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Novena to St Dominic 2018 – Day 9

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

鈥淲e are told that in his lifetime, Dominic had wished to be treated always as 鈥榦ne of the brethren鈥- as simply 鈥楤rother Dominic鈥 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.鈥

鈥 I do not read that Christ was a black monk or white monk, but that he was a humble preacher.鈥 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 鈥榥owhere to lay his head鈥, 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 […]

Through the window of a Dominican Monastery

Last month there was a little reflection on the beginning of our Constitutions.聽 A further word on it this month seems like a good idea and given the way the world is turning so rapidly from faith and from God 鈥 it seems even necessary to pose a question or two about the same article.

We are called to 鈥榣ive in harmony 鈥︹

The question is:聽 聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Do we in fact know how to live?

Do you know how to live?

Do you have a desire to actually live rather than merely exist?

Entering a monastery is a real 鈥榮hock to the system鈥 鈥 especially in today鈥檚 world (which sounds a bit like a clich茅).聽 Nevertheless, so it is.聽 No iPhones, or smart-phones or ready access to social media 鈥 no radio or television except occasionally.

What are the benefits of that?聽 It鈥檚 a very relevant question for people who spend so many hours a day tuned into what people are saying 鈥榮ocially鈥 or 鈥榲irtually.鈥

What do you discover when you turn off the noise; and stop filling your head with technological, non-stop communication?聽 What might happen?

Maybe 鈥 and in fact it is something that we here would all agree on.聽 TRUTH.聽 If there鈥檚 one thing you can be sure of, when you give yourself to the Lord in quiet and seeming emptiness (remember it actually isn鈥檛 emptiness) the truth bubbles up and speaks to you.

We are nuns of the Order of Truth 鈥 Veritas is our motto 鈥 so we bear witness in our silence and by our lives that TRUTH MATTERS.聽 More than that, it can be known and lived.聽 You can live the truth.聽 And the invitation is that you neither have to, nor are you expected to […]

A Window into Our Life

Welcome to a new 鈥榝eature鈥 on our web-site 鈥


We shall call it a 鈥榃indow into the Life of a Dominican Nun,鈥 in a rather loose way.


Through this 鈥榳indow,鈥 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:

鈥溾 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.鈥


One mind and one heart in God.聽 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 鈥榓n inconvenience鈥 and unwelcome.聽 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.

Dare to Believe?

Inspiration …Next Sunday’s Gospel from Matthew speaks about ‘your virtue’ going ‘deeper than that of the Scribes and Pharisees.’  This is prompted a very interesting reflection just a while ago, as Sisters in our Community shared a little, the words of this Gospel with which they have been praying during this week.You will remember that in Luke’s Gospel, when the sisters Martha and Mary welcomed the Lord to their home, Mary sat at his feet and listened to Him (cf Lk 10:38-42).Well, the connection in my head and in my reflection was that Jesus is our virtue – God is our virtue.  We believe and we know that the source of all goodness is in God … in fact is God working in us, with our free desire to be and to do good.  We are not by any means puppets or marionettes!  But the thought that came to me was simply that Goodness, and consequently virtue and wisdom, along with all that we associate with God … is a Person: is personified in God Himself.How amazing!  Jesus, then, is telling us that He is our virtue and more .. He who is God wants us to possess this virtue – to possess Him.  Almost as though He would like to be a marionette for us, ‘our puppet.’  He wants to dwell very deeply within us, within YOU … you are as essential as that to Him.   Why?LOVE.  The love of the Lord is utterly mind-boggling, that He would make Himself small enough to fit inside us.  It is a very amazing gift to have been called like Mary, to sit at His feet and listen to Him.  And when we listen, sometimes what we hear […]

