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Novena to St Dominic - Day 1

Today is the 1st day of our novena to our Holy Father St Dominic and we know Dominic's answer to his brothers who were weeping and sad at his departing from them. he gave them the marvellous assurance that he would be more help to them from |Heaven than when here on earth. So during the next 9 days we can approach our Father Dominic with great confidence and trust that he will hear and answer our prayer.

Dominic's biographers tell us he imitated our Lord and our Lady in so many ways in his life, especially in his spirit of poverty. I will say a few words about that subject.

Introducing "The Siena Rosary"

The Rosary has always been one of our cherished Dominican traditions – our community prays five decades daily in common. Recently, at the suggestion of some local friends and with their support, we prepared a recording of the Rosary with suitable reflections for all twenty mysteries – which we are now happy to share with a wider audience.

Our hope is that through praying the Rosary, Mary may lead you to know and love Jesus, her Son ever more deeply.

20th December - O Key of David

In this antiphon the coming Messiah is given the title of Key of David. A key is used to open and close, to lock and unlock. How are we to use this key? The answer is found in this morning’s Gospel of the Annunciation.
As I have been sitting with this Gospel what stands out for me are all the emotions: the joy, fear and uncertainty, but above all, the excitement of the Angel Gabriel.

18th December - O Adonai

In a few minutes we will sing the second great ‘O’ antiphon in Latin, just before the Magnificat. The translation in our breviaries reads:

O Adonai, and leader of Israel, you appeared to Moses in a burning bush, and gave him the law on Sinai. O come and save us with your mighty power.

17th December - O Wisdom

The first Advent ‘O Antiphon’, ‘O Wisdom’, is woven from the book of Wisdom of Sirach (24:3) and the book of Wisdom (8:1). The wisdom that has come from the mouth of the Most High is His Son, the eternal Word of God. As St. John of the Cross say, in this one Word that the Father spoke, there is hidden everything he had to say - all Divine Wisdom. According to it, he created the world, according to it, he rules it and saved it.

Reflection for the 1st Sunday of Advent

The Mass readings for this first Sunday of Advent provide us with a wake-up call: St Paul tells us “you must wake up now” and in the Gospel Jesus tells us to “stay awake!” while the Prophet Isaias invites us to “walk in the light of the Lord.” So as we begin a new Church year we are invited to come into the light – to remove the blinds from the windows of our hearts and to let the light shine in – remembering that the true Light is Jesus Himself. He is the True Light shining on us and who desires to penetrate and posses our inmost being.

Seeking the Face of the Lord

In our preparation for the Feast of our Father St. Dominic we had an 8-Day Retreat with Fr. Vivian Boland O.P. who awoke in us a thirst for the Face of the Lord. On the Feast of the Transfiguration (6th August) we finished our Retreat with the blessing of new icons that some of our sisters had 'written' during an Icon Course with Mihai Cucu at the end of July.

The rock from which we were hewn

The rock from which we were hewn - Mother Catherine Plunkett, our foundress.

Fondly know as “The Siena” by the town’s people, the Monastery of saint Catherine of Siena has been part of Drogheda’s history for three hundred years. On this day 300 years ago we received official recognition from the master of the Order.
From our first beginnings in 1722 in a humble mud cabin on the banks of the Boyne to our present location in the Twenties our praying presence has enfolded the town and radiated the presence of God to the very ends of the earth. It is this consistent praying presence that we would like to honour and give thanks for, in this celebration of our third centenary.

28th March 1722

On this day in 1722 (300 years ago), our Monastery in Drogheda was officially recognised and established by the Master of the Dominican Order at that time. Below is a copy of the English translation of his letter (together with a photo of the original letter from our Archives).

2nd Sunday of Lent - Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

We often hear the phrase ‘the war is being fought on two fronts.’ This is as true for the war in the Ukraine as it is for any previous war. But there is also a deeper sense in which this war is being fought on two fronts. There is a battle going on between light and darkness, between good and evil, between grace and sin. It has never been put any better than it was by St. James over 2000 years ago. “Where do all these battles between your selves begin? Is it not in your own hearts? Is it not your passions that are at war in your members?

