What is a vocation, and how do I know that I am called? Please look at the pages below to get a better understanding about the Dominican Vocation: 

Renewal of Simple Professions

While bro. Philip Mulryan O.P. made his Solemn Profession during the 11 am Mass on Sunday the 11th of September, bros Matthew Farrell O.P. and Jesse Maingot O.P. renewed their Simple Profession during morning prayer in St. Saviour’s Dublin.

Ordinarily brothers take three years of Simple Profession after they finish their noviciate and renew it then for one year before making their Solemn Profession. We congratulate Matthew and Jesse and pray for a fruitful year of studies before they make their Solemn Profession next year.

Later this week, on Wednesday the 14th, five men are to receive the Dominican Habit in St. Mary’s Pope’s Quay during the 11 am Mass and start their noviciate. The next day, the four current novices finishing their noviciate with their First Profession also in St. Mary’s, Pope’s Quay in Cork, during the 11 am Mass.

Please keep them in your prayers as they prepare for their own commitment and continuation of their journey into the Dominican way of life.

Solemn Profession bro. Philip Mulryne OP

The Irish Province celebrates the Solemn Profession of Br. Philip Mulryne OP. Solemn profession is  the final step in becoming fully a Dominican. The vow of obedience is made until death, unlike the vow of simple profession which is made for a specific period of time.

Br. Philip will continue his studies leading to his ordination to the diaconate and eventually, with the help of God and his brothers, to his ordination as a priest. Please pray for Br. Philip and Brs Jesse and Matthew who renewed their simple vows today.

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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Celebrating the Year of Consecrated Life

The Year of Consecrated Life begins today, November 30. As a way of marking this year, some dedicated Irish laypeople have produced a beautiful video which features the testimonies of five religious, and includes shots of our life here in St Saviour’s. It’s a great way to remind people that consecrated life is not a private commitment on the part of some religious, but is something for the whole Church. All of us benefit from consecrated life, and all of us should do what we can to promote it. You could start by watching this video and sharing it with your friends!

Priestly Ordinations July 2014

The Irish Dominican friars rejoiced as two of their brothers were ordained to the priesthood 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 to witness the joyful liturgy of ordination. The two brothers Colm Mannion OP, Luuk Jansen OP joined the Order together in 2007 with and Matthew Martinez OP, who will be ordained priest in Trinidad on the 2nd of August. See some pictures of the ordination below:

 

He was crushed for our iniquities

crossA Reading from the Prophet Isaiah:

A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; One from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Yet ours were the grief He bore, our sorrows He carried; He was crushed for our iniquities; All of us like sheep have gone astray; But The Righteous One My Servant will justify the many and bear their iniquities.

 

Some of the most dramatic images we have of Mother Teresa reveal a saint who reached out to those truly on society’s fringes in Calcutta – the suffering and destitute. Here was a woman who brought Christ’s love and mercy into the lives of those the world seemed to abandon, transforming lives marred by fear and anguish through disease and extreme poverty.

In seeking to understand the awesome and life-giving reality that is Good Friday – this group of people I have been describing are a very good place to start. For no distant God of ideas or mere rules could speak meaningfully of life, hope and love to those who suffer. Only a God who himself tasted the bitter word and stigma of public shame and rejection could hope to touch the minds and hearts of those who have themsevles suffered so. This is where we begin to glimpse the essence of what Good Friday is – A day when Christ himself entered into the extremes of suffering and death. A day, when God assured us that His love and mercy knows no limits, no boundaries, but rather, seeks to reach out and save a suffering humanity even amidst the very depths of pain or sin.

The great Swiss theologian Von Balthasar wonderfully saw in the Cross, an act of love so great, it is beyond anything humanity could ever have imagined. This was the work of a God who – out of love – had already sent his only Son, at the Incarnation, all the way into the depths of our humanity. Jesus’s own earthly life speaks to us of a divine love which sought always to reach out into the depths of human existence, most especially towards those on the fringes. For Jesus searched out the God-forsaken.

A Friend of Tax-collectors and sinners, Jesus’ response to the pride and righteousness of the Pharisees in Luke’s Gospel, gives us a vivid insight into His mission of love and redemption – for he tells us that he comes “for those in need of a physician – sinners in need of repentance.” The lost, the sick, the suffering – it is such people that Jesus found, healed and restored.

