Homily of Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia OP 

Homily given by Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia OP during the Ordination of Fr. Philip Mulryne OP.

“You did not choose me, but I chose you.”  These words express our faith, dear brothers and sisters: that this friar – our brother, and your beloved son and friend – has been chosen by Jesus Christ, the great High Priest, to carry out publicly in His name, and on behalf of the human race, a priestly office in the Church.  No one takes this upon himself but only when called by God.  “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power.”  Just as Christ was sent by the Father, he in turn sent the Apostles into the world, so that through them and their successors, the Bishops, he might continue without interruption to exercise his office of Teacher, Priest, and Shepherd.  Indeed, priests are established co-workers of the Order of Bishops, with whom they are joined in the priestly office and with whom they are called to the service of the people of God. 

This Holy Priesthood is an extension of the mystery of the Incarnation itself.  The only begotten Son of God, who came to us in human flesh as our Savior, did not leave us as orphans after His passion, death and resurrection.

After He had ascended to the right hand of the Father, He willed to remain with us always, first of all by his presence in the Holy Eucharist, where He shares with us His body and blood, and remains present for our loving adoration.  Christ ensured this by giving to His disciples, and through them, to their successors, the power of the priesthood to commemorate, in persona Christi, in his Person, this very sacrifice of His love and His friendship for us as if we had been present at the Lord’s Supper on that Thursday evening centuries ago.  Of this sacrifice,  Saint Justin Martyr wrote: “For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Savior, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh” (First Apology, 66).  Priests are the instruments of this Eucharistic mystery.  Through them God wills to pour out His grace – His friendship and love – on us in the Church through the preaching of the Word and the celebration of the Sacraments. 

In this way, the Son of God continues to be in our midst in a manner adapted to our human nature – by sending His only Son who in turn commissioned the Apostles and their successors – so that we might receive His word and His grace from other human beings.  The hand of another human being blesses us, pours the water of Baptism on our heads, offers the body and blood of Christ to us in the Eucharist, and is raised in absolution unto the forgiveness of sins.  Through these visible and tangible sacramental actions,  God bestows His invisible grace on us, drawing us into a participation in the communion of love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  These are the fruits of the Paschal Mystery for whose service you have been chosen.  “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide.”

After mature deliberation, dear Brother Philip, you have shown your readiness to embrace the service to which you have been called.  Whatever gain you had, you have counted as loss.  In a real sense, your experience as an athlete has helped to prepare you for this moment: you have known the meaning of working hard to attain a goal, and now the goal is Christ.  You are to be ordained to the priesthood so as to serve him – Teacher, Priest, and Shepherd – by whose ministry his body the Church grows into the people of God.  In being configured to Christ the eternal High Priest and joined to the priesthood of the Bishops, you will be consecrated as a true priest of the New Testament, to preach the Gospel, to shepherd God’s people, and to celebrate the sacred Liturgy, especially the Lord’s sacrifice.

This configuration to Christ is an interior transformation of your very being.  When, during His first appearance to the disciples, Our Lord breathed upon them, it was to show, according to Saint Cyril of Alexandria:

“that the gift of the Holy Spirit necessarily attends those who are ordained by him to be apostles of God….Transforming them into something other than they were before, Jesus consecrates them by actual sanctification, making them partakers in his nature, through participation in the Spirit and in a sort of strengthening of the nature of humanity into a power and glory that is superhuman” (Commentary on the Gospel of John 12, 1). 

You are to be raised to the Order of the Priesthood.  For your part you will exercise the sacred duty of teaching in the name of Christ the Teacher, and in imitation of our blessed founder, Saint Dominic.  Impart to everyone the word of God which you have received with joy.  Meditating on the law of the Lord, see that you believe what you read, that you teach what you believe, and that you practice what you teach.  

What is more, you will exercise in Christ the office of sanctifying.  By your ministry the spiritual sacrifice of the faithful will be made perfect, being united to the sacrifice of Christ, which will be offered through your hands in an unbloody way on the altar, in union with the faithful, in the celebration of the sacraments.  Understand, therefore, what you do and imitate what you celebrate.  As celebrants of the mystery of the Lord’s death and resurrection, strive to put to death whatever in your members is sinful and to walk in newness of life.

