Jubilee Pilgrimage

As part of the Province’s celebration of the 800th Jubilee of the Order a number of the younger friars organised a pilgrimage to various places connected to the Order in Italy.

The group of 51, which included six of the brethren headed first to Rome. Rome itself of course is an incredible city and many of the group had never visited before. On the first day we visited Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls to go through the Jubilee Door of Mercy. Our next stop was to Santa Sabina for our first Mass together.  After Mass Fr Vivian Boland gave us a most interesting tour of the basilica and convent. Santa Sabina was given to St. Dominic shortly after the Order was established. A special moment was the opportunity to pray in St. Dominic’s cell.

On the second day we visited the Vatican where Sr Emmanuela from the Missionaries of Divine Revelation gave us a tour of the Basilica.  The Missionaries of Divine Revelation, wearing a distinctive green habit, were specifically founded to give guided tours of the Vatican and Rome. So many tours only focus on the historical detail the sisters feel called to give a more comprehensive spiritual input in addition to the normal historical tours of the various Holy Places.  During the pilgrimage lunch times were generally free to explore more of the city and to get something to eat. In the afternoon we celebrated Mass in Santa Maria-Sopra-Minerva and visited Saint Catherine of Siena’s tomb.

The third day we started with Mass in San Clemente, the home of the Irish Dominicans’ in Rome. San Clemente is also a historical gem.  Excavations under the 12th century basilica have revealed a 4th century basilica as well as first century Roman houses and a Mithraic temple. Fr. Thomas Mc Carthy, prior of the community,  opened for us the amazing story of the excavations.  On leaving San Clemnente we visited the basilicas of  Santa Maria Magggiora and St. John Latern, taking in on the way a visit to the Holy Stairs. The rest of the afternoon was free to explore the city at our leisure and pace.

The fourth day we started to travel north towards Siena with a stop in Orvieto to see the Cathedral and have lunch. We then made our way to Montepulciano where we celebrated Mass  in the church of St. Agnes and visited her tomb. Late in the evening we finally arrived in the beautiful city of Siena.

Early on the fifth day we began with a visit to the Dominican Church for Mass. This church was the place where St. Catherine came to pray and in which she became familiar with the Order. The relic of St. Catherine’s head is kept in this church. Later that morning we visited her family house. In the afternoon we continued our merry to Florence.

Our  sixth day of pilgrimage was spent in Florence where we visited the convent of San Marco, which houses the iconic frescos of  Fra. Angelico. The experience of visiting the cloister (now a museum) in a prayerful way shows how the spiritual is connected to the natural beauty of this world. It brought tears to many eyes to spend time contemplating the various depictions of Gospel events painted in the numerous cells. After lunch we celebrated Mass in the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella and in the evening we celebrated the birthdays of some of groups’ members.

Our pilgrimage reached its culmination when on the last day we visited Bologna and celebrated Mass at St. Dominic’s tomb. The General Chapter of the Order had concluded two days previously and our provincial, Fr. Gregory Carroll OP,  had remained in Bolgna so that he could be with the group and travel with them back to Dublin.  Fr. Gregory celebrated Mass at the tomb bringing this wonderful experience to a fitting conclusion.

As we left the final resting place of our Holy Father, all of the brethren realised that they must return home confident of spreading the Gospel faithful to the vision of St. Dominic.

Eight Priest Ordained for the Irish Province

The Irish Dominican friars rejoiced as eight of their brothers were ordained to the priesthood in Saint Saviour’s Dominican church, Dominick Street in Dublin. The ordaining prelate was Archbishop Robert Rivas OP of the Diocese of Castries in the Caribbean. Archbishop Rivas is part of the Irish Dominican province and came specially over to ordain our eight brothers in this special year of the 800th Jubilee of the Dominican Order.

The brothers ordained to the priesthood are brs David McGovern OP, Damian Polly OP, Ronan Connolly OP, Pat Desmond OP, Daragh McNally OP, Connor McDonagh OP, Eoin Casey OP and Kevin O’Reilly OP.

Our brothers were joined by many friars of the province, families and friends to witness the joyful liturgy of ordination. Please find some photo’s below. More photo’s and a video account of this tremendous occasion will follow after.

Jubilee Pilgrimage to Lough Derg

This week the Irish Province of the Dominican Order undertook our penitential pilgrimage to Lough Derg. (Lough Derg is an island in Co. Donegal. It has been a place of pilgrimage for well over one thousand years. Some claim that St. Patrick himself spent time doing penance on the island).

Part of the biblical theology regarding a Jubilee year involves the people asking for mercy while acknowledging their sins. We in Ireland have a unique opportunity within the Order to make this aspect of the Jubilee very concrete. No other province has a place like Lough Derg. (The pilgrimage takes three days to complete. During those three days one is only allowed to eat dry bread and drink black tea of coffee once each day. The first thing you do on reaching the island is to remove all foot wear. You walk bare footed for the three days. There are many other  penitential practices during the days and night. One is not allowed to sleep for one 24 hour period as one keeps vigil).  Therefore when arranging the Province’s year of the Jubilee of the Order, especially during this Extraordinary Year of Mercy for the Universal Church, we decided to have a Pilgrimage to Lough Derg.