So why did Jesus, God-made-man, seek out the fringes, and those in the extremes of sin and suffering? Our lives show us that both sin and suffering are inevitable human realities – for the atheist as much as for the saint. We can surely recognise the meaningfulness of a suffering God for those who themselves physically suffer. In reality, however, it is sin which makes us suffer most – it is sin alone which possesses the power to push any of us to the true fringes of existence.

For in wilfully turning away from our true good – that is, following Christ and His example, we ourselves bear a stigma that burdens the heart and mind. It is sin which darkens our own horizons, diminishing us far more than any poverty or physical disease ever could. Our goal, our earthly journey towards Truth, Goodness, Beauty and love itself, is blocked and ends in death, only through sin. The great mystery of God’s redemption, however, is that, it is the utter tragedy of such sin, man’s felix culpa, which drew down, our divine physician.

This is what brings us back to that First Good-Friday. For on that day, we saw most clearly, upon the Cross, and in that passion evoked so eloquently by the Prophet Isaiah, the unimaginable depths that God’s love will descend to in order to reach the sinner. In the extremities of evil, sin and death which Christ embraced and conquered on that day, we truly witness the value even the lowliest sinner possesses in God’s eyes. For it is the immensity of God’s love, mercy and forgiveness for each and every one of us, that drew Christ to the Cross that fateful day.

The most awesome reality this Good Friday, and indeed every day, is that such love and forgiveness -the full power of Christ Himself is still flowing, through that Church He instigated. The forgiveness and promise of paradise, offered to the repentant thief, in those final moments upon the Cross, is ours now- active with no less force- in the boundless mercy of Confession.

That divine Body – love, truth and goodness itself – given freely upon the Cross, is still offered each day for us- upon the Eucharistic altar. So we see that passion, that divine love displayed so vividly on that First Good Friday endures for each of us to this day. That is why Good Friday remains forever so, very, very Good.

From Ireland to Nashville!

The friars of St Saviour’s were recently honoured to be visited by a young Irish woman who is joining the postulancy of the Dominican Sisters of St Cecilia, in Nashville, Tennessee. Clare Kavanagh (pictured with some of the brothers) first came across the Nashville Dominicans on the blog of our vocations director, showing the value of the internet apostolate!

The sisters in Nashville have, in recent years, experienced something of a vocations boom – the average age of the sisters is in the mid-30s! Their apostolate is teaching, and they teach in schools all over the States, and are beginning to establish a presence in Australia. Fittingly for a congregation under the patronage of St Cecilia, music is also a major part of their lives, and they sing the Divine Office beautifully. If you want to find out more about the life and mission of these sisters, check out this video.

In the meantime, please pray for Clare, and pray for vocations to all branches of the Dominican family!

Ongoing Formation

Formation in the Dominican tradition does not end with the conclusion of our initial studies.

Every Dominican friar is expected to continue studying theology and other disciplines throughout his life.

Study is, after all, one of the four pillars of the Order.

However, ongoing formation for every aspect of his life and work are encouraged.

Ongoing formation for Dominicans is designed to help a friar to maintain high levels of competency as a preacher of the Word of God. A friar is appointed to co-ordinate the process of ongoing formation in the Irish Dominican province.

Ordination to the Priesthood

Most of those who join the Order do so with the intention of being ordained priests –members of the presbyteral order.

The identity of priesthood is maintained in our tradition, while all the time being aware that it is our call to be Dominicans first and foremost.

Those who are to be ordained priests must follow a course of studies in philosophy and theology, and after making solemn profession prepare for the orders of diaconate and priesthood.

The Dominican priest always bears in mind the fundamental call of our Constitutions (or rules) that the Order was founded for preaching and for the salvation of souls.

Those who become priests in the Dominican Order share in a special way in the priesthood of Jesus Christ – who came that we might have life, and have it to the full.

The Dominican Brother

Some men join the Order without feeling called to the ministerial priesthood.

These brothers continue to live their Dominican vocation in the service of the Order and the church.

They are often called co-operator brothers, but traditionally they have been known as lay brothers.

Down through the years the Irish province has been blessed by the presence of co-operator brothers in our communities – most especially by their presence, witness, commitment and faithfulness to the Order and the people they serve.

The co-operator brothers in the Irish province give an essential and powerful witness to all of us Dominicans to be preachers of the Gospel in so many varied ways.

They are one of the great sources of strength and inspiration for our province – and their vocation is highly valued and esteemed.