By |February 12th, 2014|Liturgy|0 Comments

Icon Writing

    Recently Mikai Cucu conducted a week long course on icon writing for our sisters who are interested in this special art. Six sisters in all participated – some who are already quite proficient in the art and others just beginners. All in all it was a wonderful week for all. One sister expressed her appreciation as an opportunity to “swim in deep waters.  We had a wonderful week, resting on Mount Tabor, contemplating the rising of the Light, emerging from the darkness (of our souls).  The experience was intense, wholesome – affecting our souls, our hearts, and our bodies – and most rewarding.  A special word of thanks to Mihai who gives himself totally to this ministry” Here we share with our readers some glimpses of the work – and all agreed that it was an intense week of work bearing much fruit in the beautiful icons shown in the picture above.   锘              

3rd Sunday of Lent – Year C

 鈥淪trong is His love for us鈥 鈥 we could say that this phrase from the responsorial psalm sums up the message of today鈥檚 Mass readings.Our God is a 鈥榗onsuming fire鈥 who 鈥渇orgives all our guilt鈥 and 鈥渉eals our ills鈥 (Ps 102).  He is 鈥渃ompassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.鈥滻n the Gospel Jesus explains in the parable of the fig tree which did not bear fruit that he is always prepared to give us a second chance, to give us more time, in the hope that we will repent of our sins and failures.  鈥淕ive it (ie the fig tree) one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it 鈥 it may bear fruit next year!鈥 (Gospel – Lk 13:1-9).It is the same God who appeared to Moses while he went about his daily work of tending the flock and spoke to him from the burning bush.  Moses was standing on 鈥渉oly ground鈥 without knowing it!  God reveals His name as I AM.  When we live in the present we live in the PRESENCE of our God who knows all about the plight of His people and their desires for freedom.  As God sent Moses to the people of Israel to be His mouth-piece and His instrument in freeing them from their bondage, so today He needs each of us to tell others of the love, compassion and forgiveness of our God.  We need not be afraid to open to Him for He will surpass all our expectations and dreams with the abundance of His love – 鈥淪trong is His love for us!鈥濃淥nly where God is seen does life truly begin.  Only when we […]

Sr Mary Cathy’s Profession – 2nd February

After a week of wind, rain and hail stones the sun shone brightly on Saturday morning  and continued to shine all day – symbol of the light and joy we celebrated on this feast of the Presentation of the Lord as Sr Mary Cathy made her Profession – an appropriate way to mark this day dedicated to Consecrated Life.Fr Gerard Dunne OP, vicar of the Master of the Order for our  monastery, presided and was joined by our brothers from the local community and several others including Fr Gregory Carroll, Provincial and Fr Eamonn McCarthy from Cloyne diocese – a friend of Sr Cathy.In addition to Sr M Cathy’s family we were very happy to welcome Sr Marie Redmond OP, novice mistress and her two novices, from the Cabra Congregation of Dominican Sisters and all our student brothers from St Saviour’s Priory, Dublin.  Fr John Harris preached the homily – which we hope to share with you later.  We were joined in the chapel by a large number of Lay Dominicans and local friends.The following photos will convey to you something of the joy which we all experienced.Sr Mary Cathy makes prostration and asks for God’s mercy and that of the communityThe prioress questions Sr Mary Cathy before making her profession Sr Mary Cathy makes her profession in the hands of the prioress as is customary in our Order:  I, Sr Mary Cathy Howard, make profession, and promise obedience to God and to Blessed Mary and to Blessed Dominic and to the Master of the Order of Friars Preachers, Bro Bruno Cadore, and to you Sister Mary Breda Carroll, Prioress of this Monastery of St Catherine of Siena, Drogheda and to your successors, according to the Rule of the Blessed Augustine and the Constitutions of the […]

