International Meeting 1997, Ocaña, Spain

Jennifer Little


A man slipped into the seat beside me during the meeting. A few minutes later he leaned over and whispered "I just love your Vision Statement, I'm going to steal it for the States." That's how I met Luke. Luke is a Dominican student from the Southern Province and a person of amazing energy and life. In consultation with the Master he has developed a three year plan for bringing the Dominican Youth Movement to the US. As the meeting progressed it became clear that there was new life and energy in each country and continent represented. Small dynamic groups of young people have emerged within the Dominican Family in other places around the world. Each group has its own character, but all of us are committed to the four pillars of Dominican life and the way of St. Dominic. " There is a variety of gifts but always the same Spirit." (I Cor.12:4) Thus after two days we were able to write a Mission Statement and describe ourselves as the International Dominican Youth Movement. (IDYM)

The meetings were a joy

We had many meetings, working from l0.00am till 9.00pm each day (with a siesta of course.) The meetings were a joy, skilfully facilitated by Fr. Yvon Pomerleau together with Sr. Pilar and Tricia. It was a lovely experience to achieve so much through talking and listening, to actually reach the end of an agenda not only with the business done but with a conviction that the spirit was moving and working among us. There was genuine openness, understanding and interest between us. Each one listened well and worked hard moving from English to Spanish but not losing the meaning of it all. It was one of the most effective and satisfying meetings I have ever attended.

The structure of the meeting was as follows:

  1. Looking at our reality (presentation of information on the groups represented, our way of living the four pillars, the relationship between our group and the Dominican Family)
  2. Analysing our reality (discovering our common bonds, lay Dominicans or Dominican Family?)
  3. Dreaming for the future (dreams for our own group, for the Dominican Youth Movement internationally, formalising an International working group, International Meeting '98.)
  4. Conclusions (what can we offer the order, what do we ask from the order.)

A renewed sense of purpose

What I brought home from the meeting was a renewed sense of purpose and vision for DCY. In eight years we have reached out to so many young people at home and abroad. We are a small group who have struggled to live out in faith, hope and love the Vision statement written in faith, hope and love almost seven years ago. That Vision Statement has been an inspiration not only for us but for other Dominican people. What gifts we have received, how truly rich we are, how blest. Our mission to share what we have locally, nationally and internationally continues. The challenge is to trust the Lord and be willing to go where he is leading us now.