A Vocation Story

Since today’s Gospel is the sending out of the Disciples it seems appropriate to share Sr Mary Cathy’s vocation story: how she recognised/discovered where our Lord was calling her to work in his vineyard.Sr Mary Cathy making First Profession, 2nd February 2013My name is Cathy Howard. I am 32 years old and I come from Finglas, Dublin. Both my parents are living and I have four brothers, two sisters and nine nieces and nephews. I entered the Monastery of St. Catherine of Siena in Drogheda, County Louth, in April 2010. I spent nine months as a Postulant, two years as a Novice, and made my First Profession on the 2nd February 2013. I did not really know anything about God or the Church until I got involved with the Legion of Mary in 2004. A member of the Legion working in the Regina Caeli Hostel, encouraged me to go to Confession – the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and so I did. This was the first time I had gone to Confession since my First Holy Communion. I spent two hours with the priest and it was during this Confession that I experienced God’s love, mercy and forgiveness. For the first time in my life I felt free and alive. This was the beginning of a new journey for me. I was to spend many more hours in confession during my first years following my conversion. This sacrament continues to be a great source of healing for me. I became a member of the Legion in 2005. Part of the Legion’s work is door to door visitation by two members. I found this work very challenging as I had very little knowledge of the teachings of […]

Homily preached at Sr M Cathy’s Profession

We are happy to share with our reader the homily which Fr John Harris OP preached at Sr Mary Cathy’s Profession on the 2nd of February:Today’s feast begins with a young married couple bringing their newly born baby to the Temple.  Today’s celebration of Sr Mary Cathy’s profession began in the very same way, when her parents, Imelda and John, carried her to a church to be baptised.  On that day a sword began to pierce her heart. In mystical theology the image of a sword is often used as a way of describing how the love of God penetrates deeply into our hearts and lives and transfixes us with the living presence of the divine love. This life of grace which begins at the very moment of our baptism continues to pierce us all our lives through until in the end, the words spoken by Simeon become words spoken of us: “our secret thoughts are laid bare”. That sword of divine love began its journey to the centre of Cathy’s soul on the day of her baptism, it continued in her reception of the sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation and Cathy herself would say it made little if any progress in her life. But once the sword begins its journey, to use another image taken from the words of Jesus himself speaking of the seed that is planted: night and day while we sleep, when we are awake the seed is sprouting and growing, how, we do not know”. The love continues to bring life in its own mysterious way. This is the true story of grace in every Christian soul. How that sword of divine love continues to wound and in its wounding brings […]

By |February 10th, 2013|Vocations|0 Comments

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 […]

Good News of Profession in New Year

We are very happy to announce that Sr M Cathy will make first Profession early in the New Year.The following is a reflection given at our community meeting at which she was accepted for first Profession.It is a happy co-incidence that we have gathered to vote on accepting you, Sr M Cathy, for profession, on the eve of the beautiful feast of Christ the Universal King during this special Year of Faith as we continue our novena of years to the 800th anniversary of the Order in 1216.  The coming year beginning on the first Sunday of Advent is dedicated to ‘Mary: Contemplation and Preaching the Word’ – ‘Do unto me according to your Word’ – a very fitting theme for the year when you will make your profession.Pope Benedict continually reminds us that faith is neither a philosophy of life, nor a moral code nor a set of dogmas to be believed.  Rather faith is a dynamic and life-giving encounter with the living God – the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit – who invites us into a relationship with Him.  The Son of God, the Word, through Whom we and all creation have come into existence, has come among us in the Person of Jesus Christ – He has revealed the Father to us and continues to walk with us through the wilderness of this life as we journey to our homeland in heaven – ‘Lo, I am with you always’.  “Faith is a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, making oneself his disciple.” Religious Profession is basically an act of radical faith in the One who invites us to intimacy with Himself – it is like signing a blank cheque with all the […]

Video of the Solemn Profession of Sr Mary Teresa

Below is a short video clip of some scenes from the Solemn Profession of Sr Mary Teresa Dunphy. We hope you enjoy it.

