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:

 

 

Frassati Experience #2

Last weekend saw the second ‘Frassati Experience’, an opportunity for young men to stay overnight in our priory, join in our prayer, hear about Bl Pier Giorgio Frassati, and go for a hike in the beautiful Irish countryside.

We were joined this time by four men – our maximum capacity – and had a wonderful time of fellowship and prayer. We went to Glendalough (again!) and had to be well wrapped up against the bitterly cold wind. We even had a beautiful snowstorm at the end of our trip, with sheets of snow whipping down the holy valley.

The cold weather seemed also to have made the local bird population particularly friendly, and we had some close encounters with robins and chaffinches, as you can see below. We couldn’t help but be reminded of the story of St Kevin (of Glendalough) and the blackbird who laid eggs in his outstretched hands as he was lost in prayer…

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Visit to Siena Monastery

On Monday last, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, and World Day for Consecrated Life, we paid a visit to our sisters in Siena Monastery, Drogheda. They are contemplative Dominican nuns, following St Dominic above all in their sustained openness to the Word of God, in Scripture and the Eucharist. Their main work is Eucharistic adoration and the praying of the Divine Office, and their prayer is the engine that keeps their brothers going!

It’s always a joy to be with our sisters – they are an example to us of the priority of prayer in the Dominican way of life. We Dominicans are called to be preachers, but we can only preach Christ if we come to know him intimately in prayer. And because the Dominican nuns are so radically focussed on the Lord, their wordless preaching is more powerful than any homily.

The sisters are playing a big part in the fascinating new project, ‘The Rise of the Roses’. This is a project led by Catholic lay women (married and single), who want to shine a light on female religious life, to show the beauty of a life promised to God. There’ll be a summer tour as part of this project, visiting ten convents and monasteries around Ireland. The Dominican nuns in Drogheda will be acting as hosts on 4 July. Have a look at their website for more information – and if you’re a woman, why not come along and find out more about these daughters of St Dominic?

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