’ the daily life of his countrymen and -women.
Today too there is a great variety of places and opportunities for preaching, and we need the contribution of lay people in this respect.
By collecting and publishing short testimonies of the faith and hope of lay Dominicans in the form of authentic examples of this kind of preaching, drawn from their personal experience, we can
more aware of ordinary ‘preaching situations’ in our daily life;
more confident in activating our special individual ‘charisms’ of preaching;
more creative in finding new secular pulpits for preaching the Gospel;
more readily recognised by our brothers and sisters as ‘companions in preaching’ within the Dominican Family and the Church as a whole;
more effective in encouraging those who are interested in joining the Lay Dominicans as a way of becoming active Christian preachers.
In accordance with what was agreed at the European Assembly of Lay Dominican Fraternities in Slovakia in May 2008, a new website has been set up as a platform for sharing our preaching experiences: Laicatus Praedicans. In practical terms, we are asking you to raise this topic in your fraternities and encourage people to offer testimony of their own experiences when sharing their faith with an individual or a group, in their working environment, their home, their parish or the local community.
The editorial committee set up during the Assembly is composed of three Lay Dominicans – Bénédicte Jerebzoff-Van Damme OP, Guido Van Damme OP and Ruth Henderson OP – and Fr. David Kammler OP, Promoter General for the Dominican Laity. They will be happy to receive your proposed contributions, which should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contributions may be sent in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch, Russian, Polish or Czech. They will be published on the website in the original language. Subsequently, they will be translated into French or English as required.
The task of the committee will be to select, edit and abbreviate where necessary the examples of preaching by lay Dominicans offered for publication. Names will be changed to protect the privacy of the authors and of those mentioned in the stories, or may even be completely omitted if requested. The Province or Vicariate and country of origin of the published contributions will be identified. We hope that every Province and Vicariate can be represented. We look forward to hearing from you,
Fraternally in St Dominic,
Bénédicte, Guido, Ruth and Fr. David.