Monday, December 23, 2013

Dominican Connect - Christmas 2013/January 2014

A special double issue of Dominican Connect - the newsletter of the vocations office of the Irish Dominican friars has just been published in time for Christmas.

In a packed edition, the main feature by Fergus Ryan OP considers how Saint Dominic in a rather indirect fashion saved our celebration of Christmas.

There is a review of the important vocation events of the past year - and an extensive look back at the 'happenings' of the friars and others during 2013.

Upcoming events in the vocations calendar are highlighted along with news of other significant happenings involving the Irish Dominicans early in 2014.

The very popular 'featured friar' slot in the newsletter introduces you to a Polish Dominican who is assigned to the Irish province. Fr Cezary Binkiewicz OP, head of the Polish chaplaincy at Saint Saviour's, Dublin writes about his vocation.

Follow this link to download an electronic copy:

Happy reading - and happy Christmas from Dominican Connect!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Vocations Review 2013

The past year has been very busy for vocations ministry at the vocations office of the Irish Dominican friars. I am happy to report that the vocations office has received over forty new enquiries in the past twelve months. Those who make contact with us do so for a variety of reasons and these range from looking for basic information about the Order to wanting to enter a process of vocational discernment. All enquirers at met individually and during the year almost twenty people have entered into a period of accompaniment with the vocations director.

The promotion of vocations is central to the work of the vocations director. This is done in a variety of ways – from using internet, blogs and social media platforms to visiting third level educational institutions throughout Ireland. This promotion is important because the vast majority of enquiries still come from the digital sphere while many others come from personal contact as a result of spending time at various vocation fairs and engaging with students in their colleges and institutes.

Apart from the promotion and discernment aspects mentioned above, there have been some other notable events and happenings that took place in 2013 which are notable.

·         Our ongoing prayer initiative for Dominican vocations entered its second year. This initiative uses the specially commissioned icon of Saint Dominic as a focus for prayer has proved to be very successful. I am happy to report that there are now many new groups of people throughout Ireland praying for vocations to the Order. This prayer campaign will continue into 2014.
·         Dominican vocations to the Irish province featured worldwide as a result of an article in the New York Times and The International Herald Tribune in April. This coverage resulted in a surge of interest and enquiries.
·         Three of our student brothers were ordained deacons in February. Four brothers made first profession in September while eight other brothers renewed profession in the same month. Happily, two men began their novitiate with us during the year as well.
·         The vocations website was given a new look and continues to be the primary source of information for news and events in the Irish Dominican province as well as the location for the most up to date news on vocation matters.
·         In conjunction with the Dominican sisters, contemplative nuns and lay Dominicans in Ireland, we hosted the fifth annual Dominican family vocations day in Dublin last March. This annual event goes from strength to strength and is an important showcase for vocations to the Dominican family in Ireland.
·         Dominican Connect – the newsletter of the vocations office of the Dominican friars in Ireland began its second year of publication. The publication continues to grow in popularity.
·         The vocations director was invited to give some talks and presentations to diocesan groups, religious orders and other organisations concerned with vocation promotion in Ireland.
·         There were four vocation ‘live-in’ weekends organised for serious enquirers in the past 12 months.

This brief review gives me an opportunity to thank the many people involved in assisting the promotion of Dominican vocations in the past year. May you be blessed in abundance for so doing.

First published in the Christmas-January 2013-14 edition of 'Dominican Connect' - from the Vocations Office of the Irish Dominican friars.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Master of the Order visits Dominican nuns in Drogheda, Co Louth.

The community of Dominican nuns at Siena monastery in Drogheda with fr Bruno Cadore, fr Dominic Izzo and fr Gerard Dunne (vicar of the master of the Order for the monastery)

The Master of the Dominican Order (fr Bruno Cadore OP) is currently visiting the friars of the Irish Dominican province. This formal visit, called a 'canonical visitation' is an opportunity for the head of the Order to meet with all the communities and friars of the province and to discuss how our lives as friars are being lived at this time. Fr Bruno is accompanied by a socius, or assistant, fr Dominic Izzo OP ( a friar of the Saint Joseph Province in the United States).

The Master of the Order also has responsibility for the Dominican contemplative nuns throughout the world, including the Dominican nuns at the monastery of Saint Catherine of Siena in Drogheda, County Louth. Last Thursday I was privileged to accompany fr Bruno and fr Dominic as they visited the nuns. It was a wonderful meeting with lively discussion and brought home the closeness of the contemplative nuns to the friars of the Order. The friars are heavily dependent on the prayers of the nuns for the preaching mission of the Order. May that close bond of friendship and prayer sustain us.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Irish Dominican Family Calendar 2014

One of the many initiatives of the vocation promoters of the Dominican family in Ireland (nuns, friars, lay Dominicans and apostolic sisters) is the publication of a calendar each year to promote awareness of the Dominican vocation.

The 2014 calendar has been designed by our contemplative nuns at Siena monastery in Drogheda, County Louth and the chosen image for the front cover this year is the icon of Saint Dominic which has been used to promote prayerful support for vocations to all branches of the Dominican family in Ireland over the past two years.

Copies of this beautifully designed calendar (which are free) will be available in all our Dominican priory churches throughout Ireland in time for Christmas. They can also be had from the Dominican nuns, Monastery of Catherine of Siena, The Twenties, Drogheda, Co Louth. They will also be distributed by the various networks of the Dominican sisters and the lay Dominicans in Ireland.

Readers of this blog can also order a calendar by contacting me at: or