Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thirty Years On....

On this day thirty years ago Pope John Paul II arrived in Ireland for a three day visit. It was historic for many reasons. I was twelve years old at the time and I wanted to go to Galway for the large gathering of young people. My parents didn't allow this to happen as I was too young. I remember watching the visit of the Pope on television. Much of what he said went over my head, but even as a 12 year old, I remember being so impressed with his appeal in Drogheda for an end to violence.

Who will forget the words : 'Now I wish to speak to all men and women engaged in violence.I appeal to you in language of passionate pleading. On my knees I beg you to turn away from the paths of violence and to return to the ways of peace. You claim to seek justice, I too, believe in justice and seek justice. But violence only delays the day of justice. Violence destroys the work of justice. Further violence in Ireland will only drag down to ruin the land you claim to love and the values you claim to cherish. In the name of God I beg you: return to Christ, who died so that men might live in forgiveness and peace. He is waiting for you, longing for each one of you to come to him so that he may say to each of you:your sins are forgiven; go in peace'?

Much of what Pope John Paul had to say was directed to specific groups of people during the pastoral visit. In looking at his speeches and homilies while he was in Ireland, he didn't specifically mention vocations, but he never let any opportunity pass to encourage people to get to know Christ better as can be evidenced by this extract to the youth gathering in Galway:

Something else is needed: something that you will find only in
Christ, for he alone is the measure and the scale that you must use to
evaluate your own life. In Christ you will discover the true greatness
of your own humanity; he will make you understand your own dignity
as human beings ‘created to the image and likeness of God’ (Gen
1:26). Christ has the answers to your questions and the key to history;
he has the power to uplift hearts. He keeps calling you, he keeps
inviting you, he who is ‘the way, and the truth and the life’ (Jn 14:6).
Yes, Christ calls you, but he calls you in truth. His call is demanding,
because he invites you to let yourselves be ‘captured’ by him
completely, so that your whole lives will be seen in a different light.
He is the Son of God, who reveals to you the loving face of the
Father. He is the Teacher, the only one whose teaching does not pass
away, the only one who teaches with authority. He is the friend who
said to his disciples, ‘No longer do I call you servants... but I have
called you friends’ (Jn 15:15). And he proved his friendship by layingdown his life for you.

These words uttered in Galway are as relevant in 2009 as they were then.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Video of Reception of Novices

Video of Reception of Novices - Saint Mary's, Pope's Quay, Cork. September 14th, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Professions at Saint Saviour's, Limerick. September 15th 2009

September 15th, the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, is the traditional date when the friars of the Irish Province make profession. In keeping with that tradition, today the Irish Dominican friars celebrated the first profession of our brothers John Leigh and Joseph Brady. Family members and a large gathering of Dominicans made the celebration a memorable event. Brothers John and Joseph have just completed their novitiate year at our Limerick community and as newly professed brothers now move to the studentate of the Irish Dominican Province at Saint Saviour's, Dublin to begin their formal studies.
Brother John is from County Laois while Brother Joseph is from County Wicklow. The profession of these two brothers completes a remarkable three days for the Irish Dominicans. Prayerful good wishes to all our brothers.

Brother Joseph Brady makes profession in the hands of the Prior Provincial

Brother John Leigh makes profession in the hands of the Prior Provincial

Monday, September 14, 2009

Reception of Novices. Saint Mary's Priory, Cork. September 14, 2009

The friars of the Irish Dominican province joyfully celebrated the reception of thirteen new novices at a ceremony in the beautiful priory church of Saint Mary's, Popes Quay today. It goes without saying that this is a very happy and significant day for the Dominicans in Ireland.

The novices are Brothers Stephen Bartolome Cummins (Cork), Gary Mannes Burns (Sligo), David Joseph McGovern (Louth), Damian Pius Polly (Dublin), Ronan Bernard Connolly (Kildare), James John Cassidy (Antrim), Patrick Stephen Desmond (Cork), Stephen Jordan Jones (Trinidad), Darragh Ambrose McNally (Wicklow), Conor Benedict McDonough (Galway), Sean Augustine Oberc (Detroit, Michigan USA and Kilkenny), Stephen Johannes Hackett (Cork) and Eoin Mary Casey (Laois).

These men now begin their novitiate year - a year dedicated to living Dominican life with a special emphasis on the spirituality of the Order. Irish Dominican Vocations wishes the new novices every blessing in the year ahead and asks regular readers of this blog to pray for these men as they continue discerning their call in the Order.

Below are images from the clothing ceremony.

Thank You

During these hectic days for the Irish Dominican friars, it has been notable that because of the professions of some of our brothers and the reception of the new novices, that many people have taken the time to pray for these men and for a continuation of vocations.

Yesterday, on my way to Cork, I attended a prayer service organised by the brethren of our Newbridge community in their church. This time of prayer was for vocations and in particular for Dominican vocations. It was very heartening to see so many people gathered for this purpose. I know that a similar event is being organised by the friars of our Sligo community this evening (September 14th). Indeed, I am aware that many other people will be joining us in prayer over these days.

To all involved in organising these events and to all those who take the time to pray for the Irish Dominicans and for vocations to the Irish Province, we say a heartfelt thank you. We know that without prayer that our efforts are somewhat empty.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Professions at Saint Saviour's, Dublin - September 13th 2009

Brother David makes profession in the hands of the Prior Provincial

Brother David in entrance procession

Brother David Barrins OP

Today, September 13th 2009, the Irish Dominican friars celebrated with joy the solemn (perpetual) profession of Brother David Barrins OP. The special event took place during the celebration of the Sunday conventual Mass of the community. David was joined by a large number of his Dominican brethren, along with many friends and family.

Bro. David is originally from County Sligo and worked in the financial services sector before joining the Order. David completed his novitiate at Saint Saviour's, Limerick in 2006 and since then has been assigned to our house of studies at Saint Saviour's, Dublin and is currently studying theology at Blackfriars, Oxford. Irish Dominican Vocations wishes David every blessing in the years ahead.

Earlier today during Lauds (Morning Prayer) Brother Matthew Martinez renewed his profession in the hands of the Prior of the Saint Saviour's Community.

Brother Matthew Martinez OP renews profession

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Professions and Receptions 2009

The friars of the Irish Dominican province will celebrate some significant events in the coming days.

On Sunday, September 13th the renewal of profession of Brother Matthew Martinez OP will take place during lauds (Morning Prayer) at 9.00 a.m. in Saint Saviour's, Dominick Street, Dublin.

Also on September 13th, the solemn profession of Brother David Barrins OP will take place during the conventual Mass at 11.30 a.m. in Saint Saviour's, Dominick Street, Dublin.

On Monday, September 14th (Feast of the Triumph of the Cross) 13 men will be clothed with the Dominican habit during the 11.00 a.m. Mass in St. Mary's Priory church, Pope's Quay, Cork.

On Tuesday, September 15th (Feast of our Lady of Sorrows), Brother John Leigh OP and Brother Joseph Brady OP will make their first profession during the celebration of the Eucharist in St. Saviour's Dominican church, Glentworth Street, Limerick at 11.00 a.m.

Please pray for these 17 brothers of ours during these days and continue to pray for vocations to the Irish Dominican Province.