Urbi et Orbi: Dominican Preaching in the Time of Pandemic

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Urbi et Orbi: Dominican Preaching to the City and to the World in the Time of Pandemic


“I charge you…: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2a).

The grace and task of preaching “in season and out” is particularly entrusted to the Dominican Family and is perennially relevant and rich in possibilities, especially in the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic. For this reason, on 12-14 October 2021, the Dominican Preaching Network, a global community of three Dominican Schools of Preaching that includes Aquinas Institute of Theology (USA), the Institut für Pastoralhomiletik (Germany), and the Institute of Preaching (Philippines), organized its fifth international colloquium on Dominican preaching entitled Urbi et Orbi: Dominican Preaching to the City and to the World in the Time of Pandemic.

The colloquium was conducted virtually across several international time zones from Manila, beginning with a welcome from Br. Filemon de la Cruz Jr., OP, Prior Provincial of the Dominican Province of the Philippines. Each daily two-hour session featured preliminary entertainment and prayer led by Dominican student friars in Quezon City, Philippines, an opening prayer, a keynote address, a series of short videos, open forums, and a closing prayer. The colloquium ended with closing remarks by Br. Gregory Heille, OP, animator of the Dominican Preaching Network steering committee, and Br. Clarence Marquez, OP, Director of the Institute of Preaching, Quezon City, Philippines.

The keynote talks included the following: “Preaching Hope in a Time of Pandemic” by Br. Gerard Francisco Timoner III, OP, Master of the Order; “Dominicans and Lay Catholic Preaching” by Prof. Ann Garrido, D.Min., Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis, Missouri; “The Preaching of the Nuns: the Secret Fruit of Contemplation” by Sr. Barbara Beaumont, OP, Sister Historians of the Order of Preachers, Fanjeaux, France; and “The Mystery of Grace: In My Weakness Is My Strength” by Sr. Margaret Mayce, OP, Dominican Sisters International Confederation.

The colloquium also included daily sharing of short films, audio-visual documentaries, and music videos by Dominicans from around the globe preaching “in season and out” during the pandemic. Among the short films and presentations by Dominicans are as follows: “A Bishop’s First Confession” by Br. Dominic DeLay, OP, of the Province of the Holy Name, USA, with Mudpuddle Films; “Wake” by Br. Jude Mary Owoh, OP, of the Province of St. Joseph the Worker in Nigeria and Ghana, with Dominican Media; “Nuns and Nones: Preaching Hope during this Pandemic” by the Dominican Sisters of Hope; “Preaching through the Arts” by Barbara Schwarz, OP, Dominican Charism Project; “Preaching through Art” by Br. Cristóbal Torres, OP, Province of St. Martin de Porres, USA; and “Through the Media of Social Communication” by the Dominican Student Brothers of the Province of the Philippines. Featured also were open discussions with various presenters and a panel entitled “Preaching and Racism: Finding Our Way Forward” from Aquinas Institute of Theology, USA. 

The participants included members from the different branches of the Dominican Family: friars, nuns, lay and priestly fraternities, apostolic sisters, the Dominican Youth Movement, and associates who engage in preaching. There were 466 registrants, and approximately 200 live Populi and Facebook logins and 1,400 follow-up viewers each day.

All talks delivered at the colloquium are now available for viewing by the Dominican Family at www.ai.edu/urbietorbi. The next colloquium that the Dominican Preaching Network will sponsor is scheduled in 2022 from September 28 to October 1 in Cologne, Germany.

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