Wouldn’t it be great if there was a Dominican organization that focused on young adults, an organization that could help young people continue to be active in the faith beyond confirmation? And wouldn’t it be a nice bonus if this organization wasn’t simply connected to the Order of Preachers but actually incorporated the four pillars as well as Dominican saints and Dominican spirituality into its structure? Well, there’s no need to ask the question or to wonder if this will ever be, it already exists in the Dominican Youth Movement! Dominican Youth Movement, or DYM, is an international body made up of local groups around the globe whose desire to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ in the way of St. Dominic.
This summer, July 7-15, DYM held its week long international meeting in Bogota, Colombia. Over 200 youth from more than 25 different countries spent the week at various sites in and around Bogota learning from one another using this years theme, “MUISCA: It is me in person (Luke 24:39).” The Muisca people are the natives of the Bogota region and elements of the Muisca culture were tied into the four pillars of Dominican spirituality. Throughout the week there were various talks, presentations, and discussions on topics ranging from ‘Christian Anthropology’ to ‘Youth in the Media’ to the ‘Future of the Dominican Youth Movement.’ Each day morning prayer, midday prayer, and evening prayer was led by a different country. All of the participants went on a short pilgrimage to the Basilica of our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquira, the patroness of Colombia. There was even an entire day devoted to preaching and mission in Bogota and the surrounding areas. Fr. Bruno showed up as well!
Of the many highlights, the greatest was meeting the people, all the people: the youth from around the world, the Colombians that hosted the event, the people that I ministered to, the friars and sisters, my dominican family from all over the globe. Amidst the food and fun, the gathering was enriched with all things Dominican. Many of the hymns used for Masses were about St. Dominic or Dominican saints, a great deal of the ministry sites had a direct connection to Dominican history in Colombia, even the buildings where we gathered were named after Luis de Granada, Thomas Aquinas, and Fra Angelico. And the theme song too! The youth were a powerhouse of knowledge of all things Dominican. In talking with the youth about DYM in their countries, I was amazed at the different ways they incorporate and live out the four pillars and how they use the examples of Dominican saints in their groups and in their lives as Christians.
DYM connects youth together and to Christ through the way of St. Dominic and his preachers. This is truly a hidden jewel in the Order, and in the United States it can only grow.