Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dominican Connect March 2013 published

The latest edition of Dominican Connect - from the Vocations Office of the Irish Dominican Friars has just been published. The main feature is on the good news events during January and February regarding vocations - particularly the ordination to the diaconate of three of our brothers, the professions of two Dominican sisters and the reception of novices to the sisters of the Cabra congregation.

The featured friar this month is Fr Philip McShane - moderator of the Priory Institute at Tallaght.

Dominican Connect will be available in all our churches and centres from this weekend. You can also download an electronic copy here:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Thank you Pope Benedict!

As we enter the final hours of the pontificate of Pope Benedict, it is appropriate to express thanks for all that he has done for the promotion of vocations to priesthood and religious life. I have always been struck by the fact that on almost every official visit out of Rome, the Holy Father consistently made some reference to the necessity for priestly and religious vocations. He was strong in his encouragement for those considering answering the call of the Lord. He challenged and urged support of families and parishes in their responsibilities to promote vocations - and had gentle yet firm words for those charged with forming these new vocations.

All of this did not fall on deaf ears. Worldwide, the Catholic Church has seen an increase of more than 6,000 priests during Pope Benedict’s papacy, most of them to the diocesan priesthood, according to data collected by Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA). The number of diocesan priests in the world exceeded 277,000 in 2010, levels higher than those recorded in 1970. Numbers of male and female religious throughout the world have also risen.

Many suggest, and I agree, that it was his encouraging words on the occasion of his inauguration and repeated many times afterwards that set a tone and prompted many men and women to follow Christ in the way of consecrated vocation. The words? “Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. ... Open wide the doors to Christ — and you will find true life.”   

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Ordination of three Dominican deacons

The newly ordained deacons, Brs Matthew Martinez OP, Luuk Jansen OP and Colm Mannion OP with Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin.

The Irish Dominican friars rejoiced today as three of their brothers were ordained to the diaconate in Saint Saviour's Dominican church, Dominick Street in Dublin. The ordaining prelate was Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin.

Our brothers were joined by many friars of the province, families and friends, representatives of the Dominican family in Ireland and local parishioners from the Dominick Street area to witness the joyful liturgy of ordination.

The three brothers, Matthew Martinez OP from Trinidad, Colm Mannion OP from County Offaly and Luuk Jansen who is originally from the Netherlands joined the Order together in 2007. The ordination ceremony to the diaconate today is another step on the road to priesthood.

Please join with us in praying for our brothers in their new ministry of service and for all our brothers who are on the path to priesthood in the Order.

Below are some images from the ordination ceremony. Please click them to enlarge. Media are welcome to use them as long as they credit Irish Dominican Vocations blog.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Irish Cabra Dominican sisters receive two novices.

Irish Dominican Vocations sends congratulations and best wishes to our sisters of the Cabra congregation who recently received (January 6th) two women into their novitiate programme. The Vocations Ireland website has this report on the happy event:

Eileen O'Connell seen here playing the guitar at the Knockadoon Music and Liturgy course is from Maglin, near Ballincollig, Co Cork. She entered the Dominican Novitiate in Tallaght on 6th January 2013. Her comment on her first month as a Novice was, "It's been a bit like a rollercoaster, with lots of ups and downs, new surroundings and new experiences.... but I am hanging in there as it has mostly been positive."
Eileen worked in a preschool, both as a Toddler Session Room Leader and one-to-one as Personal Assistant to a child with a disability. Previously, she worked in UCC, both as tutor on an Adult Continuing Education Diploma course (Diploma in Disability Studies) and through the Disability Support Service as Educational Support Worker and Tutor to disabled students."

Deirdre Gordon from South County Dublin also entered on 6th January.
"Interesting but challenging", is her comment on her first month as a Novice in Tallaght. Deirdre was at school with the Dominican Sisters in Dun Laoghaire. She worked for her local Credit Union before she started the Novitiate.

To learn more about the vocation, life and ministry of the Dominican sisters of the Cabra congregation, visit their website at

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Upcoming Diaconate Ordinations

The friars of the Irish Dominican province will celebrate the ordination to the diaconate of three of our brothers on Saturday next, February 16th in Saint Saviour's Dominican church, Dominick Street, Dublin.