Solemn Profession of Sr Mary Teresa OP

On the 29th June Sr Mary Teresa’s solemn profession was a wonderful celebration of joy and thanksgiving for our community. The profession took place during the celebration of the Eucharist at which Fr Laurence Collins OP, vicar of the Master of the Order for our community presided. Fr Noonan from Sr Mary Teresa’s home parish, concelebrated as well as several Dominican friars – some of whom travelled from as far away as Cork and Limerick in order to be with us on this special occasion. Also in the congregation were some Dominican student brothers, sisters from the Cabra Congregation of Dominican Sisters and local Lay Dominicans and friends. Of course Teresa’s proud parents,Nuala and Brian Dunphy, her sister and her seven brothers were present and participated in the Readings, Prayers of the Faithful and Offertory procession. Fr John Harris OP preached the homily which we are happy to share with you here. According to our 800 years’ Dominican tradition we make our profession in the hands of the prioress while holding the Book of the Constitutions of the Nuns of the Order. Here we share a few photos but shortly we hope to be able to share more of this joyful occasion through video – so keep your eye out for it!Fr John Harris preached the following homilyAnyone who knows Sister Teresa will know that if you ask her a question you will get a quick, clear and intelligent answer. An answer that leaves you in no doubt about what she is thinking. Never in her life has she given such a clear answer to a question as she does today. To the question […]

Solemn Profession of Sr Mary Teresa

We invite all our readers to join us in spirit on Wednesday the 29th June as Sr Mary Teresa makes her solemn profession as a Dominican nun. In the above photo the Master of the Dominican Order, Bro Bruno Cadoré OP, extends his best wishes to Sr Mary Teresa on his recent visit to our monastery.Those of you who live close by are welcome to join us in the chapel. Mass begins at 12.30 p.m. We hope to share with you later in the week the highlights of this special day.

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    Sr Mary Teresa accepted for Solemn Profession – 24th March 2011.

Sr Mary Teresa accepted for Solemn Profession – 24th March 2011.

It is our custom the all the memebers of our community vote on accepting each sister for postulancy, novitiate and for profession. The following is a homily given by the prioress on the 24th March when the community accepted Sr Mary Teresa for solemn profession. Sr Mary Teresa will make her solemn profession on the 29th JuneSr Mary Teresa, it is significant and providential that the community accepts you for Solemn Profession on the eve of this great feast of the Annunciation of the Lord when we commemorate the moment when the Eternal Word took flesh in Mary’s womb – when Mary responded with her ‘yes’ to God the Father’s invitation. At that moment the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary. While Mary’s ‘yes’ is important she is pure capacity for the working of the Holy Spirit in her – it is all His doing and Mary said: “Let it be done unto me”. Pope John Paul II in Vita Consecrata emphasises the role of the Holy Spirit in the vocation to consecrated life. The following is adapted from Nos 19 and 39 of that document.It is the Spirit who enables us to recognise the appeal of such a demanding choice. Through His power, we relive, in a way, the experience of the Prophet Jeremiah: ‘You have seduced me, Lord and I have let myself be seduced.’ (Jer 20:7). It is the Spirit who awakens the desire to respond fully; it is He who guides the growth of this desire, helping it to mature into a positive response and sustaining it as it is faithfully translated into action; it is He who shapes and moulds our hearts, configuring […]

Some Scenes from the Solemn Profession

Below is a short video from the Solemn Profession in May. We hope you enjoy it.

Sr Niamh’s Profession – photos

We are sorry that it has taken us so long to share Sr Niamh’s profession photos – the ones taken in the chapel are rather dark -due mainly to the fact that our chapel is extremely bright and therefore photos tend to come out dark!Prostration at beginning of ceremony when the sister being professed asks for God’s mercy and that of the community.Sr Mairead, Prioress, questions Sr Niamh regarding her readiness to make profession.Sr Niamh makes profession in the hands of Sr Mairead, prioress.Sr Niamh’s veil is blessed and she receives a ring.Afterwards with some of our sisters and some Dominican friarsSr Niamh planting a tree which her family presented her in memory of the occasion: pictured here with Jos our gardener and Micheal who is giving a helping hand in the garden during his summer holidays from college Sr Niamh shares a joke with Sr M Teresa and CathyLater in the week we celebrated as a community – Sr Niamh and Sr M Teresa (her novitiate companion), dressed in work clothes, treated us all to afternoon tea with samples of their homemade delicious confectionary while at the same time entertaining us with funny skits. And of course our celebrations would not be complete without a party in the novitiate in honour of the occasion