Silver Jubilee of our Sr Natallia

On the 11th of February, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, we had the great joy of celebrating our Sr Natallia’s Silver Jubilee of Profession. It was a wonderful day, acknowledging and thanking God for her presence in our Community and the beautiful gift of 25 years dedicated to the Lord, first in the Dominican Monastery in Krakow and then here in our Monastery in Drogheda for the last 16 years. Below are some photos from the day.

Feast of the Presentation - World Day of Consecrated Life

In 1997, St. John Paul II chose the 2nd February, feast of the Presentation of the Child Jeus in the Temple as the World Day of Consecrated Life. In this way, the Holy Father wanted to create an opportunity for the whole Church to reflect more deeply on the gift of consecrated life being consecrated to God.

Referring to the gospel of the Presentation in the Temple I would like to highlight the sacrifice of the two pigeons, which Mary and Joseph made in the Temple to God for their firstborn Son. This sacrifice is very significant because the second of these pigeons was offered as a burnt offering to the Lord

Video: Sr Leonie Marie making First Profession

A short video clip of Sr Leonie Marie making First Profession as a Dominican Nun in our Monastery.

The community of Dominican Nuns of the Monastery of St Catherine of Siena, Drogheda began 2022 with the joyful occasion of Sr Léonie Marie Langley’s first profession on the 6th January, Solemnity of the Epiphany. It was even more joyful that her parents and sister were able to travel from the UK – they had not met for the past two years due to Covid19.

First Profession of Sr Leonie Marie Langley

The community of Dominican Nuns of the Monastery of St Catherine of Siena, Drogheda began 2022 with the joyful occasion of Sr Léonie Marie Langley’s first profession on the 6th January, Solemnity of the Epiphany. It was even more joyful that her parents and sister were able to travel from the UK – they had not met for the past two years due to Covid19. Before joining the Dominican Nuns Sr Léonie Marie worked as a nurse in the UK and several times volunteered to serve on Mercy Ships to Africa in addition to missionary work in India and Haiti.

23rd December - O Immanuel

Immanuel, a name which means God is with us.
In Jesus we see our God made visible.

This is what Christ said on coming into the world. “You, who wanted no sacrifice or oblation, prepared a body for me. I am coming to do your will.” And this will was for us, you and me, to be made Holy by the offering of that body once and for all, for our salvation

21st December - O Rising Sun

O Rising Sun. You are the splendour of Eternal Light and the Sun of Justice.
O come and enlighten those who sit in darkness, those who dwell in the shadows of death.

At this time of year, and today as the shortest day of the year, it is wonderful how the Church puts on our lips this antiphon where we call on the Light of Christ to come and enlighten our darkness. My prayer during this Advent season is asking for the grace to acknowledge the times when we prefer darkness before true light, as the intercessions for Week One of Advent put it.

20th December - O Key of David

The fourth of the Advent antiphons evokes the coming of Jesus with a title referring to the great King David and the prophecy of Isaiah, who wrote:
‘I will put the key of the house of David on his shoulder; when it opens, no one will close; when it closes, no one will open it‘ (Is.22, 22)

How to understand this prophecy?

19th December - O Root of Jesse

“O Root of Jesse
who stand for a sign for the people;
before whom kings are silent;
whom the nations bessech:
Come to deliver us, no longer delay.”

The image of Christ as the ‘Root of Jesse’ – a sign for the peoples; before whom kings fall silent and whom the peoples acclaim – evokes a variety of ideas and there is much that can be gleaned, so to speak, when this title is attributed to Him.

What does it mean for us to think of JESUS, to acknowledge Him, as the ‘root of Jesse’ and a ‘sign for the peoples’?

18th December - O Adonai

“O Adonai and leader of Israel,
you appeared to Moses in a burning bush
and you gave him the Law on Sinai.
O come and save us with your mighty power.”

In this antiphon we call on God by the name Adonai. The dictionary says that this word comes from the Cannanite and Hebrew word adon, which means - LORD. When God appeared to Moses, he called himself: I AM WHO I AM. (Ex 3:14). Out of reverence the Jews did not utter his name but substituted Adonai.
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