The 2018 On Common Ground Dominican Conference was held in the beautiful lower Adelaide Hills, at Nunyara Conference Centre, on 16-18 July. The Conference was supported by Dominican Education Australia. There were 60 students involved from the following colleges:
Adelaide: St Dominic’s Priory College, Blackfriars Priory College, Cabra Dominican College, St Mary’s College
Brisbane: Siena Catholic College, San Sisto College
Melbourne: Siena College
Sydney: Santa Sabina College
Auckland: St Dominic’s College
We were all enriched by the diversity and the stories we all brought, all at different stages on our Dominican journey, but all eager to continue to deepen our Dominican understanding and to explore what it means to ‘Preach the Gospel in Our Times’. We made global connections with our Dominican family, through the US presenters, Patrick Spedale and Michael Petro, who hark from the US Preaching Conference that St Mary’s College & St Dominic’s Priory College has joined over the past 2 years. Sister Sheila Flynn and Sister Bernadette Kiley also shared about their work overseas. Students came to realise that we are all part of a large and vibrant and active global family.
Michael Petro ignited and inspired students with his dynamic and lively presentation, which focused on the important role that the four Dominican pillars can play in our daily lives: Prayer, Study, Community and Service.
Patrick Spedale also brought St Dominic to life with his personal re-enactment, with an accompanying and very convincing Spanish accent! He also blessed us with his musical prowess and theological depth in all things liturgical!
Below are some quotes from various students, that shed some light on the richness and diversity of this three day Dominican immersion. Students were asked about the best part of On Common Ground:
- Meeting new people from different Dominican schools and seeing the similarities and differences between our schools.
- The sections with Michael and Patrick were really insightful and eye opening. They were inspirational and very involving in what they were saying.
- Meeting students from other schools, listening to the stories of the sisters’ work in the Middle East; listening to and participating with Dave Booth as he discussed the significance of land and place to Aboriginal people.
- Being able to spend time with and get to know people from other schools and how they live out their Dominican charism, as well as sharing this with the US presenters and sisters.