How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?


Romans 10:14-15

The Great Preacher Award incorporates an image of Saint Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers (the Dominicans), and the Dominican emblem of a dog with the Torch of Truth in its mouth. Legend has it that when the mother of Saint Dominic was pregnant, she experienced a curious dream. In her dream, she gave birth to a dog with a blazing torch in its mouth, signifying Dominic’s mission to set the world on fire with his preaching.

It has been suggested that, coincidentally, the dog also represents a pun on Dominicanus, the Latin word for Dominican friar, and Domini canis, Latin for "dog of the Lord.” Saint Dominic is often depicted with a dog holding a torch in its mouth.

Aquinas Institute of Theology established the Great Preacher Award in 1995. The award is presented to an outstanding preacher whose pastoral leadership has made the Catholic community stronger. The award is intended not only to give encouragement to preachers of the Word, but also to highlight the importance of preaching for building up the Body of Christ.

Photos of past events are available for viewing by clicking here.

Previous Great Preacher Award Recipients

2018 – Rev. Matthew O'Toole & Msgr. Jack Costello
2017 – Rev. Ed Stanger & Rev. Jeffrey H. Goeckner
2016 – Msgr. William J. Hitpas & Rev. John Rogers Vien
2015 – Bishop Robert E. Barron
2014 – Most Reverend Robert J. Shaheen
2013 – Msgr. Michael E. Turek
2012 – Most. Rev. J. Terry Steib, S.V.D.
2011 – Rev. Mr. Dennis Chitwood
2010 – Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I.
2009 – Msgr. Vincent R. Bommarito
2008 – Msgr. Patrick Hambrough 
2007 – Father James A. Krings 
2006 – Rev. Dale Wunderlich 
2005 – Monsignor William A. Drennan 
2004 – Rev. Joe Kempf
2003 – Rev. Donald Wester
2002 – Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory
2001 – Sister Joan Delaplane, O.P.
2000 – Reverend Gary Braun
1999 – Most Reverend Paul A. Zipfel
1998 – Reverend John F. Kavanaugh, S.J.
1997 – Monsignor James Telthorst
1996 – Joseph Cardinal Bernadin
1995 – Reverend James Cormack, C.M.