Three Dominican Novices Make Simple Profession

On Thursday 15 September, the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, in St Mary’s Church, Pope’s Quay, Cork, three Dominican novices – Br Charles (Sean) Hurley OP, Br Michael Donohue OP, and Br Joseph McGinty OP – made their first profession in the hands of the Prior Provincial of Ireland, Fr John Harris OP. These vows, which brought their novitiate to an end, are temporary, and will become permanent when they make solemn profession. These brothers have moved from Cork to Dublin, and will begin their studies in St Saviour’s Priory, Dublin. Pray for them as they make this transition!

Three Men Enter the Dominican Novitiate

On Wednesday 14 September, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, three young men were clothed in the Dominican habit in St Mary’s Church, Pope’s Quay, Cork. The three men – David O’Donnell (Cork), Aidan O’Connor (Tipperary), and John Melvin (Donegal) – received the habit from the Prior Provincial, Fr John Harris OP, thus beginning their novitiate. This year-long period of probation, under the guidance of the Novice Master, Fr Philip Mulryne OP, is focussed on prayer, community life, and becoming familiar with the customs, traditions, and saints of the Dominican Order.

As these brothers were being clothed in the habit, the ‘Veni Creator Spiritus’ was sung, calling down the Spirit on them as they begin this year of walking in the footsteps of St Dominic. Please continue to call on the aid of the Holy Spirit for these novices, as they grow in the life of grace.

Solemn Professions in Dublin

Four Dominican friars took vows of obedience for life in St Saviour’s Church, Dublin, last Sunday. Brs Benedict McGlinchey OP, Ruaidhri Grieve OP, Błażej Białek OP, and Chris Gault OP, surrounded by family and friends, made solemn profession in the hands of John Harris OP, Prior Provincial of the Irish Province.

The vows themselves included, as is traditional, a promise of obedience to God, to the Blessed Virgin, to St Dominic, and to the Master of the Order and his successors. In a particularly powerful moment, after the Gospel, the brothers making profession prostrated themselves on the floor and were asked by the Provincial: “What do you seek?” Together they answered: “God’s mercy and yours”.

Drawing on the Gospel of the Day, the parable of the Prodigal Son, Fr Harris called on these four friars to live their Dominican lives imitating the mercy of the father in that parable, the mercy that they themselves had sought in joining the Order of Preachers.

All four brothers are also preparing for priestly ordination. Please keep their continued formation in your prayers, and pray for more Dominican vocations!

Two Irish Dominican Friars Ordained to the Priesthood

Sunday last, September 4, saw the ordination to the priesthood of Dominican friars, Anthony Kavanagh and Kellan Scott. A very large number gathered in St Saviour’s, Dublin, for the joyful occasion, with the crowd spilling out into the street. Dominican friars from across Ireland – and beyond – concelebrated the Mass of Ordination, along with priests from the dioceses of Dublin and Meath.

Bishop Tom Deenihan of Meath the ordaining prelate, preached a homily on the importance of generosity, determination, and sacrifice in the life of a priest today. Drawing on the Gospel of the day (Luke 14:25-33), Bishop Deenihan reminded the ordinands that they were called by Christ to take up their crosses, and to willingly and lovingly make sacrifices each day of their priestly lives.

The newly-ordained priests have received their first assignations from the Prior Provincial, Fr John Harris. Fr Kellan will be going to San Clemente, Rome, to complete his studies, and Fr Anthony will begin work as chaplain at Newbridge College.

We ask your prayers for these brothers of ours as they begin their priestly ministry.

Album of Dominican Music Available Now on Spotify

O Spem Miram, an album of hymns and chant from the Dominican tradition, recorded and launched last year, is now available free of charge here.

Featuring the voices of Dominican friars from around Ireland, and recorded under the baton of Dr John O’Keefe, the album includes traditional chants in honour of St Dominic, such as the ‘O Spem Miram’ and the ‘In Caelesti Hierarchia’, as well as some newer compositions, such as a setting of the Creed by John O’Keefe, and Fr Peter O’Kane’s ‘Ubi Caritas’. The album was recorded in honour of the 800th anniversary of the death of St Dominic, who often encouraged the friars of his time to sing God’s praises ‘fortiter’ (‘loudly’).

Dominican Event in Lisbon

On Thursday 7 July in the Colégio de Bom Sucesso, Lisbon, a long and distinguished chapter of Dominican life was brought to a dignified close in a seminar hosted by the Irish Embassy in Portugal, and addressed by leading Irish historians.

