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Ancient Antiphons for a New Year

Speaking about God and speaking with God must always go together.

The liturgy is not a secondary theme next to the preaching about the living God,

but the realization of our relationship with God’ (p. Benedict XVI)

The different times in the year- ordinary time, Advent, Christmas, Lent and Ester- should feel different, different melodies, different colours, as different as the spring is from the summer, and summer from the autumn. Often the modern liturgy does not communicate this.

In our 2019 Calendar we share with you some images of a beautifully illuminated antiphonary from our archives, which was used for Vespers of the Major Feasts through the year, until the liturgy changed after Vatican II. The work of illustration was accomplished by the sisters over many years and completed in 1910.

Liturgical celebration is a constant thread running through our days so that we might be woven in our ‘consecration to the truth, which is the Word’.

The liturgical celebration of the Hours, repeated several times a day in community, must be a time when the Word of God, and not ourselves, comes to be our centre. It is when we allow the Word to seize us, to take hold of our desire to give our life and enable this desire to do far more that we could ever do ourselves. This celebration repeated each day and in each liturgical Hour gives us the courage to expose ourselves to the Word; to listen to the words of Scripture and the prayers of the tradition; to become accustomed to the familiarity that the Word wants to have with us; to discern through the words of Scripture the face of the Son that is revealed and who is the […]

Novena to St Dominic 2018 – Day 9

On this last day of the Novena, the eve of St. Dominic’s Day, I would like to speak on the humility of St Dominic. I have always admired Dominic’s humility- probably because I am so much lacking in it myself!

“We are told that in his lifetime, Dominic had wished to be treated always as ‘one of the brethren’- as simply ‘Brother Dominic’ and his dying wish was that he should be buried under the feet of his brethren. It is quite in accordance with his own temperament that he should live on in the Church, not as a striking individual, but in the work of preaching the Gospel, for which he instituted his Order. It is not surprising, then, that he has never been one of the popular favourites among the saints. Men and women do not keep returning to the thought of the man, Dominic, as they do to the thought of the man, Francis. It is rather to the idea of his Order, The Order of Preachers, that they keep coming back to.”

“ I do not read that Christ was a black monk or white monk, but that he was a humble preacher.” With these words a 13th Century Dominican Novice justified his choice of Order against some monks who wished him to join them instead. The essential model which St. Dominic pointed to in the thirteenth century was Christ himself, the humble Christ, wandering round with ‘nowhere to lay his head’, proclaiming the Kingdom of God. Dominic had an overwhelming love for Christ and the Christian faith. His great desire was to bring to everybody the truth of the faith, which would set them free and save their […]

Novena to St Dominic – 2018 – Day 4

 

O Rose of Patience

Each night at the end of Compline we address St Dominic with the antiphon O Lumen: “O light of the Church, teacher of truth, rose of patience, ivory of chastity, you freely poured forth the waters of wisdom, preacher of grace unite us with the blessed.  I would like to reflect on the title ‘O rose of patience.’

Reading through the biographical documents – the process of canonisation and the Libellus of Blessed Jordan of Saxony we notice that almost all the witnesses mention Dominic’s patience – very often his patience is linked to his humility, his kindness and compassion and his love of poverty.  He was patient with himself, with God and with his brothers and sisters.  We may ask ourselves what was the source of Dominic’s patience?  What was his secret that we too might learn?  It seems to me that his patience was the expression of his trust in the Father’s providential love and protection, and a consciousness of Jesus’ promise in St Matthew’s Gospel (which he carried with him always): “know that I am with you always.”  Dominic was at work in the Lord’s vineyard – to which he gave his all but the results depended totally on the Lord and His timing.

Bl. Jordan says that “Dominic’s mind was always steady and calm except when he was stirred by a feeling of compassion and mercy; and since a happy heart makes for a cheerful face, the tranquil composure of the inner man was revealed outwardly by the kindliness and cheerfulness of his expression.  He never allowed himself to become angry.” (103).  We note that Bl Jordan does not say that Dominic never felt angry but that “he did […]

Our New Card Catalogue is now available

Our Card Catalogue for 2018/19 is now available. It features a number of new cards; including, to mark the celebration of the World Meeting of Families in Dublin this August, a ‘Holy Family Icon Card’ by one of our Sisters.
Please click here to download the full catalogue.

A Window into Our Life

Welcome to a new ‘feature’ on our web-site …

 

We shall call it a ‘Window into the Life of a Dominican Nun,’ in a rather loose way.

 

Through this ‘window,’ we hope to give you an idea of what the life of a contemplative nun of the Order of Preachers consists in; to offer some food for thought; maybe also help you to encounter God in a more personal way; and to help any young women who might be discerning a vocation, to understand better who we are and whether how we live, is how they also seek to live, for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.

 

The beginning of our Constitutions shows how we are so closely connected to our brothers and sisters in the Dominican Family:

“… the first reason for which we are gathered together in community

is to live in harmony, having one mind and heart in God.

This unity transcends the limits of the monastery and attains its fullness in

communion with the Order and with the whole Church of Christ.”

 

One mind and one heart in God.  It is a rare, rare gift, to live in a community where everyone is intent on loving the Lord with every fibre of their being, especially in a world in which He is for the most part ‘an inconvenience’ and unwelcome.  But here we are, with like-minded and like-hearted sisters, and we each share the same fundamental and consuming desire:

That the Lord may be loved; and that everyone on earth might come to know Him and the immensity of His love for them.

Saturday 24th March: Visit of the Master of the Order

Some photos from the recent visit of the Master of the Order, Fr. Bruno Cadoré, to our monastery during his visitation of the Irish Dominican Province. He was accompanied by Fr Alain Arnould OP and Fr Gerard Dunne OP, the vicar of the Master for our Monastery.

 

4th Sunday of Lent Laetare Sunday Reflection

“If I forget you, Jerusalem, let my right hand wither. …”

“We are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus to live the good life, which from the beginning He had meant us to live it.”

“… but the man who lives by the truth comes out into the light,

so that it may be plainly seen that what he does is done in God.”

Our Lenten journey has arrived at its half-way point and today, we have been invited to rejoice.

To rejoice, obviously, in the Lord, Who is the source of all our good and of all the goodness around us.

To rejoice, possibly, in the fact that there are only three more weeks left of Lent – with St Patrick and St Joseph to look forward to, who will enable us to break the journey for a while, and thus help us to persevere … …

There may yet be something else in which we are invited to rejoice, possibly less obvious, maybe even unexpected.  But today’s readings, and indeed most of the liturgy we have been celebrating since Lent began, seem to be calling us to rejoice even in ourselves.

St Paul reminds us that “We are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus to live the good life, which from the beginning He had meant us to live it.”  And during the week we were commanded by Jesus Himself to love our neighbour as ourselves. …

It is easy to understand such a command to mean that we must love others as much as, or in the same way and to the same degree as we love ourselves.  But could it also dare us to love others as OURSELVES? – that is, is who we […]

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 […]