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Homily preached at Sr M Cathy’s Solemn Profession

   The following homily was preached by Fr John Harris OP at Sr M Cathy’s Solemn Profession:

In the old vocations booklet for the Irish province from the 1950s the photographs go through the various stages of the formation of novices and students. By the second last page one arrives at pictures of the priest’s ordination and first Mass, turning the page, the final picture on the last page was of the graveyard in Tallaght. As if to say once you were ordained then the next major moment in one’s life was the grave. I am not saying today is the last big day in the life of Sr. Mary Cathy and the next stop is the community graveyard on the Chord Road. Or am I? For today you will use those stark words: I promise obedience until death.

At the end of today’s Gospel, we read: When they had done everything the Law of the Lord required, they went back to their own town where the child grew to maturity and he was filled with wisdom: and God’s favour was with him.

And we hear nothing more of him for 30 years, except for the episode in the Temple when he was 12 –  the hidden years of prayer and silent work. We call them the hidden years but also from a human standpoint formative years, years in which in his sacred humanity he grew in maturity.

Today marks a phenomenal flowering, a maturing of Sr. Mary Cathy’s journey of faith. Today Sr. Cathy offers herself totally to Christ. This one sentence of eight words sums up the Thomistic understanding of solemn profession. Today Sr. Cathy offers herself totally to Christ. Today is the triumph of […]

Sr Mary Cathy’s Solemn Profession

On Friday last, 2nd February, although otherwise quite a cold Spring day, the sun shone all day in a beautiful blue sky – symbol of the Sun which was shining in Sr Mary Cathy’s heart and which was visible in her eyes and smile as the day of her Solemn Profession had at last dawned.  She had prepared and longed for this day for many months and now was the moment to make her final commitment as a Dominican Nun until death.

 

It was a day of joy and thanksgiving for our whole community, Sr M Cathy’s family and our Dominican Family in Ireland.  Fr Gerard Dunne OP, vicar of the Master of the Order for our monastery, officiated and Fr John Harris OP preached the homily, Fr Eamonn McCarthy director of Radio Maria Ireland (a close friend of Sr M Cathy’s) was one of the chief concelebrants at the Eucharist  with 16 other of our Dominican Brothers;  Sr M Cathy’s family participated in the Readings and Prayers of the Faithful, many of her friends attended – several of whom are members of the Legion of Mary.  Many of our local friends joined us for the Eucharist. The Dominican Sisters, Cabra Congregation were represented by Sr Marie Cunningham OP and our friends from the local community of Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal joined us.

Being the 2nd of February, Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, the Eucharist began with the usual blessing of candles in the cloister and then the community and concelebrants processed to the church.

More Photos available at this link, with thanks to Fr Luuk Jansen OP for his services as a photographer.

The Dominican rite of Solemn Profession is quite simple – the sister […]

The great feast of Mary Mother of God -1st January 2018

The great feast of Mary Mother of God, the world day of peace, the first day of a New Year, New year resolutions, all these came together for me this morning when Father began his homily with this Scripture verse—Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.- I have no idea what he had to say after that. For these words reached me with great force and an immediate question. What things, events, situations, do I treasure and ponder in my heart and why do I do it. ? As I was quietly working in the kitchen I continued to reflect on this Word.  “Where your treasure is there also will your heart be.” What my heart has been most focused on during this past year will reveal to me what my treasure really is. What do my inner dialogues reveal? When I ponder the daily happenings in my life is it  to bring to bear the Word of God on these events, so that God’s  plan for my life may come to full fruition, as I gradually allow his light and truth to shine in my darkness.? Is my focus on listening to the voice of the Lord and as a result of that entering into His Peace. Do I treasure all the happenings of the day, both positive and negative because I know that each of them is a gift through which God is speaking to me if I have ears to hear? Do I believe that God is bringing about His plan both for my salvation and the salvation of the world as I willing assent and respond to His revelation to me moment by moment? I f […]

Christmas Eve Reflection during Vespers 2017

 

The theme of my reflection, on this Christmas Eve night, is ‘ Peace’. The Order has just established the month of December as the month designated for all its members to pray for world peace and each year the whole Order will focus on praying for peace in a particular area of the world. This year the focus is on Colombia, South America, -that the peace agreement signed in 2016 will become a reality there. Conscious also of the lack of inner peace in ourselves at times  and in people in general, I was led to ponder the title given to Jesus before his birth, that of Prince of Peace,  in the book of the prophet Isaiah, which will be read tonight at Mass:

For there is a child born for us,

a son given to us

and dominion is laid on his shoulders;

and this is the name they give him:

Wonder – Counsellor, Mighty –God,

Eternal- Father, Prince-of –Peace.

