A quick note with some brief reflections from Trinidad. I leave here in a few hours having spent eight days in the company of my Dominican brethren of the vicariate here, and to attend the solem profession of Matthew Martinez OP. Both were very enjoyable experiences.
I was particularly delighted to have some time with the vocations director for our vicariate here - fr Dwight Black OP. Dwight is beginning his second term as vocations director. He has done an outstanding job for the promotion of vocations here and has raised the profile of the Order in a new way. He is, of course, getting results too. It was great to hear of his plans over the next number of years. I look forward to working closely with him in the time ahead.
I have been resident with the brethren in St Finbar's priory. The church attached to the priory is a parish church but also a church that is deeply Dominican. It was so encouraging to hear the large congregations each morning to pray after Mass for Dominican vocations. As a vocations director, you have no idea how humbling an experience that is. The Order is indebted to the many, many people who pray regularly for vocations. Their prayers are being answered!
Being thousands of miles from home does not mean that the work stops! Here is an interesting piece of information for you: last month (August 2011) saw the highest number of enquiries about vocations to the Dominicans in Ireland since I became vocations director eleven years ago. There have been 12 new enquiries in August - that's unprecedented. The only other comparable month was September 2008 when there were 8 new enquiries. The average number of enquiries to the vocations office each year is 60.
Now that September has begun, another new year of vocations ministry takes off. With the help of your prayers, and through the intercession of Saint Dominic, may it be a fruitful one.