Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Lourdes Revisited.......

I have just returned from Lourdes. It's been my second visit this year. I accompanied a group of young people with CLM (Cuairteoiri le Muire - Visitors with Mary). This is an organisation that has been on the go for nearly 50 years - it is a voluntary movement bringing the sick, disabled and underprivileged to the Marian shrine.

The group of young people, boys and girls, were secondary school pupils from different schools in Mallow and Clonakilty. (According to them, there is a new town in Cork called Mallakilty!!) It was a great experience to be with them - to see them celebrate their faith, pray, help others and have great fun. Lourdes, and Mary, never cease to amaze me at the people they call.

Late on in the week, I had the privelige of meeting a priest friend from Cork who joined the Dominicans with me back in 1987. He is now serving as a secular priest in the diocese of Cloyne. Meeting him reminded me of the early days of my own exploration of vocation to the Order - and meeting the young people from Mallakilty certainly encouraged me in my own vocation. They were just great!

Lourdes is quiet this year - the word is that people are holding off until next year to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the apparations. Take a look at the website http://www.lourdes2008.com/

Thursday, July 19, 2007

General Chapter 2007

Chapters in the Dominican Order define our system of government. Each community and province has a chapter to decide on how our communities and provinces are governed. Chapters also, at defined times elect superiors. The Order worldwide too organises General Chapters at particular times, generally every three to four years. Since Tuesday (July 17, 2007) the provincials of the various provinces throughout the world, along with some others appointed to join them and the Master of the Order, are meeting in Bogota, Colombia (see pic) to discuss, discern and make decisions about the work, ministry and life of the Order worldwide for the next few years.

General Chapters are the supreme legislative body of the Order when they are in session, and their conclusions have implications for all the brothers of the Order worldwide. Let us pray for our brother provincials at this important time. You can follow some of the deliberations in Bogota by visiting http://www.dominicosbogota2007.org/

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Summer Happenings...........

It's hard to believe that it is summertime in Ireland. We have had the most atrocious weather during June, and July has been very wet so far. It makes one think of sunny and warmer climates. But, we Irish are the eternal optimists......so the weather can only get better, can't it?With the admissions process for this year concluded (almost!), it is time to turn thoughts towards the next academic year. While this vocations director will take a break at intervals during the next couple of months, it will also be a busy time. These summer weeks are given over to planning activities for the next twelve months. I hope to arrange:

schedule of visits to third level institutions for vocation promotion purposes.
dates and venues for vocations weekends.
ongoing visits and meetings with the many interested candidates.
meetings with Catholic youth movements.
a new website for Irish Dominican vocations.
visits to Dominican communities throughout Ireland to keep vocation promotion as a priority at local level.

All the above are priority during this summer period. In the meantime, I hope readers of this blog will continue to assist these most important tasks by praying for the success of and the blessing of God on all that we do.