This entry is written in my favourite city in Ireland - Galway. The skyline is dominated by the beautiful Catholic cathedral (pictured above) and I am staying with the local Dominican community in the Claddagh area. The views from here on an early spring evening are breathtaking!
I am here for a few days to promote the Irish Dominicans in one of the third level colleges. What this means is that, for a few hours each day, I put up a display board showing some pictorial images of Irish Dominicans at work and prayer. I also have promotional material e.g. prayer cards, leaflets, calendars and brochures available for those who are interested. But mostly, it is being in a third level college or institute for a few days 'loitering with intent' if you like. There is genuine interest and appreciation from students about our life and work - and sometimes some great conversation on a whole range of topics from God to football to theology to politics! I often think that this is where Saint Dominic would be if he were around today.....at least that's how I console myself. It is without doubt the most demanding work as a vocations promoter. It is lonely, sometimes isolated and yet so very important. We just have to make ourselves known. There is no other way to do it other than being in the 'market place'.
Being in the third level colleges and institutes would not really be possible without the help of the chaplains. These are corageous men and women who have a vital role in the faith formation of our young, thinking generation. I, for one, am very thankful to them for the assisatnce they give me and other vocation directors.