Wide is his dominion

In a peace that has no end.( Is. 9: 5-6 )

We long so much for this peace that ‘has no end’. We long for it for ourselves, our families, our communities, our friends and for the world at large. We want Isaiah’s prophecy, which says;

For all the footgear of battle,

every cloak rolled in blood,

is burnt,

and consumed by fire

– we want that to be realised now, without further delay. The Gospel tonight further reinforces this message of peace when it says:

And  suddenly with the angel there was a great throng of the heavenly host,

praising God and singing:

‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace to

men who enjoy his favour’

This theme of peace abounds everywhere in the Christmas Liturgy tonight and tomorrow. In the entrance antiphon, Jesus is […]

Rosary on the Coast for Life and Faith

Our Monastery will be joining with the Rosary on the Coast for Life and Faith, Ireland tomorrow (Sunday 26th) at 2.30p.m. (although we aren’t actually on the coast). Check out their website for details of other locations www.coastalrosaryireland.ie

Vocation Discernment Weekend – 17th to 19th November

In November we will be hosting a Vocation Discernment Weekend for young women interested in our life, or who wish to find out more about Monastic Contemplative Life.
(See Poster below)

Please feel free to download this poster and spread it around (pdf file available here).

Our New Roof

The work on our Chapel roof was completed during the week and the sisters are delighted to be able to resume praying the daily Office and Mass in the Chapel after two and a half weeks of being relegated to our Conference Room, which was a bit on the squashed side.

 
 

Our thanks to the workmen for getting the job done so quickly, and to God for the good weather during the last three weeks, which helped a lot.
 

This was something of a ‘rush job.’ We had quite a few leaks over the last year (which were manageable with cloths and buckets, and ‘patching’ of the roof) and were planning to re-do the roof in the autumn. Then the leaks got much worse, with a number appearing over the altar, which made the need to repair the roof rather urgent. Luckily the roofers were able to start work a few days after that and we now have a leak free roof.
 
As you can imagine this has been a costly undertaking so we would be grateful for any contribution, however small, to help offset the expense involved.
 

Sr M Breidge receives the Habit of the Order on the Feast of the Transfiguration

Our joy in celebrating the feast of St Dominic during this Jubilee year was enhanced by the addition of a new Novice to our community.

We share below the homily preached by our Prioress Sr Mairead at the Reception Ceremony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On this special feast day of the Transfiguration of the Lord, Breidge will receive the habit, adding immensely to the joy of this day.
 I realise that instead of trying to speak about this great and beautiful Mystery of the Transfiguration, one would gain much more by entering into the mystery through prayer, and in silence and solitude, allowing IT, on the contrary, to speak to us in the depths of our hearts.
However, as a few words are probably expected, I will attempt to be brief and focus mainly on the importance of prayer in the life of Jesus and its transformative power in our lives as contemplatives.
Luke says that the aspect of  Jesus’ face changed and his clothing became as brilliant as lightning, while Jesus was at prayer. Prayer– this intimate personal relationship with Jesus leading to union with Him and communion with the Blessed Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is in fact the goal of everyone’s life, though sadly, so few are truly aware of it.
Prayer, communion with the Blessed Trinity is given great emphasis in our own constitutions. As early as number 1 in the Fundamental Constitutions ( 1:IV) of the Nuns, bearing witness as it does to the transforming power of prayer, and reminding us at the same time, of the transfiguration of the Lord, it says:
“ Persevering in prayer with Mary the Mother of Jesus, the nuns ardently long for the fullness of the Holy Spirit, so that with unveiled face […]

Reflections on St Dominic (6) – The Dominican Family

Through the window of our refectory I saw how our youngest Sister has planted a variety of flowers in the shape of 800, and it is exactly what we are as we celebrate our 800 Anniversary as Dominicans. Each Sister and Brother whom God has called to our family has shaped our Order day by day by their lives. Dominic  placed so much trust and confidence in his companions. He was profoundly a man of God, convinced that the hand of God lay upon everything and everyone. His own vocation as a preacher he discovered from being attentive to the needs of others. He was so open to listen to God speaking to him through the lives of others. Dominic knew that those who came to join him were called by the Lord and that the Lord was speaking to them. If others were called to join Dominic in his dream then some system had to be devised which respected both the freedom of God to speak as He wishes and the freedom of each to express their understanding of what God was saying to each personally. Dominic’s vision, his inspiration is communicated to his brethren in such a way that it becomes the creation of all. He inspired others by sharing his vision and allowing it to take root and mature in them in such a manner that it seems to come as much from them as from him. In his family everyone becomes a builder, everyone must share in the task of construction, and is encouraged to offer his/her own personal contribution. Dominic never put himself in the centre, he emptied himself, and that emptiness   invites Christ to be a centre of his own life and the […]

16th April – Day of Prayer and Reflection; UPDATE

The 16th of April is fast approaching and below you can see a poster for the day.Please feel free to download and share this poster. (Download in pdf form, here).