The Joy of the Gospel

On February 28th of this past academic year, a book discussion of Evangelli Gaudium, or Joy of the Gospel, by Pope Francis, took place at Rosary Hall. Copies of the book had been distributed earlier to faculty, staff and students. Many more read the book than could attend the discussion, but a large group was able to join in the discussion that morning.

library1_016Deacon John Hoffman, coordinator of Dominican Ministries, facilitated the discussion. All participants were impressed with the easy accessibility of the Pope’s writing, especially how Pope Francis made difficult concepts clear and understandable. A striking part of the discussion was how each person could see that Pope Francis had a message that seemed to apply to them personally. Our discussion could have gone on for several days, but a couple of hours were all we had that day.

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The Joy of the Gospel is divided into five chapters. The Church’s Missionary Transformation is treated first, then the Crisis of Communal Commitment, The Proclamation of the Gospel, The Social Dimension of Evangelization, and finally, Spirit Filled Evangelizers. Pope Francis weaves ambitious Church goals with practical suggestions seamlessly, in an easily readable text. The simplicity and humility of our new Pope is readily evident in his work. The joy was recognizable in his words, and in our discussion of his words and their implications for us.

After the discussion, several copies of the book were presented to the Albertus Magnus Library, so this new and exciting work will be available to all in the Albertus Community. In making this work available, and promoting its reading and discussion, Albertus Magnus College has shown again how our Catholic Identity is lived.

To learn more about the Dominican Exercises here at Albertus Magnus College, click here.

Sister AnneSister Anne Kilbride, O.P., special assistant to the president for the promotion of the Catholic, Dominican Heritage at Albertus Magnus College. She came to the College in 2011 as a consultant to gather ideas and make recommendations on new and creative ways to strengthen the College’s long relationship with the Dominican Sisters. Now she assists the College in developing academic and social links with national and international Dominican teachers and preachers.

Sister Anne received a bachelor’s degree in English and education from Southern Connecticut State University, and master’s degrees from the University of Notre Dame in theology and Boston College in pastoral ministry; she also pursued further study in counseling, family counseling and theology at the University of Notre Dame, Ohio Dominican University and St. Joseph College.

Deeply involved in congregational ministry and leadership for the past decade, she served as a member of her congregation’s leadership team and as prioress. Her primary focus has been to promote Dominican life and mission now and into the future.

Interview with Brian Pierce, O.P.

On Monday, March 31, Fr. Brian Pierce gave the St. Catherine of Siena lecture in the St. Thomas Aquinas Lecture series. The title of Fr. Pierce’s talk was, “Caught in the Middle – Between Two Friends.” This inspirational lecture will be posted on the Albertus Magnus College YouTube Channel.

Brian Pierce, OP., is a Dominican Friar of the Province of St. Martin de Porres, USA. In the 1990’s Fr. Brian was part of the team of Dominican friars sent to Honduras to found a new community of preachers in the Diocese of San Pedro Sula, where they worked in the formation of lay leaders in barrios and mountain villages with men and women living with HIV-AIDS.

Fr. Pierce spent a year and a half in a contemplative ashram dedicated to Christian mysticism and interreligious dialogue. After spending three years with a preaching team based in the USA, Brian moved to Lima, Peru to serve for three years as the Promoter of the Dominican Family in Latin America and the Caribbean. Most recently he accompanied the contemplative nuns worldwide. Fr. Pierce has written three books: Martin de Porres: A Saint of the Americas, We Walk the Path Together: Learnings from Thich Nhat Hanh and Meister Eckhart and Praxis y Prediacon (a book in Spanish for preachers).

While Fr. Pierce was on campus he had an interview with Sr. Anne Kilbride, O.P., Assistant to the President for Dominican Mission and Ministries.

1. How has being part of the Dominican family impacted your I learned to be a Dominican through my association with other Dominicans.

The first group of the Dominican family I met, when I was a college student attending a retreat, was the Dominican Nuns. I was praying in the chapel of the Dominican Nuns when I had this profound experience of God’s presence in the contemplative silence of the chapel. This experience made me want to know more about the Dominican family and meet more members.

As I came to know more Dominicans I began to feel more and more a part of the As I became a member of the Dominican family, consisting of the friars (priests and brothers), nuns, sisters and laity, I saw this group as a gift to the Church. Each group lives the Dominican Charism in their unique way of life and therefore impacts many more lives.