When you gather others into the people of God through Baptism, when you forgive sins in the name of Christ and the Church in the sacrament of Penance, when you comfort the sick with holy oil and celebrate the sacred rites, when you offer prayers of praise and thanks to God throughout the hours of the day, not only for the people of God but for the world – remember that you have been taken from among men and appointed on their behalf for those things that pertain to God.  Therefore, carry out the ministry of Christ the Priest with constant joy and genuine love, attending not to your own concerns but to those of Jesus Christ. 

As you receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders today, recall that the priesthood is at the heart of your Dominican vocation:

“Made cooperators of the episcopal order by priestly ordination, we have as our special function the prophetic office by which the Gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed everywhere both by word and example, with due consideration for the conditions of persons, times, and places so that faith is awakened or penetrates more deeply all life in the building up of the body of Christ, which is perfected by the sacraments of faith” (LCO 1.v). 

Saint Dominic was a priest himself who had exercised his priestly ministry as a canon of the Cathedral of Osma where he also lived in community under a religious rule.  This model of the religious priest or the priestly religious was at least in part the inspiration for his new foundation: “The Order’s nature as a religious society derives from its mission and its fraternal communion.  Since the ministry of the word and of the sacraments of faith is a priestly function, ours is a clerical order, in whose mission the co-operator brothers too share in many ways, exercising the common priesthood in a manner specific to them” (LCO 1.vi).

Dear brother, your years of priestly formation unfolded in the setting of the fraternal communion of the Dominican Order.  In effect, you were preparing for the priesthood at the same time you were learning to be Dominicans.  This twofold formation intertwined at every point until today when, by the laying of hands, you will be made sharers in Christ’s work of mediation through which, as Saint Thomas says, you will, with Christ, both communicate “divine things to the people” and offer to God the prayers of the people and to some degree “make reparation to God for their sins” (Summa theol. 3a, 22,1).  The abundance of divine grace you have received in your Dominican and priestly formation has brought you to this wonderful moment.

Finally, dear brother, exercising for your part the office of Christ, Head and Shepherd, while united with the Bishop and subject to him, strive to bring the faithful together into one family, so that you may lead them to God the Father through Christ in the Holy Spirit.  Keep always before your eyes the example of the Good Shepherd who came not to be served but to serve, and who came to seek out and save what was lost.  May your life be marked especially by the same fervent zeal for souls that was manifest in our Holy Father Saint Dominic and in countless other holy priests and bishops of the Order of Preachers.  Make your own the stirring words of Saint Paul: “Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Amen.


For some photos and a short video of the occasion please click here. More will follow soon.

Ordination to the Priesthood of Fr. Philip Mulryne OP

Today in Dublin Reverend Brother Philip Mulryne OP was ordained a priest for the Dominican Order (Order of Preachers) by His Grace Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia OP during the 11.00am celebration of Mass in Saint Saviour’s Church, Dominican Street.  Archbishop Augustine Di Noia is Assistant Secretary at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and he travelled from Rome for today’s special ceremony.

Philip Mulryne was born in Belfast and whilst playing for his parish soccer team: Saint Oliver Plunkett, Philip was spotted by a scout for Manchester United Football Club and invited as a 14 year old to go to Manchester for a trial.  Philip impressed and then signed a schoolboy contract for 2 years.  In 1994 Philip finished secondary school and went to Manchester United full time as a professional on a four-year contract.  Making his debut in 1997 against Ipswich Town Football Club, Philip played five times in total for the first team before being transferred to Norwich City Football Club in 1999, playing 135 times for Norwich City during a period of six years.  Philip made his debut for the Northern Ireland Football Team in 1997 against Belgium and went on to play 27 times for Northern Ireland, scoring three goals.

