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!

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.

Fenning Collection – Autographs 18 May 1952

One of the items in the Fr Fenning Collection is a copy of the souvenir published for the centenary of Newbridge College with three autographs: [TOP LEFT] Mr Seán T. Ó Ceallaigh, President of Ireland, [BOTTOM LEFT] Éamon de Valera, Taoiseach, and [RIGHT] Archbishop Gerald Patrick O’Hara, Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland.

Ignite 2020 – Ralph Martin

Last weekend the Ignite 2020 Conference took place in St. Mary’s, Popes Quay, Cork. Recordings of most of the keynote talks and panel discussions will be published.

These are the first two talks, both given by Ralph Martin at the conference.

Ralph Martin is a consultor to the Holy Father’s Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization. Ralph also hosts the US weekly Catholic television program – The Choices We Face.

The first talk on the Saturday

The second talk on the Sunday

Light of Truth – 19

The scriptures occupy a central role in our Christian lives. Through the scriptures God speaks to us, and makes known to us the plan of salvation. At many times during this radio show the scriptures come to the fore as a central aspect in deepening our relationship with God through listening to His Word.

This week we will look at the Bible and how God is revealing Himself to us through the books we find within it. Fr. Terence Crotty OP and Fr. Luuk OP have a look at the bible as a whole and then with a focus on the beginning and the book of Genesis.

The radio program ‘The Light of Truth’ is a weekly Dominican radio program on Radio Maria Ireland. Please join us every Wednesday live at 14:00 GMT on Radio Maria – you can listen to the program on DAB in Dublin or Cork and online using the Radio Maria App or on the website:


Mass for Feast of St Thomas Aquinas 2015

This a video of the mass celebrated in St Saviours church, Dublin on the Feast of St Thomas Aquinas 2015 by the Papal Nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown and members of the Dominican community.

St Saviour’s Symposium: Renewing Higher Education

On Sunday 16 December, Dr Susan Hegarty, a lecturer in Geography in St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, spoke to the St Saviour’s Symposium about the challenges facing Higher Education in Ireland today, and offered some suggestions as to the creative roles Catholics can play in education.

In Persona Christi

This weekend the Irish Dominican Province joyfully anticipates the ordination to the priesthood of our brother Matthew Martinez in his native Trinidad. It is the culmination of a month of celebration for us. At the beginning of July, brothers Colm Mannion and Luuk Jansen were ordained priests. We Dominicans have a lot to be thankful for.

It is appropriate therefore that on the Sunday of brother Matthew’s ordination we find Jesus in the company of a multitude of hungry people. The Eucharistic connotations associated with the miraculous feeding of so many people are unmistakable. We are told that Jesus took the bread, raised His eyes to Heaven and said the blessing, broke the bread and distributed it (Matthew 14:19). Our own brother Matthew has spent the past number of years preparing for this very ministry. Fr. Matthew is now being entrusted with that power to make Christ present to people in the celebration of Holy Mass. He will act in the very person of Christ to feed a starving world with the Word of God and the Eucharist.

Commenting on this miraculous multiplication, St. Jerome believes that when the Lord reaps a harvest there is also at the same time a sowing of food for “had the loaves been whole and not broken into fragments, they could not have fed so great a multitude.” It is a little bit like this in our student house in Dublin at the moment.

In the past month the Lord has been reaping a harvest from the studentate. The number of students has decreased because three of our brothers will soon leave to take up their priestly duties. Yet today’s Gospel teaches that it is in this divine division that our contribution to the mission of the Church is being advanced. For those of us still in the studentate, the Lord sows in our hearts the desire to persevere with our studies. It is encouraging for us when we see our brothers being ordained. This miraculous multiplication is true not only of the life of a clerical student but for the Church as a whole. Love grows the more it is shared.

“They all ate as much as they wanted” (Matthew 14:20). The groans of satisfaction from the stomachs of 5,000 men, not to mention those of women and children, must have resounded about that lonely place in a chorus of thanksgiving to God. In the same way the brothers in the studentate here in Ireland will be raising a choir in our hearts this weekend, praying in thanksgiving to God for the gift of Fr. Matthew’s priesthood.

Gospel Reflection for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A (Matthew 14:13-21)