Aquinas week

The eighth annual St Thomas Aquinas Summer School, run by the Aquinas Institute of Ireland (, took place from August 4-10 at the Emmaus Centre, Swords. This session, the biggest yet, with some 50 participants from a dozen different countries, focussed on the teachings of St Thomas on the nature of virtue and vice in general, as well as specific virtues and vices.

Among the students taking part were doctoral students in philosophy and theology, as well as complete beginners, including two who recently completed their Leaving Certificate exams! As well as intensive seminars, participants heard a lecture on ‘The Virtues of Courtesy’ by Fr Alan O’Sullivan OP, and took part in a field trip to Mellifont Abbey and Drogheda, including a visit to the Dominican nuns in Siena Monastery.

Ordination of Fr. Matthew Farrell OP

Matthew Farrell, a native of Daingean, Co. Offaly, was ordained priest on Saturday, 6 July, in St Saviour’s church, Dublin, by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, of Dublin. Present at the ceremony were his three sisters, Lorraine, Michelle and Natalie, with their families, and his brother David and his family.

Father Matthew, aged 44, had a varied career before joining the Dominican Order in 2012. Immediately after secondary school he worked in the bar trade in Tullamore and in his native Daingean. Attending Athlone Institute of Technology as a mature student, he gained a degree in applied chemistry, working for seven years as a laboratory analyst. After the death of his father, he returned to Daingean to work in the family business with his brother. As a Dominican he spent a year in the noviciate in Cork before moving to the house of studies at St Saviour’s, Dublin, to study philosophy, Scripture and theology, in preparation for ministry as a priest. He made solemn vows (lifelong commitment) as a Dominican in September 2017.

Later this summer, he will move to Co. Kerry, to join the Dominican community at Holy Cross church, Tralee, and to begin his ministry as a priest there.

Father Matthew explains that by the end of secondary school he had ceased going to Mass and practising the faith in which he had been brought up. He continues: ‘When I was 24, my auntie brought me to a retreat which was ran by a lay association called Youth 2000. This sparked within me an interest in religion in general, but it was not until I was 28 that I made a decision to re-commit myself to the practice of the Catholic faith. I started to go to Mass every Sunday, went to regular monthly confessions and got involved with a Youth 2000 prayer meeting which had started in Tullamore in the parochial house.’ The outcome was, he explains: ‘I started to grow in my faith in the love and mercy of Jesus Christ and faith in the power of prayer and the sacraments to help me grow closer to God.’

At the age of 37, after considering the possibility that he was being called to religious life, he entered the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), founded 803 years ago.

The Mass, Yesterday, Today … and Forever

Irish Dominican Liam G. Walsh, who has given his life to studying theology and teaching it – in Ireland. Rome and Fribourg – has, this May, published a book on the history and theology of the Mass. The purpose is to help readers come to an awareness that takes them beyond seeing the Mass as holy ceremonial to be regulated by rubrics, beyond seeing it only in aesthetic terms, beyond making it a way of aligning themselves to ‘progressive’ or ‘traditionalist’ camps.

Further information is available on the Dominican Publications website.

Simple Professions 2018

Earlier in the year the three brothers who completed last years noviciate made their First Profession into the Dominican Order.

The brothers who spend a year in our Noviciate in Cork have now made their First Profession to continue with the next step in their life as a Dominican. In our Studium, which is in St. Saviour’s priory in Dublin, they are now studying philosophy and theology for the next few years and, with the help of God, to subsequently be ordained priest.

Please have a look at the short video of this joyful event. The photos of this event can be found here.


Parish Missions

In the last few months the Irish Dominicans have done a few parish mission, notably in September a mission in the Parish of Keady, Derrynoose & Madden in Co. Armagh and in the Parish of St. Peter’s in Drogheda Co. Louth in November.

On these missions a number of Dominican brothers go to a parish to lead the mission. Usually the mission consist of two or three session per day which can either take the form of the celebration of Mass or an hour of prayer with for example exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. During the week confession are heard after each session and often a whole day is dedicated to confessions where a priest would be available from de morning till the evening. Where time permitting part of the missions is also to visit local school and those housebound.

The missions are always a great source of hope and energy, and it is a privilege to be able to minister on these missions! Please keep our missions and ministries in your prayers!

Doctrine and Life – November edition

Please find below some of the articles in the November 2018 edition of Doctrine & Life.

An End to Awkward Translations of the Liturgy?

Thomas R. Whelan surveys the battles surrounding the translation of the Mass into a style of English suitable for public proclamation. While commenting on Lost in Translation: The English Language and the Catholic Mass, by Gerald O’Collins with John Wilkins, he points to the ways by which, during previous papacies, Rome took control of the translation process. He recognises that Pope Francis is now providing for the exercise of authority in the matter where it belongs, with local conferences of bishops.

Did Jesus See His Followers as a Family?

Rebecca Roberts examines the passages in Mark where Jesus calls his followers away from their own families and defines his kin group with a new set of values.

