Sunday, July 20, 2008

First Profession.....Live!

A very joyful event will take place on next Saturday (July 26, 2008). It is the first profession of Sr. Maura Walsh OSsR, a Redemptoristine cloistered nun in their monastery - The Monastery of Saint Alphonsus, St. Alphonsus Road, Drumcondra, Dublin (pictured above).

This event will be carried live from the monastery by Church Resources TV. To watch the profession ceremony as it is streamed live, please click on and follow the appropriate links. It begins at 12 noon. (I wonder if this is a first?)

I know Sr. Maura and the Redemptoristine community very well. This is a very important moment in Maura's life and that of the community. My prayers and best wishes go to them.

Upcoming Events of Interest

A couple of events of note with a vocational theme that have come to my attention:

  • Sunday, July 27th 2008 is an important date for the many thousands of people who will climb Croagh Patrick in Co. Mayo (pictured above). On that day, the 11.00 am Mass will be broadcast from the summit of the holy mountain by the national television broadcaster RTE. The Archbishop of Tuam, Dr Michael Neary will preside and preach the homily. The theme of his homily will be on vocations to coincide with this 'Year of Vocation'.

  • Sunday, August 24th is a day when people are invited to join a 'Year of Vocation' pilgrim walk from Shannonbridge to Clonmacnoise, Co. Offaly. The event is being organised in conjunction with the Ursuline sisters. The pilgrimage will start at 2.oo pm on the day at the church cark park in Shannonbridge. The route from there to Clonmacnoise is approximately four miles. There will be several stops along the route for prayer and reflection.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

World Youth Day

Many of the readers of this blog will be interested in the events surrounding World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia. With that in mind I would like to bring to your attention the official website of World Youth Day 2008 - particularly for the possibility of live streaming of the main event tomorrow night (Saturday 19th July 2008). Not everyone has EWTN which has extensive coverage of all events in Sydney. Also, RTE, the Irish national television broadcaster is showing some events tomorrow and Sunday (delayed).

Some of the brethren of the Irish Dominican Province are among those attending this very important event in the life of the universal church. My good wishes go to them.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Vocations Recession??

This week's copy of 'The Irish Catholic' came through the post this morning. The headline put a smile on my face! A sub-editor in this popular Catholic newspaper has been busy! The headline reads: 'Dublin plan to tackle Vocations recession'. The lead article is about the Archdiocese of Dublin and its plans to create new 'pastoral areas' with the new appointments of various clergy around the diocese - allowing parishes to pool resources and having priests and pastoral councils to work in teams with the hope of reinvigorating the task of evangelisation in the diocese. All this is aimed as a means of offsetting the vocations decline in the archdiocese.

So now you have it: we're not just in the middle of an economic recession, but a vocations recession too! In Ireland it is said that we're talking our way into an economic looks like the Catholic media in Ireland is talking us into a vocations recession as well! Good news stories on vocations doesn't sell papers obviously!

'Vocations in Black and White'

A recent visit to our nuns in Siena monastery, Drogheda, Co. Louth a couple of days ago brought me in contact with a new book entitled 'Vocations in Black and White'. It is an excellent exposition of the stories of vocations of twenty three contemplative Dominican nuns. These cloistered women tell with great humour, wit and deep faith their call to be members of Dominican contemplative communities in the United States.

Rarely have I come across such an inspiring book on the Dominican vocation. And it leads me to a long held belief about vocations and their promotion - namely that the stories of the friars, nuns, sisters and other members of the Dominican family - if they were to be told in a public way would have a profound impact on young people wishing to know more about being 'called' by the Lord and what it means to be a Dominican preacher. Anyway, this book has given me a few more ideas to work on!!

I have some copies of this book. If you would like one, let me know and I'll do my best to get one to you. Incidentally, the book is published by IUniverse.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Blogs to take a look at...

A few blogs related to vocations and Dominicans that caught my eye recently and are worth having a look at:

An excellent resource on Dominican history associated with the Dominican Province of Saint Joseph. A group of young people (mostly from the United States) who are discerning their vocation host a very good blog here. A relatively new blog with a selection of video resources can be found here, and they have some footage with some Dominican interest. I have long admired the people who present the Roman Catholic Vocations blog, and is very definitely worth looking at. Finally, the Dominican nuns of Summit, New Jersey, USA have a very fine and upbeat blog which I like and can be found here.

Incidentally, I should draw your attention to the website of the Dominican Order worldwide which is undergoing something of a revamp at present, and of course to encourage readers to visit the website of the Irish Dominican friars.