After short spells at Cardiff City and Leyton Orient, Philip retired officially from football in 2009 and entered the Diocesan Seminary of Saint Malachy’s Belfast, spending two years studying philosophy at Queens University Belfast and at the Maryvale Institute.  Philip completed his studies in philosophy and went to the Pontifical Irish College, Rome, to study theology for one year at the Gregorian University before discerning a call to religious life.  Philip entered the Dominican Novitiate House in Cork in 2012.

We rejoice with Fr. Philip and his family on this beautiful day. Please keep Fr. Philip OP in your prayers as he starts the next step of his life as a Dominican in his priestly vocation!

Please see blow some pictures of the events, and a short video. A more extended video can be viewed here.

The photos and the video are free to be used for publication once the Irish Province of the Dominican Order and this website www.dominicans.ie are credited. The full size of the uploaded pictures can be downloaded when clicking on the picture and using the link at the right bottom. The video file can be downloaded here.

Mission in the Parish of Glenravel

As part of the ongoing preaching mission of the Irish Dominican Province, Dominican friars, Fr Luuk Jansen, of Newbridge Priory, Kildare and Fr. Brian Doyle, of St Saviour’s Priory Dublin, recently undertook a preaching mission to the Parish of Glenravel, just outside the town of Ballymena, in Co. Antrim. Glenravel is a beautiful country Parish situated in the heart of the Glens of Antrim, and administered by Parish priest Fr. Gabriel Lyons. The mission in Glenravel consisted of a preached Novena from the Saturday the 29th of April to Sunday the 7th of May. The two Dominican friars preached at all of the weekend masses and at the two daily masses (11.00am 7.30pm) on alternate days and heard confessions after each mass. The daily themes for the weekend included preaching on the theme of forgiveness, on the Eucharist, on prayer, and on healing, including administering the sacrament of the sick on one of the particular days. Each day, the friars also undertook house visitation to sick members of the parish who were unable to come to St Mary, Queen of Peace Church for the Novena, chatted to them and promised to pray for their intentions.

During their stay, the friars were also fortunate enough to be invited to speak to the students at both St. Patricks Secondary school in Ballymena, and St. Killian’s in Glenarm. There the brothers celebrated mass for more than 200 students, spoke to the students about their own journey to the priesthood and tried to answer all of the student’s questions. At St. Killian’s they also met the teaching staff and had lunch with them. The friars also had the opportunity to speak to all of the classes in Our Lady Queen of Peace Primary school in Glenravel Parish and to take questions from the young children there – all of the strange and wonderful questions that only children think of! They gave out miraculous medals to the children who were delighted to receive them.

Overall, the mission was an extremely blessed experience and a wonderful success. The people of Glenravel and Fr. Gabriel were extremely hospitable and warmly welcomed and the friars would gladly visit the beautiful Glens of Antrim again at any time.


Parish Mission in the Parish of Drumbo and Carryduff

Our brothers have recently returned from preaching a Parish Mission in the Parish of Drumbo and Carryduff in East Belfast. Fr’s John Walsh, Maurice Colgan and Terence Crotty preach the mission dedicated to the Centenary of Fatima. The Parish Church was the first church to be dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Ireland, so it was fitting to preach on the message of Fatima for nine days.

Preaching topics covered by the friars included, Prayer, Reconciliation, Healing, the Holy Eucharist, the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Rosary. Three liturgies were celebrated daily, Morning Mass with preaching at 7.00am, again at 9.30 am and an evening liturgy of Rosary, Sermon and Solemn Benediction. Many hours of confessions were heard over the nine days, including one whole day of confessions. The mission concluded with the blessing of Roses and Rosaries on the final weekend when the statue of Our Lady of Fatima was crowned and vested with a special rosary beads from the shrine at Fatima.

The brethren were very grateful to the people of Carryduff for the kindness and welcome shown to them over the mission days and especially grateful to Fr. Michael Sheenan, PP and Fr. Conor McGrath, CC for their kind invitation to preach in their parish.

Dominican Parish Mission 6-14th of May 2017.