Re-vitalizing Europe beyond Its Diamond Jubilee

Patrick H. Daly describes a dialogue encounter held in Rome at the end of 2017, to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. He addresses problems now facing the European Union and points to ways in which the Church could put wind in the EU’s sails, recognising, with Pope Francis, that dialogue is a fundamental responsibility of politics.

Can We Have God without Heaven?

Martin Henry suggests that God honours us, as it were, by letting the apparent, humble ordinariness of our lives become a fundamental ingredient in the reality of the glory of heaven.

A New Dialogue between Church and State in Health Care?

David Begg continues his series on ‘Justice Questions’.

Impartiality without Gullibility

Archbishop Richard Clarke surveys themes in the writings of Elizabeth Bowen, especially her pointing to an innate and almost certainly unintended cruelty within innocence.

Oscar Romero: Long Walk to Sainthood

Ian Linden reflects on the canonization of Oscar Romero and on the actions both of his followers and of his detractors that delayed that proclamation.

A Month to Remember

John Scally is reminded in November of the death of his cousin Oliver, and of how suffering, particularly after the death of a loved one often appears an unanswerable conundrum for those who believe in the Christian God and it often rouses us to anger.

What Makes the Gospel of John Special?

Amanda Dillon reviews The Sign: Reading the Gospel of John, by Seán Goan.

To read an article from this issue, go to

Dominican Pilgrimage to Knock

This year the National Dominican Pilgrimage to Knock took place last Sunday the 14th of October. Each year on the second Sunday of October all branches of the Dominican Family travel to the Knock Shrine and lead the liturgical celebrations. As always pilgrims travelled from all the various Dominicans foundations throughout the island of Ireland. This year Fr. Ben Moran OP was the principle celebrant and Fr. Joe Dineen OP the preacher.

The official program began at 14:30 with the Anointing of the Sick, followed by Mass at 15:00. After the Mass there was Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and the blessing of the sick followed by the Rosary. Knock is the National Marian Shrine of Ireland. On the 21st August, 1879, fifteen people from the village of Knock witnessed an Apparition of Our Lady, St. Joseph, St. John the Evangelist, a Lamb and cross on an altar at the gable wall of the Parish Church. The witnesses while reciting the Rosary, watched the Apparition in the pouring rain for two hours. Although they themselves were saturated not a single drop of rain fell on the gable or the apparition.

Please find below a few pictures.

Rosary Rally and Fatima Novena

The start of the Fatima Novena in St. Mary’s Church, Popes Quay in Cork, was marked with a Rosary Rally last Saturday. There was a great turnout and all processed from the Grand Parade to St Mary’s church with the statue of Our Lady. Bro Jesse Maingot OP preached at the Mass which followed to open the Novena.

The Fatima Novena runs daily in St Mary’s until coming Sunday the 7th if October.

Please find some picture of the event below.

Simple Professions

Today our three novices made their First Profession into the Dominican Order. The Novices who have spend the last year in our Noviciate in Cork have now made their First Profession to continue with the next step in their life as a Dominican. In our Studium, which is St. Saviour’s priory in Dublin, they will study philosophy and theology in the coming years to, with the help of God, be ordained priest in years to come.

We congratulate brothers Benedict M.D. McGlinchey O.P., Christopher Vincent D. Gault O.P. and Blazej Martin J. Bialek O.P. on their commitment as they continue their formation within the Dominican Order in the coming years.

Please continue to keep all our brothers in your prayers as well as those who God calls to respond to His call.

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Attribution to Fr. Hugh Fenning

Fr. Hugh Fenning OP passed away on Wednesday the 25th of July 2018. Colmán Ó Clabaigh OSB kindly sent the following message to the province which we share to recognistion the attribution of all the work Fr Hugh has done over the years.

Dear Father Provincial and Dominican Brethren
I’have just now learned of Dr Hugh Fenning’s death. As I am unable to get to the funeral I wanted to let you know, as his confreres, that I am praying for him and that he was remembered at the Conventual Mass in Glenstal today. He was a larger than life character and one who was enormously supportive of my research for The Friaris in Ireland 1224-1540. I greatly valued his combination of erudition, criticism, kindness and occasionally acerbic wit. He made many contributions to the history of Irish Catholicism and of the Order of Preachers. I think particularly of his edition of Benedict O’Sullivan’s Medieval Irish Dominican Studies for which he painstakingly tracked down every source and reference that O’Sullivan used but never cited. This was very much labour of love for him and along with his own publications will long be the standard reference works for Irish Dominican history.
Dr Bernadette Williams has also asked me to convey her sympathies to you. She too corresponded with Fr Hugh in preparing her edition of the chronicle of the 14th-century Dublin Dominican, Friar John Pembridge.
Like you I feel his loss keenly and pray that he now joins the chorus of those who he researched so diligently in singing the Salve Regina and O Lumen Ecclesiae at the Wedding Banquet of the Lamb.
In Dno
Colmán Ó Clabaigh OSB