for a moment!

It is with the Dominicans you should have ‘thrown in your lot’ last Saturday: Let football happen without you; let your computers, i-pods, phones, gadgets, whatever it is – let them all gather dust; green pints, shamrocks, even St Patrick – for just a while. There is nothing I can imagine doing that could have been as encouraging, or as impressive, as the day spent on Saturday last, in St Saviour’s Priory, Dominick Street, Dublin 1.

So- what happened?
Being the Year of Vocations, the Dominican Family, took the opportunity to come together and introduce themselves to young men and women who might be considering their own direction in life, their vocations. It was a chance for them to meet what we call the four branches of the Order, and for them to see the breadth and depth of the Order – that it is composed of more than you might expect.

Four branches?
We are Lay Dominicans, Sisters, Contemplative nuns and Friars – and people who might be curious about one branch, on Saturday, were presented with the rest of us!

We had a guest speaker, Andrew O’Connell (on the executive of Vocations Ireland) talking about discernment and vocation – describing it as ‘prayerful decision-making’ – with the emphasis on the decision-making. As I could easily attest to – you could go through your whole life thinking you might have a vocation, actually deciding you do, and still not make the decision to take the next step!

This was followed by four speakers, representing each branch of the family, talking about their own path to the Order of Preachers, what appeals to them about where they now find themselves. And there were 14 young men and women with us, brave and courageous people – who came along to find out about us.

Altogether a very uplifting day – to be among young people who are interested in their faith – who are thinking seriously about living more in God, however that might be; people whose faith matters to them, for whom faith gives meaning and value to their lives. Those of us who have already committed ourselves to the Dominican Way found it refreshing, encouraging and even ‘life-giving’. And everybody found the day a very positive experience – I think we were all impressed with one another, and encouraged that we are not alone.

Keep your eyes pealed – something has begun, that is sure to be repeated. And thanks to our brethren in St Saviour’s for their very warm welcome – for giving us of their time and knowledge.

You want to know more about the Dominicans, so you do! You will find much information about Dominican friars, sisters, contemplative nuns and Lay Dominicans on the website www.dominicans.ie

Oh, and by the way … Happy St Patrick’s Day Beannachtaí na Féile!