The archbishop of Dublin, Most Reverend Diarmuid Martin DD, will ordain the brothers during the celebration of the Eucharist at 11.30 a.m.

You are welcome to join the liturgical celebrations. Please also keep our brothers who will be ordained in your prayers as they continue on their journey towards priesthood.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dominican Family Vocations Day - March 2nd 2013

The fifth annual Dominican family vocations day takes place on Saturday, March 2nd in Saint Saviour's Dominican priory, Dublin 1 from 9.30am to 5.30pm

Now in its fifth year, this 'vocations' day is designed to help men and women who have a serious interest in the four branches of the Dominican family in Ireland - the friars, apostolic sisters, the contemplative nuns and the lay Dominicans - and to learn more about our way of life.

Participants in the day will have an opportunity to hear about the vocation of each branch of the Dominican family, to talk and converse about our vocation and ask all the questions that you might have. Central to the day is prayer and celebration of the Eucharist.

The vocations day has grown from strength to strength over the years and participants have found it invaluable in helping in their discernment process.

This year, we are delighted to welcome back Dr Andrew O' Connell, the communications director for the Presentation Brothers in Ireland as our guest speaker.

Since places are limited we encouarge anyone who would like to secure a place to contact us as soon as possible (as per the poster above) or to me, the vocations director for the friars at

We look forward to welcoming you - and remember the event is free!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Dominican nuns in Drogheda celebrate first profession

Sr Mary Cathy Howard OP who made first profession today

The Dominican contemplative nuns at Siena monastery in Drogheda, County Louth celebrated the first profession of Sr Mary Cathy Howard today February 2nd - the feast of the Presentation and the world day for consecrated life.

The profession ceremony took place during the celebration of the eucharist and Sr Mary Cathy was joined by her family and friends, her community at the monastery, Dominican friars, sisters of the Cabra congregation and members of the Dominican laity.

Sr Mary Cathy, who is from Dublin, has completed her novitiate, made profession in the hands of the prioress, Sr Mary Breda Carroll using the following formula:

I, Sister Mary Cathy Howard, make profession, and promise obedience to God, and to Blessed Mary and to Blessed Dominic, and to the Master of the Order of Friars Preachers, Brother Bruno Cadoré;

and to you Sister Mary Breda Carroll, Prioress of this Monastery of St Catherine of Siena, Drogheda; and to your successors, according to the Rule of Blessed Augustine and the Constitutions of the Nuns of the Order of Preachers that I will be obedient to you and to your successors, for three years.

This joyful event for the Dominican nuns in Drogheda is an important event in the life of that community and also for all Dominicans in Ireland. It follows the first profession of Sr Sabine Schratz of the Cabra Dominican sisters yesterday.

The Dominican nuns in Drogheda, who live a life centred on prayer and adoration of the Most Blessed Eucharist are the only community of contemplative Dominican nuns in Ireland. You can learn more about their way of life by visiting their website and their blog

Below are some images from the profession ceremony today:

Sr Mary Cathy makes profession in the hands of the prioress, Sr Mary Breda
Sr Mary Cathy with her parents at the reception following her profession
Left to right: Sr Mairead (novice mistress), Sr Mary Cathy and Sr Mary Breda cutting the celebratory cake
Sr Mary Cathy with members of her family
Sr Mary Cathy with fr Gerard Dunne OP, vicar of the Master of the Order to Dominican nuns at Siena monastery in Drogheda

Friday, February 1, 2013

Joyful day for Irish Domincan sisters

 Sr Sabine Schratz with her mother and father after making first profession as a Dominican sister

The Irish Dominican sisters of the Cabra congregation had reason to be joyful today (February 1st - the feast of Saint Bridget) as they celebrated the first profession of Sr Sabine Schratz. The rite of profession was celebrated during the celebration of the Eucharist at the Dominican convent chapel in Cabra, Dublin 7.

Sr Sabine has completed her novitiate and will now be assigned to one of the communities of the congregation in the very near future.

This first profession of Sr Sabine (the first for the congregation in many years) is a real sign of hope for the church in Ireland, but especially for the Dominicans. Irish Dominican Vocations wishes Sr Sabine every blessing as she continues her Dominican journey.

Visit the website of the Cabra Dominican sisters at