Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Credo Video Series - No.3

Maker of Heaven & Earth" is the object of discussion in part three of the 'Credo' video series from the Irish Dominican student brothers.

Brother Conor McDonough OP, a student at St Saviour's Priory, Dublin, is interviewed in this third instalment.

He presents very clearly the Jewish-Christian understanding of God's creation and compares it to other, ancient and recent, ideas about the origin of the universe.

Watch the video on YouTube here:

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Vocations Prayer Initiative in Tralee, County Kerry

People attending Mass in the Dominican church (Holy Cross) Tralee with the icon of Saint Dominic
 The ongoing prayer initiative for vocations to the Dominican way of life headed to the south west of Ireland this weekend and arrived at the Dominican church (Holy Cross) in Tralee, County Kerry. For the past year and a half, the prayer campaign has been brought to Dominican churches and centres around the country in a bid to broaden the base of those praying specifically for Dominican vocations. The specially commissioned icon of Saint Dominic that provides a focus for those invited to pray has been remarked on by very many people. It is, of course, the work of the Redemptoristine community in Drumcondra, Dublin under the watchful supervision of renowned iconographer, Mihai Cucu.

In preaching on vocations this weekend in Tralee, I was struck by the response of the people to the invitation to pray. Several people are taking the opportunity to create circles of prayer in the town on a regular basis to pray for the Dominican Order and especially for an increase in vocations to our province and also to the other branches of the Dominican family in Ireland. It is a response like this that makes this prayer initiative more than worthwhile. 
The icon remains in Tralee until the end of May before moving on to the next location in the mid-west. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Credo Video Series - No.2

Theologian Dr Carol Brown is interviewed in the second video in the 'Credo' series from the Irish Dominican student brothers.

The second instalment in the Credo video series examines the first phrase (or 'article') of the Nicene Creed, 'I believe in one God, the Father almighty'.

While opening up the meaning of the words, this week's interview discusses the Creed in connection with ordinary experiences of engaging with religious practice with experiences from enthusiastic faith to unbelief.

Follow this link to watch the video on the student brothers' website: http://dominicansinteractive.com/series/credo8/438-credo-series-episode-2

Download the app to keep in touch with this and other Dominican content: http://itunes.apple.com/app/idoms-portal/id503647825

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Significant increase in vocations and ordinations in England and Wales

As we prepare to celebrate Vocations Sunday and the 50th annual day of prayer for vocations tomorrow (April 21st, 2013), figures released in the past few days record a significant increase in entrants to religious life in England and Wales. The statistics also note that ordinations to the priesthood are at a ten year high.

The analysis of these welcome and surprising data demonstrates that the number of men and women entering religious life in our neighbouring countries show an increase for the third year running. Ordinations to diocesan priesthood projected for 2013 will be almost double that of 2011 (20 ordained in 2011 and 41 expected ordinations in 2013).

If these numbers of new entrants to religious life and the ordinations are a barometer of the health of the Catholic church in England and Wales, then it would appear to be in a very good state indeed.

You might ask about statistics for entrants and ordinations in Ireland. The sad fact is that there are no numbers available. For the numbers of entrants to the national seminary in Maynooth, we have to rely on unreliable figures from the seminary itself. If we need any data regarding the numbers entering religious life over the past few year, there are no statistics that can be published because religious orders tend not to furnish the most basic information to Vocations Ireland - the organisation responsible for promoting vocations to religious life in Ireland. We clearly need to creep out of the dark ages and become professional in our approach to this.

Statistics for entrants to religious orders in England and Wales:  http://ukvocation.org/files/PDFs/religiousstats.pdf

Data for entrances to seminaries in England and Wales: http://ukvocation.org/files/PDFs/seminaryentrants.pdf.pdf

Numbers of ordinations in England and Wales: http://ukvocation.org/files/PDFs/diocesan_ordinations.pdf.pdf

Friday, April 19, 2013

New website for Irish Diocesan Vocation Directors

Irish Dominican Vocations would like to congratulate the team involved in the newly revamped website for the diocesan vocation directors in Ireland. It is launched in advance of Vocations Sunday (April 21st, 2013) and has lots of information, material and resources for those interested in diocesan priesthood.

Of particular interest is the 'open day' at the national seminary in Maynooth, Co Kildare for men interested in knowing more about seminary and diocesan vocations which takes place on Sunday April 28th next. We wish them well in this venture.

It is also heartening that the new website contains links to websites for those considering a vocation to religious life. Long may the spirit of collaboration between religious and diocesan vocations personnel in Ireland continue as we try to encourage and promote vocations and give of our best to those discerning the call of God in their lives.