Marking the departure of Irish Dominican friars from Lisbon in 2021, and that of Irish Dominican sisters in 2016, this event examined two Dominicans in particular – Fr Daniel O’Daly OP (1595–1662) and Sr Margaret MacCurtain OP (1929–2020) – as well as the long history of Irish Dominicans in Portugal more generally.

Prof. Declan Downey (UCD) addressed the gathering on the career and significance of Fr O’Daly, the founder of both communities of Irish Dominicans in Lisbon, Bom Sucesso (nuns) and Corpo Santo (friars). Prof Downey provided a fascinating perspective on the religious and political activity of Fr O’Daly as a well connected and highly effective Irish exile in Counter-Reformation Europe. Dr Bronagh McShane (NUIG), author of the recently published ‘Irish Women in Religious Orders, 1530-1700’, told the story of the sisters of Bom Sucesso, while a panel of speakers, chaired by Dr Christopher Kissane, considered the overall story of Irish Dominicans in Portugal, from the seventeenth century to the present day. Following this seminar, the Portuguese translation of Sr Margaret MacCurtain’s pioneering study of Daniel O’Daly was launched.

Fr John Harris, Prior Provincial of the Irish Dominicans, attended this event and spoke warmly of its significance: ‘Lisbon and the Portuguese gave us a safe place where we could live our religious lives. It was marvellous to hear how we Dominicans gave so much back to the Church and people of Lisbon and Portugal. From 1615 to 2021 the friars gave themselves in service to God in Portugal. We received many blessings and brought many blessings. God be praised’.

Dr Christopher Kissane addressing the seminar.
Ambassador Ralph Victory addressing the seminar.
A gathering in the chapel of the Convento do Bom Sucesso.

Two Dominican Friars Ordained as Deacons in St Saviour’s, Dublin

On Saturday 5 March in St Saviour’s Church, Dublin, Archbishop Dermot Farrell ordained two Dominican friars, Br Anthony Kavanagh OP and Br Kellan Scott OP, to the order of diaconate.

A large congregation was present to participate in this celebration, along with Dominican friars, sisters, and laity from throughout Ireland. In a sermon rich in references to Dominican authors, the Archbishop outlined the ministry of deacons: they are ‘heralds of the Gospel of Jesus Christ’, their preaching ought to draw on profound prayer, and in carrying out their ministry of service they should ‘live life in response to the needs of others’.

Quoting Pope Francis, Archbishop Farrell called on Brs Anthony and Kellan to be ‘contemplatives, whose closeness to people enables them to proclaim before the wounds of our world the power of the Resurrection at work even now’.

As these brothers advance towards priestly ordination, we invite you to pray for them, that they might live out their diaconal ministry in imitation of ‘the Son of Man, [who] came not to be served but to serve’ (Mt 20:8).

We invite you too to continue to pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life, especially to the Dominican Order. Our vocations director, Fr Colm Mannion OP, can be contacted at colm.mannion@dominicans.ie and 086-0864420.

(Photos courtesy of Br Sean Blackwell OP).

O Spem Miram – CD Launch

On Friday the 26th of November 2021 the Dominican Friars of the Province of Ireland launched a CD with recordings of chants in honour of the the eighth centenary of the Dies Natalis of our Holy Father St. Dominic. The recording was carried out under the direction of Dr John O’Keeffe (Maynooth University), and features new music alongside ancient Dominican chant, including a new setting of the Creed by Dr John O’Keeffe, and a setting of the ‘Ubi Caritas’ by Fr Peter O’Kane.

The CD will be available through St Martin’s Apostolate, either by going to the website or the shop on Parnell Square, Dublin 1.

A Life of Love: The Dominican Vocation

Three friars of the Irish Province of Dominicans, Finian Lynch OP, Jesse Maingot OP, and Conor McDonough OP, reflect on the Dominican mission. Filmed and edited by Andrew Ascough. To explore a vocation with the Irish Dominicans, contact Colm Mannion OP, colm.mannion@dominicans.ie, and visit irishdominicanvocations.com.

Launch of CD of Dominican hymns and chants

As part of the Dominican Jubilee 21 celebrations in honour of St. Dominic, a group of Friars of the Province of Ireland has recorded a CD of hymns and chants from the Dominican liturgical repertory. The CD, O Spem Miram (O Wonderful Hope) will be launched in St. Mary’s Priory Church, Tallaght, on Friday, November 26 at 8.00 pm. Unfortunately, due to the current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic, the launch and performance will not be open to a public audience. However, it will be livestreamed via our webcam, which can be accessed onthe St. Mary’s Priory website or on Church Services TV (St. Mary’s Tallaght).

Copies of the CD will be available for €15.00, and can be purchased at the Priory reception, the Retreat Centre Bookshop or online from St. Martin’s Apostolate (www.stmartin.ie