2. What do you think is essential for a Dominican college to promote in today’s world?

For me, what is essential for a Dominican college to promote is dialogue – a dialogue that leads to truth.Through dialogue one realizes we do not own truth rather we receive and uncover truth as a learning community. From my short time here at Albertus, I have observed and heard the dedication of the faculty to this type of learning.

3. As a member of the Dominican family, what is your hope for the future of our students?

I hope the students will listen to the Word of God together so they can experience dialogue around the Word and build a faith filled Dominican community. In this process of sharing around the Word students can be opened to different viewpoints and the power the Word to form our minds, hearts and lives.

Sister AnneSister Anne Kilbride, O.P., special assistant to the president for the promotion of the Catholic, Dominican Heritage at Albertus Magnus College. She came to the College in 2011 as a consultant to gather ideas and make recommendations on new and creative ways to strengthen the College’s long relationship with the

Dominican Sisters. Now she assists the College in developing academic and social links with national and international Dominican teachers and preachers.

Sister Anne received a bachelor’s degree in English and education from Southern Connecticut State University, and master’s degrees from the University of Notre Dame in theology and Boston College in pastoral ministry; she also pursued further study in counseling, family counseling and theology at the University of Notre Dame, Ohio Dominican University and St. Joseph College.

Deeply involved in congregational ministry and leadership for the past decade, she served as a member of her congregation’s leadership team and as prioress. Her primary focus has been to promote Dominican life and mission now and into the future.

Learning the Dominican Foundation

Dominican Preaching Conference

The Dominican Preaching Conference is based in its mission statement:

“The National ‘Preaching in Action’ Conference is a venue where college-age students explore Dominican spirituality and preaching. The National College ‘Preaching in Action’ Conference is a collaborative response to our desire as Dominicans to introduce college students to the foundations and characteristics of Dominican Preaching. We commit ourselves to actively engage students in prayer, preaching the Word, service, community and modeling creative ways to make preaching a living dynamic in their daily lives.”

The conference is held for six days on the campus of Molloy College on Long Island. Students and mentors (faculty, staff) from Dominican Colleges and Universities in the United States and international sites attend each year. The goal of the conference is to empower students to “preach the good news” in a myriad of ways, developing an action plan for their own campus, and putting that plan into action when they return in the fall semester. Students learn the Dominican charism of preaching, and how to incorporate that into their own lives. Students are exposed to preaching in many forms, including art, dance, drama and music.

Deacon John Hoffman, coordinator of Dominican ministries, will accompany the students to this year’s conference, May 20 to May 25. If you would like to know more about the Dominican Preaching Conference, or about Dominican ministries here at Albertus Magnus College, you can contact Deacon John at hjhoffman@albertus.edu.

Dominican Preaching ConferenceDominican Preaching Conference

Dominican Volunteers

The Dominican Volunteers grows out of their mission statement which reads:

_U7C4700Dominican Volunteers USA searches for new frontiers for the faith by inviting men and women to walk with us in mission as volunteers.  Together, we respond to the needs of our sisters and brothers, especially those who are poor and marginalized.  We live out the Dominican mission of proclaiming the gospel through our ministry, common life, prayer and study within a diverse, inter-generational community.

In February, Michael Chapuran, executive director of Dominican Volunteers USA, and two members of Domincan Volunteers USA visited the Albertus campus. They met with students and discussed their work, and the opportunities that exist for students who are inclined toward giving a year of service working as Dominican Volunteers.  Volunteers serve in positions across the country in education, healthcare, social services, peace and justice advocacy, environmental awareness, and more. If you are interested in the Dominican Volunteers, you can contact them directly at info@dvusa.org, or you can contact Deacon John Hoffman at Albertus at hjhoffman@albertus.edu.

Deacon_John_HoffmanDeacon John Hoffman
Coordinator for Dominican Ministries

Deacon John Hoffman’s academic background includes the Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies from the College of the Holy Cross as well as the completion of four years of graduate study prior to his ordination to the diaconate.  Deacon Hoffman comes to Albertus following a remarkable career as a member of the faculty at several Catholic high schools, most notably at Notre Dame High School, West Haven, CT, where he taught in the department of Christian formation from 1989 to 2012. He was ordained to the diaconate in June 1993 and has previously served at Holy Infant Parish, Orange, CT; and he is currently deacon at St. Mary’s, Milford, CT.  He has also served on school boards for the Archdiocese of Hartford and for the Orange Board of Education