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).

Dominican Pilgrimage to Knock

On Sunday 10 October, the annual Dominican Pilgrimage took place again after last year’s pilgrimage was cancelled due to the pandemic. While smaller then other years many associated with the Dominican Family gathered in Knock on a very sunny day to celebrate together.

Fr John Harris OP, the newly elected provincial, was the main celebrant of the Mass. Fr John spoke about the apparition at Knock and drew attention to the fact that the official witnesses to the apparition were witnesses in a similar way to how we witness the apparition. While at other pilgrimage sites revelations were given to visionaries, in Knock the apparition was visible to all present. So as the apparition was present then, it is available to us now though the scene as depicted in the apparition chapel. We are now as much as then all called to be witnesses to the apparition as were the official witnesses!

It was a joy to gather again at Knock, and with God’s help we will be back in full force next year in October!

Simple Professions 2021

The day after the new Novices received their habits, the Novices who have completed their noviciate year make their Simple Profession. This is their official entry into the Order as Dominicans, and the brothers have made this profession for three years.

Bro Philip OP, bro Sean OP and bro Desmond OP

They will now go to Dublin to start their studies in our Studium in St. Saviour’s priory. They will study philosophy and theology for the next few years and, with the help of God, and subsequently to be ordained priests.

Please keep our brothers who have joined the Order yesterday and the three brothers who have now made profession into the Order in your prayers.

Habit Receptions 2021

The Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross is the Feast Day of the Irish Province of the Dominicans. This is also the day that new novices start with their noviciate and receive the Dominican habit. The noviciate – the first stage of formation for a Dominican friar – is a year-long period during which, as our Constitutions explain, novices ‘experience the Order’s way of life, and are formed in the Dominican spirit in mind and heart’. During this time they are under the care of the Master of Novices, Fr Philip Mulryne OP.

This year four men joined the noviciate and received the habit during the 11 o’clock Mass in St. Mary’s, Popes Quay, Cork. In his homily, the Prior Provincial, Fr John Harris OP, reminded the new novices of their union with Christ in baptism, and encouraged them to grow in friendship with Christ. “During this noviciate year”, he said, “you must endeavour yourselves, with the help of your Novice Master, and the community here in St Mary’s, to live more deeply your baptismal calling as a beloved child of God”.

Please keep the brothers in you prayers as they start this new journey as part of the Dominican Order.

Please find a few of the photos below:

Solemn Profession

On the 11th of September, Fr. Columba Mary Toman OP made his Solemn Profession as a Dominican of the Irish Province. A native of Co. Down, Fr Columba Mary took his final vows in the St Malachy’s Church, Dundalk, where he has ministered for several years. His years of formation also saw him complete a PhD at Queen’s University, Belfast, on the ethics of end-of-life care, as he continued to carry out a fruitful preaching ministry.

In Solemn Profession, a Dominican friar vows obedience until death to God, to Blessed Mary, to Blessed Dominic, and to the Master of the Order. In this way, as our Constitutions explain, a friar is “consecrated totally to God, dedicated in a new way to the universal Church, being appointed entirely for the evangelization of the Word of God”.

On this happy occasion, we ask your prayers for the continued success of Fr Columba Mary’s preaching ministry, and that of the whole Province.

Please find below some pictures of the event:

Simple Professions 2020

Yesterday we received four brothers into our noviciate when they received the Dominican habit. Today the brothers who spend a year in our Noviciate have made their First Profession to continue to the next step in their lives as as Dominicans.

They will now go to Dublin to start their studies in our Studium, which is in St. Saviour’s priory. They will study philosophy and theology for the next few years and, with the help of God, and subsequently to be ordained priests.

Please keep our brothers who have joined the Order yesterday and the three brothers who have now made profession into the Order in your prayers.

Habit Receptions 2020

The Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross is the traditional day that the new noviciate starts and the new novices receive their Dominican habit. This year four men joined the noviciate and received the habit during the 11 o’clock Mass.

Please keep our novices (and those discerning a vocation) in your prayers, that the Lord might continue to bless them and give them the graces that they require to perceive His call and to keep following it!

Reception of the Habits

The Feast Day of the Irish Province is the Exaltation of the Cross, celebrated on September the 14th. This is the traditional day that the new noviciate starts and the new Novices receive their habit, as they start their journey as a Dominican. This year four men joined the noviciate and received the habit during the 11 o’clock Mass.

From left to right: Br. Bruno Mary Kelleher; Br. Nathan Peer; Fr. Gregory Carroll OP,  Prior Provincial; Br. Mark Murphy; Br. Laurence Augustine Rigney & Fr. Philip Mulryne OP, Master of Novices.

Please keep our novices (and those discerning a vocation) in your prayers, that the Lord might continue to bless them and give them the graces that they require to keep following His call!

Please find some photos of the event below.

Aquinas week

The eighth annual St Thomas Aquinas Summer School, run by the Aquinas Institute of Ireland (aquinasinstitute.ie), took place from August 4-10 at the Emmaus Centre, Swords. This session, the biggest yet, with some 50 participants from a dozen different countries, focussed on the teachings of St Thomas on the nature of virtue and vice in general, as well as specific virtues and vices.

Among the students taking part were doctoral students in philosophy and theology, as well as complete beginners, including two who recently completed their Leaving Certificate exams! As well as intensive seminars, participants heard a lecture on ‘The Virtues of Courtesy’ by Fr Alan O’Sullivan OP, and took part in a field trip to Mellifont Abbey and Drogheda, including a visit to the Dominican nuns in Siena Monastery.

Ordination of Fr. Matthew Farrell OP

Matthew Farrell, a native of Daingean, Co. Offaly, was ordained priest on Saturday, 6 July, in St Saviour’s church, Dublin, by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, of Dublin. Present at the ceremony were his three sisters, Lorraine, Michelle and Natalie, with their families, and his brother David and his family.

Father Matthew, aged 44, had a varied career before joining the Dominican Order in 2012. Immediately after secondary school he worked in the bar trade in Tullamore and in his native Daingean. Attending Athlone Institute of Technology as a mature student, he gained a degree in applied chemistry, working for seven years as a laboratory analyst. After the death of his father, he returned to Daingean to work in the family business with his brother. As a Dominican he spent a year in the noviciate in Cork before moving to the house of studies at St Saviour’s, Dublin, to study philosophy, Scripture and theology, in preparation for ministry as a priest. He made solemn vows (lifelong commitment) as a Dominican in September 2017.

Later this summer, he will move to Co. Kerry, to join the Dominican community at Holy Cross church, Tralee, and to begin his ministry as a priest there.

Father Matthew explains that by the end of secondary school he had ceased going to Mass and practising the faith in which he had been brought up. He continues: ‘When I was 24, my auntie brought me to a retreat which was ran by a lay association called Youth 2000. This sparked within me an interest in religion in general, but it was not until I was 28 that I made a decision to re-commit myself to the practice of the Catholic faith. I started to go to Mass every Sunday, went to regular monthly confessions and got involved with a Youth 2000 prayer meeting which had started in Tullamore in the parochial house.’ The outcome was, he explains: ‘I started to grow in my faith in the love and mercy of Jesus Christ and faith in the power of prayer and the sacraments to help me grow closer to God.’

At the age of 37, after considering the possibility that he was being called to religious life, he entered the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), founded 803 years ago.