Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Vocations Trends in Ireland - Catholic World Report

The Catholic World Report carries an article in the current issue on the worrying decline in priestly vocations in Ireland. Written by Michael Kelly, the editor of the Irish Catholic, it has many quotes from the author of this blog along with Bishop Donal McKeown and Andrew O' Connell and others. To read the full article, click here.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Vocation prayer initiative arrives in Tallaght

 Parishioners of the Dominican parish of Saint Aengus in Tallaght, Co Dublin with the icon of Saint Dominic.

The prayer initiative for Dominican vocations continues its journey to the various Dominican churches and centres throughout Ireland. The initiative, which uses the specially commissioned icon of Saint Dominic as a focus and invitation to pray, arrived in the Dominican parish of Saint Aengus in Tallaght this past weekend. It had previously been in our Dominican church of Saint Mary's, Pope's Quay in Cork for the past six weeks.

The invitation to people to pray for vocations to the Order has been very well received. The feedback from the communities that have received the icon and those who have taken up the invitation to pray means that the original objective of broadening the already wide base of prayer for Dominican vocations is being met.

The icon will now remain in the parish of Saint Aengus for one month before moving to the Dominican church in Newbridge, Co Kildare at the end of November.

Prayer for Dominican Vocations

Lord Jesus,
as you one called Saint Dominic to preach the Gospel,
so now send new preachers into your harvest.

Give them courage, wisdom and grace to make them witnesses of your death, resurrection and return in glory.

Through the intercession of Mary, patroness of the Order, may the bring true faith
and light to brighten the darkness.

You who live forever.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Five Paths to Priesthood

The friars of the Saint Joseph province of Dominicans in the USA have recently produced this fine video which tells the story of five Dominican friars on their path to priesthood. As with every vocation story, the journeys that the five friars have made are unique to them. It is a reminder that God calls each one individually and in a unique way. I hope that the sharing of this video will prompt others to be generous in answering God's call in their lives

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dominican Pilgimage to Knock 2012

 The apparation chapel at Knock shrine

The annual Dominican pilgrimage to the Knock shrine in County Mayo took place today. Many thousands of people who are associated with the Dominican Order throughout Ireland were in attendance. They were joined by friars, sisters, nuns and lay Dominicans - and also by a group of contemplative Dominican nuns from around the world who are visiting Ireland for a week long meeting in Siena monastery in Drogheda, Co Louth.

The highlight of the day of pilgrimage was the celebration of the Eucharist. The principal celebrant was fr Gregory Carroll OP (prior provincial) and the homily was given by fr Terence Crotty OP (master of students). Fr Terence preached on the theme of faith to coincide with the opening of the Year of Faith which has just begun.

We pray that those who joined the Dominican pilgrimage today will receive many graces and blessings through the intercession of Our Lady of Knock.

Fr Terence Crotty OP preached the homily
Dominican sisters and nuns join the pilgrimage
The pilgrimage allows time for meeting and greeting

Sunday, October 7, 2012

News updates from Vocations Ireland

Vocations Ireland - the organisation that represents the vocations directors of the male and female religious orders and congregations in Ireland has recently appointed a new director. Ann-Marie Gallagher, a native of Sligo, took up the position last month after her predecessor Sr Eileen Lenihan IBVM had completed a three year term of office. Ann-Marie had previously been working in the area of child protection in the social work field. Irish Dominican Vocations congratulates and sends best wishes to her on her appointment in this challenging ministry.

Ann-Marie Gallagher - Director, Vocations Ireland
Vocations Ireland has recently announced the launch the of the second year of the ExploreAway programme.  ExploreAway provides an opportunity for young, single, men and women between the ages of 21-40, who are interested in exploring religious life in a reflective and prayerful environment.

  • ExploreAway aims to provide the input, support and accompaniment needed to help the participants discern their call.
  • Participants are invited to embark on this journey of exploration in the company of others who are also searching.
  • The programme involves five residential weekends.
  • The weekends will provide input on vocation, discernment, prayer and religious life - its core values and the various ways it is lived.
  • A retreat experience will be built into one of the weekends which will give participants the opportunity to deepen their relationship with God and gain more clarity around where God is calling them. 
  • For more information log on to
Finally, Vocations Ireland will hold their annual general meeting on Saturday, November 10th. The keynote speaker at this year's meeting is Fr Liam Lawton, a diocesan priest of the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin. He is a noted composer, performer and author.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

'Dominican Connect' - Issue 2, October 2012.

The second edition of 'Dominican Connect - from the Vocations office of the Irish Dominican Friars' is now available to download in electronic from the vocations website here:  

In this month's issue, we focus on our our new novices along with news of the first profession of two our brothers. There is also an article on the inaugural Aquinas Institute of Ireland summer school in Cork and a feature on one of the projects of the Irish Dominican province - the Priory Institute. There is lots of other news and information on upcoming events.

Printed copies of 'Dominican Connect' will be available in all Dominican churches and centres throughout Ireland from this weekend. If you would like to receive a copy by email each month, email