See the new diocesan vocations website here: www.vocations.ie

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Credo Video Series - No. 1

A video series on the Creed has been launched by the students of the Irish Dominican friars in Dublin and, appropriately, it occurs during the Catholic Church's Year of Faith.

The thirteen-part series of 30-minute videos was prepared in interview format and features a discussion on all the parts of the Creed we say at Mass on Sundays and major feastdays.

The interviewees include both Dominican friars and lay people.

The first in the series, launched on 17th April last, discusses the first word "Credo" (I believe) and where the Creed itself came from.

Fr Joseph Dineen OP is the first interviewee, former student master of the Irish Dominican Province.

Follow this link to watch the video: http://dominicansinteractive.com/series/credo8/434-credo-series-episode-1
The videos are also available via the iDoms Portal app: http://itunes.apple.com/app/idoms-portal/id503647825

Monday, April 8, 2013

Vocations Prayer Initiative reaches Dominican parish of Ballybeg, Waterford

Parishioners of Saint Saviour's Dominican parish, Ballybeg, Waterford with the icon of Saint Dominic

The vocations prayer initiative, using the specially commissioned  icon of Saint Dominic has reached the second Dominican location in Waterford city in the south west of Ireland. The Dominican friars have been staffing the parish in this Waterford suburb for over thirty years.

The vocations director had an opportunity to preach at all the Masses at the weekend in Saint Saviour's with the intention of broadening the base of prayer of those praying for vocations to the Order.

A familiar trend of bringing the icon as a focus of prayer for vocations in a Dominican location is the enthusiastic welcome for the idea. It is clear that the love of the people who the friars serve in all our locations is a primary reason for this. Ballybeg parish is no different - the presence of our friars in this area is highly appreciated.

The icon will remain in Saint Saviour's, Ballybeg, Waterford until the end of this month when it will then travel to our priory and church in Tralee, County Kerry.

Please continue to pray for vocations to the Irish Dominican friars and the Dominican family in Ireland.

(Apologies for the poor quality of the photograph above - it was taken in poor light)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A good week for vocations in Ireland

Here at Irish Dominican Vocations we rejoice when we hear of good news about vocations to other religious congregations and dioceses in Ireland. This past week has been very uplifting on that front. On Tuesday last, four deacons were ordained in Rome for their respective dioceses of Down and Connor, Cloyne, Dromore and Raphoe. We send our congratulations to the newly ordained Dominic McGrattan, Patrick O' Donoghue, Brian Fitzpatrick and Liam Boyle. They are pictured above during the diaconate ordination ceremony

Finally, the Redemptoristine nuns in Dublin's Drumcondra go from strength to strength. On Easter Sunday, they received their latest postulant Sarah Kelly (from Ballaghadereen, Co. Roscommon). This contemplative community has doubled in size in the past ten years because of their vocation efforts! Visit their website: www.rednuns.com

We pray for these men and women who are choosing to give their life to God in the service of others - we pray that the Lord may bring to completion what he has begun.

New York Times Article

Many readers of the blog have requested that I publish the article in full on the blog. I will be happy to when I receive the required permission to do so from the publishers. In the meantime, it can be accessed through the various Facebook and Twitter feeds that we have.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

New York Times features 'Irish Dominican Vocations'

 Left to right: Br Matthew Farrell, fr Gerard Dunne and Br Adam Conroy

The modest growth in the number of new vocations to our province has been featured in a recently published New York Times article. The author Doreen Caravajal made contact many months ago with a view to researching an article on vocations in Europe and became interested in our 'good news' story.

It's probably true to say that most in church circles are somewhat suspicious of journalists and the media in general - afraid of how they might portray us. I've long been annoyed by this attitude - if we have something to say, let's say it and get on with it. We can't always have it our own way!

In any case, Doreen was the epitome of professionalism and anxious to have correct information - and a very warm person as well. The end product is quite good too - though I don't think I'll ever get used to being called a human resources recruiter any time soon!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Dominican Connect - April 2013 Issue

The latest edition of Dominican Connect - from the vocations office of the Irish Dominican Friars has just been published.

The main article focuses on the election of Pope Francis from the viewpoint of some of the Irish Dominican friars in Rome. The recent Dominican family vocations day is the subject of an article by lay Dominican Lisa Hanna from Belfast. The featured friar in this month's edition is fr Richard Walsh OP of the Waterford community. And there's lots of other news too!

You can download an electronic copy of this new edition by clicking on this link: http://www.dominicanfriars.ie/Dominican_Connect/volume01/Dominican_Connect_v01n08apr2013.pdf
Hard copies will be made available in all our Dominican churches and centres this weekend.