Icons – A Path to Contemplation

Last week our monasterary hosted a one day gathering of monastic women. Some of our sisters presented reflections based on the theme “Icons – a Path to Contemplation”. Below is the text of one of the reflections. (The other three reflections have been posted on the reflections section of our website – Click here to view them)It is not by accident that we have chosen the Icon of the Transfiguration, written by Theophan the Greek, for our sharing at this gathering. All ancient tradition saw in the Prayer of Jesus on the mountain, depicted in this Icon, the blue print for contemplative life. In the exhortation Vita Consecrata, Pope John Paul II invites us, consecrated religious, to contemplate the transfigured face of Jesus.In The Eastern theological tradition, man is seen to be on a mystical journey that leads to 鈥淭heosis鈥 or deification. Icons represent this union between God and man. The Icon is a manifestation of the presence of God. It draws and brings us into this Presence so that we can experience God in our soul. In this way we become a living icon of God.For Byzantine theology, the Transfiguration as a 鈥淭eofania鈥, theophany, is on the one hand, a key to the understanding of the Divinity of Christ, and on the other, it is a very concrete model for the spiritual transformation of man.The Transfiguration has taken a central place in the mystical theology of Byzantine鈥檚 monastic world. Whatever method of meditation the monks used, its purpose was always to lead to enlightenment, that is, prayerful immersion in the rays of Divine energy.An orthodox monk and iconographer, Grigorij Krug, says that鈥渢he disciples did not immediately witness the Transfiguration of Jesus, when they […]

By |September 11th, 2010|Dominican|0 Comments

Come Holy Spirit

The following is a reflection on today’s feast of Pentecost shared with our community by one of our sistersIn reflecting on the Readings for Pentecost Sunday I found myself praying the Alleluia Verse throughout the week: Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful; and kindle in them the fire of your love.In Mary鈥檚 life, in Dominic鈥檚 life, in Catherine鈥檚 life, in Mother Teresa of Calcutta鈥檚 life, in the life of the Apostles and in our lives it is love that counts 鈥 a love that the Holy Spirit sets alight in our hearts so that it becomes a fire. A recent book on Mother Teresa by Joseph Langford, is entitled Mother Teresa鈥檚 Secret Fire. Oh that we could all have such a fire of love within our hearts. To pray this prayer 鈥楥ome Holy Spirit 鈥.. is a prayer directed at everyone 鈥 it is outward looking to include every person on earth and is exclusive of no one. It is a beautiful prayer because one could not pray for anything greater for anyone.I have been re-reading the little booklet entitled The Contemplative Life by Fr. Anselm Moynihan OP. His words seemed to help me understand how the Holy Spirit could kindle in me and in all of us the fire of His love within the context of our contemplative life and of course always with the aid of Our Lady鈥檚 presence and prayer. Fr. Anselm says:鈥楥ontemplation, is the great work, in fact, the only one, which is directly concerned with God Himself, and directly expresses our love for Him. The reasons for this are, firstly, that it is only by the spiritual operations of our mind and will, […]

They left everything and followed Him

Mass Readings for the 5th Sunday cycle C1st Reading – Isaias 6:1-82nd Reading – 1Cor 15:1-11Gospel – Luke 5:1-11The 1st reading and the Gospel present us with accounts of vocation stories – the call of Isaias in the Temple and the call of Peter and the first disciples by the sea shore. The Gospel tells us: “They left everything and followed Him”.On the feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple – 2nd of February – the day devoted to celebrating the vocation to consecrated life, Pope Benedict XVI gave a very beautiful homily which we have abridged slightly and share with our readers as a commentary on today’s readings: Consecrated Life “A School of Trust in the Mercy of God”Venerable John Paul II, beginning in 1997, wished that the whole Church should celebrate a special Day of Consecrated Life. In fact, the oblation of the Son of God — symbolized by his presentation in the Temple — is the model for every man and woman that consecrates all his or her life to the Lord. The purpose of this day is threefold: 1. to praise and thank the Lord for the gift of consecrated life; 2. to promote the knowledge and appreciation by all the People of God; 3. to invite all those who have fully dedicated their life to the cause of the Gospel to celebrate the marvels that the Lord has operated in them. If Christ was not truly God, and was not, at the same time, fully man, the foundation of Christian life as such would come to naught, and in an altogether particular way, the foundation of every Christian […]