Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dominican Nuns Drogheda - Solemn Profession Video

As noted elsewhere in this blog, the Dominican contemplative nuns at Siena Convent, Drogheda, Co. Louth celebrated the solemn profession of their sister Niamh Muireann OP on May 31st last. It was a very joyful event and the nuns have published a short video of the event as seen above. The nuns also have a very good blog http://www.dominicannunsireland.blogspot.com/ and an excellent website http://www.dominicannuns.ie/

The contemplative Dominican vocation of the nuns at Drogheda draws many to enquire about their life. To that end, the nuns hold vocation (come and see) weekends on a regular basis and in the recent past have offered a one day experience for those interested in konowing about the work and prayer of the community. Please refer to their blog and website for more information.

General Chapter of Dominican Order September 1st to 21st 2010 in Rome

Regular readers of this blog will be aware of the General Chapter of the Dominican Order which begins in Rome tomorrow, September 1st 2010. The General Chapter, which is the highest authority in the Dominican Order, is an assembly of friars representing the Provinces of the Order, coming together to discuss and define matters pertaining to the good of the entire Order. This Chapter will also elect a new Master General of the Order next Sunday, September 5th.

Please remember the Order in your prayers during these important days. If you would like to keep up to date on the happenings at the General Chapter, there is a dedicated website which is: http://www.curia.op.org/roma2010/

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

16 new seminarians for Irish Catholic Church

This week, sixteen men from various dioceses around Ireland embark on a period of study and formation on the potential road to priesthood. This year, the Dublin archdiocese leads the way with 4 seminarians, followed by Down and Connor with 3 and one seminarian for each of the following dioceses: Armagh, Clogher, Cork and Ross, Derry, Galway, Kildare and Leighlin, Meath, Raphoe and Tuam.

The number of new entrants this year is a sharp drop in comparison to the previous four years. In 2006 there were 30 new entrants, 31 in 2007, 30 in 2008 and 36 in 2009. The news of these new entrants should be welcomed. There is no doubt that it takes immense courage to opt for priesthood in these difficult days for the Irish Church. It is appropriate too to acknowledge the work of the various diocesan vocation directors throughout Ireland - who often have a difficult and lonely task in promoting vocations.

On the other hand, the news of this significant decrease in numbers entering the various seminaries used by the Irish church this year will and should be thoroughly examined and reflected upon by those in positions of authority. More than anything it should raise the following questions: (1) are vocations given priority in every diocese? (2) are the vocations personnel given reasonable resources to carry out their work effectively? (3) when will Irish dioceses consider appointing vocation directors where that ministry is their primary work? (4) where is prayer for priestly and religious vocations taken seriously?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Redemptoristine Vocations Strategy Continues To Bear Fruit

Sr Monica Boggan OSsR makes profession

The Redemptoristine community, based at Saint Alphonsus Monastery in Drumcondra, Dublin 9 had cause for celebration on Saturday last (August 21st, 2010) when Sr Monica Boggan OSsR (pictured above) made her first profession. The event is all the more significant because this is the fourth such profession celebrated by this contemplative community in the heart of Dublin in as many years.

The fact that Sr Monica makes profession at this time is testament to the efforts of the Dublin Rerdemptoristines in their ongoing vocations strategy: namely by letting the world know of their existence and their place in the Church, but also by using every means possible at their disposal to attract vocations. It continues to be of interest to me and many other vocation directors how the Redemptoristines and other such female monastic/contemplative orders are attracting vocations at a far higher rate than apostolic religious sisters. One of the conclusions that we come to is that these monastic/contemplative communities have a very strong identity, have a specific apostolate, have lives centred on communal worship and prayer and are visible.

The Redemptoristines have an attractive website which is http://www.rednuns.com/ Worth a look!

Friday, August 20, 2010

US Dominican Province attracts largest group of novices in decades - highlighting necessity for full-time vocations promoters.

The Dominican Province of Saint Joseph in the United States (http://www.op-stjoseph.org/) has in recent weeks accepted 21 novices to begin their canonical novitiate. This news has circulated all around the world, and particularly in Dominican circles. The Dominicans of Saint Joseph province "had suffered through 'chaotic period' from 1993 to 2002, where the province transitioned between three or four different vocations directors and novitiate numbers were about five per year." Then in 2003, the brethren of that province decided to appoint a full-time vocations director. Over the past number of years, there has been a significant increase in new vocations culminating in this year's bumper intake.

In a revealing and telling comment, the outgoing vocations director for the Saint Joseph province, Fr Bill Garrot OP said, "Stability in a vocation program does matter. I was appointed as a full-time vocations director, but not many diocese or religious orders seem to have the luxury of appointing a man to do full-time recruitment work."

As is evidenced in this part of the world, other factors drawing men to the Dominican Order include the theological tradition of the Order, maintaining the traditional liturgical practice of the Order and the strong emphasis on community. For a full report on this historic event for the Saint Joseph Province, read their blog entry: http://www.op-stjoseph.org/blog/us_dominican_province_welcomes_its_biggest_class_of_novices_in_decades

Irish Dominican Vocations wishes the Saint Joseph Province USA and their novitiate class of 2010-11 every blessing in the year ahead.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Unusual Vocations Video

An unusual yet quite striking video of some female religious congregations in the United States:

Sunday, August 8, 2010

August 8th - Saint Dominic

Even though the feast of Saint Dominic falls on a Sunday this year, Dominicans throughout the world will celebrate this day in honour of our founder. I wish all readers of this blog every blessing on this day. The Dominican blessing below is from the thirteenth century:

May God the Father bless us,
May God the Son heal us,
May the Holy Spirit enlighten us and give us eyes to see with,
Ears to hear with,
And hands to do the work of God with,
Feet to walk with,
And a mouth to preach the word of salvation with,
And the angel of peace to watch over us and lead us at last,
By our Lord's gift, to the Kingdom