Since the very beginning of the Order, Dominicans understood our charism of preaching to be wider than simply homiletics, or preaching from the pulpit. St. Dominic himself understood the mission of the Order to be that of going outside the Church proper in order to encounter those who were not in the pews. This effort to engage those who are not “in the pews” so to speak is often called apostolic creativity.
Here at the Studium in St. Louis, we try to embrace this part of our charism and come up with new, creative ways to preach the Gospel. This year our efforts have taken the form of this website, PreachingFriars.org, as well as a local event, Non Nisi Te, for young adults to help them grow deeper in their faith.
PreachingFriars.org formed in 2010 as a group project in a preaching class at Aquinas Institute. Over the years, the site has grown in different ways. Shortly after beginning, the brothers began recording and posting their preachings at Vespers on Saturdays and Sundays — something that we continue on to this day. In 2012, based on the Catholic Social Teaching class and in commemoration of the 500th Anniversary of Fray Antonio de Montesinos’ preaching in Hispanola, the brothers produced a series of videos, podcasts and blogs called Vox Clamantis to explain the Church’s social justice tradition. The site grew to include more multimedia content after another preaching class at Aquinas Institute, which focused on preaching in the New Media. Several popular projects from this era were the Harry Potter and the Catholic Faith series, 3-Minutes Miracles and Pruebatelo. This year, we have focused our efforts on re-vamping the site to publish weekly blog posts and are producing content that will go live this summer.
As mentioned above, Non Nisi Te is a night of adoration, confession, silence, preaching, music and prayer that is offered as an opportunity for young adults in the Archdiocese of St. Louis to grow in their relationship with God. Through Non Nisi Te, we’ve created a space of silence and contemplation with the Blessed Sacrament, an opportunity to hear substantial preaching aimed at growth in the spiritual life, and praise and worship through chant.
This weekend, on March 25 at 7:30 PM, Non Nisi Te will be combined with the Pilgrimage of Trust, an event we are co-sponsored with the Taize community and the Archdiocese of St. Louis. This March Non Nisi Te will focus on rebuilding trust in our city after the painful events in Ferguson. Though this event will depart from our normal Non Nisi Te format, it will still be an event of prayer with a sense of growing in deeper relationship with the Lord and our community.
For those of you who regularly view our content on Preachingfriars.org or attend Non Nisi Te, we are grateful for the opportunity to share with you the Gospel and to help you grow in love for the Lord Jesus.