Fatima Procession in Dundalk

There is a great relationship between the Dominicans and Fatima.  For instance, in the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary in Fatima on the left of the main altar there stands a statue of St. Dominic, Founder of the Order of Preachers. Over the main entrance to this same Basilica and welcoming every pilgrim to Fatima, is the great marble statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary sculpted by Fr. Thomas McGlynn, OP. Also the strong relationship between Fatima and the Order of Preachers comes from Mary’s appeals for the prayer of the Holy Rosary, the Rosary being the prayer most strongly linked with the Order.

The Dominican Friary in Dundalk has always had a special devotion to Our Lady of Fatima, clearly visible in its nearly unbroken commitment to the first five Saturday devotions, since the 1930’s. This commitment continues with our recent public Fatima Procession through the streets of Dundalk and our current Novena, being preached this year by Fr Eoin Casey OP.

Interprovincial Formator Gathering

Last week the four American Dominican Provinces, the English Province and the Irish Province meet for the annual formatters gathering. This year it was organised in Washington DC.

It was a very informative week with lots of possibilities to talk with the other vocations directors, novices masters and student masters. During the various meetings there was a chance to discuss some new ideas, look at the strengths but also the challenges which Dominican formation faces today. It was a very blessed and enjoyable time.

S.T.B. Degree Conferrals

On the 28th January 2017, the Feast of St. Thomas, Frs. Damian Polly OP, Ronan Connelly OP  and Eoin Casey OP received their Bachelor of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.) degrees. This is a graduate-level academic degree in theology awarded after four years of theological studies at the Dominican Studium in Dublin. The degree was awarded by the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Angelicum, in Rome to which the Dominican Studium in Dublin is affiliated. They were presented with their parchments by Fr. Joseph Dineen OP, the Regent of Studies for the Province of Ireland.

Mass with Pope Francis at the conclusion of the 800th Jubilee

Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the Cathedral Archbasilica of St John Lateran for the conclusion of the Jubilee for the 800th anniversary of the papal confirmation of the Order of Preachers – the Dominicans. Some brothers of the Irish Province participated in the Mass, most notably bro. Philip Mulryne OP who assisted pope Francis as deacon and bro. Jesse Maingot OP who helped serving. Please find below some photo’s of the event with thanks to Fr. Ciaran Dougherty OP for providing them:

Fr. Lambert @ 100

Fr. Lambert (Larry) Greenan OP  (1917-2017)

Recently the oldest member of the Province celebrated his 100th birthday. Fr. Lambert was born in Newry in what is now Northern Ireland on 11th January 1917. Together with his brothers he served as an altar boy in the local Dominican church of St. Catherine’s. He joined the Order in in 1933 taking first profession a year later. Soon after in 1937, his brother, the recently deceased Fr. Clement, joined him in the Order. Fr. Lambert was ordained a priest on 29th September 1940. After World War II he was sent to San Clemente in Rome where he studied for his doctorate in Canon Law. Returning  to Tallaght he taught for many years in the Studium. His next appointment was as Prior to Dundalk. As the Second Vatican Council was ending the Provincial was asked to provide an English speaking friar to establish and edit the proposed English weekly edition of L’Osservatore Romano. Fr. Lamber was assigned this task and thus became the first editor of the English language edition of the Vatican newspaper. He continued this pioneering work until the early 1990s.  In his final years in Rome he became friendly with Mother Angelica and her EWTN mission. On her invitation he travelled to the USA for the first time and while there he began working with the Sister Servants of the Eternal Word. This community has proven to be a welcoming home to Fr. Lambert and to the visiting Irish brethren.

Frs. Gregory Carroll (Prior Provincial) and Thomas McCarthy (Prior of San Clemente) both travelled to Alabama to celebrate his 100th birthday with Fr. Lambert and the Sisters. ~All the members of the Province send their best wishes and greetings to Fr. Lambert. Ad multos annos.

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Holy Hour in St. Saviour’s

On Thursday 22nd, to mark the actual 800th anniversary of the day when Pope Honorius III confirmed the Order to St. Dominic as an Order of the universal Church, we have a Holy Hour in St. Saviour’s from 8.00 to 9.00, including Rosary, Benediction, and silent adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, followed by Compline with procession to the altar of St. Dominic and blessing with the relic of St. Dominic.