On Monday the 13th twelve brothers joined together to undertake the pilgrimage. We joined over 150 other pilgrims, who were already on the ‘Station Island’ or who started their three day pilgrimage at the same time as us.  Some especially came in an answer to our call to join us in prayer and penance as part of our jubilee celebrations, among whom was a parishioner from St. Vincent Ferrer parish in New York City, she saw the pilgrimage advertised while holidaying in Ireland and decided to join the friars.  

No one who has undertaken the three day pilgrimage on Lough Derg would be expected to say that it is a joyful occasion. It is a unique experience to share time with God and the others pilgrims, and the fruits of this brave enterprise are manifold. It was an excellent time of prayer, community and friendship and while the merits for the individual, the Dominican Order and the Church as a whole cannot be measured, we trust in God that they will be bountiful.

It was an unique way to celebrate the jubilee.

Please find some photo’s of the pilgrimage below:

 

Celebration of the Jubilee 800 in Newbridge College

On the Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the 28th of January, the students and staff of Newbridge College came together for a Mass in the College Church to celebrate the 800th Jubilee of the Dominican Order.

Bishop Denis Nulty DD, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, celebrated the Mass on the occasion, and Fr. Gregory Carroll OP, the Provincial of the Irish Province,  Fr. Paul Dempsey, the parish priest of Newbridge, and members of the Dominican community also concelebrated.

Please find below some pictures taken during the Mass.

Photo’s of the Aquinas Lecture 2016 in St. Saviour’s

The Irish Studium, St. Saviour’s in Dublin, hosted and Aquinas Lecture on the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas.

The lecture was delivered by Dr. Rik Van Nieuwenove, Lecturer in Theology at the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. The lecture, entitled “Contemplation, Learning and the University in Aquinas”, was followed by the celebration of Solemn Vespers in the church with the community of St. Saviour’s. An audio recording of the lecture is available.

Please find some photo’s of the event below:

Diaconate Ordinations 2016

Find below some pictures of the Diaconate ordinations in St. Saviour’s on the Feast of the Epiphany.

Brs Pat Desmond and Kevin O’Reilly were ordained by the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin. The Provincial, Fr. Gregory Carroll OP mentioned at the end of the mass that the Irish Province had not had this many deacons since the early 70’s. Please keep the new (and old) deacons in your prayers as they prepare for their priestly ordination in the summer.

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Habit Receptions 2015

We are delighted to welcome our four new novices to the Province. During the 11am mass in St. Mary’s, Cork, the Provincial, Fr. Gregory Carroll OP, clothed the new novices in the habit of the Dominican Order.

The new novices were joined by their family and friends as well as many of the brethren from around the country. The Novice Master, Fr. Stephen Hutchinson OP, now takes charge of the novices for the coming year. The novices begin to live the life of a Dominican, praying with the community, having classes in the history and traditions of the Order, studying the Constitutions and spending time in personal prayer before the Lord.

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Religious Formation Ministry Program Award

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During this academic year Fr. Dwight Black OP from Trinidad and Tobago has been living in St. Saviour’s Priory in Dublin while studying for the ‘Loreto House Religious Formation Ministry’ program run by the Irish Missionary Union. At the end of the academic year the brothers in Dominick St. joined together to congratulate Fr. Dwight and to acknowledge the completion of his course and to thank him for his presence in the community for the last year.

S.T.B. Degree Conferrals

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On the 6th June 2015 Fr. Luuk Jansen OP and Fr. Matthew Martinez OP both 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. John Harris OP, the Regent of Studies for the Province of Ireland and Fr. Seamus Tuohy OP, secretary of studies.

Diaconate Ordinations 2015

The Irish Province of the Dominicans rejoiced at the ordination to the Diaconate of six of its student brothers. Br’s David McGovern, Damian Polly, Ronan Connolly, Daragh McNally, Conor McDonough and Eoin Casey were ordained this afternoon by His Grace, Diarmuid Martin, the Archbishop of Dublin. Many of the brothers from the wider province were present to witness the largest ordination in the province since the early 1970’s.

The six brothers ordained have been studying philosophy and theology at St. Saviours for the past six years and will continue their studies until their ordination to the priesthood next year, coinciding with the celebrations of the Order for the 800th anniversary of its foundation.

The newly ordained will begin their ministry of service in St. Saviours before venturing out into the wider province to preach and gain experience of different communities and pastoral situations. Please keep these newly ordained deacons in your prayers as they enter their final year of studies and preparation for priesthood.

The video of the Mass can be found here: