Friday, January 31, 2014

Dominican Connect - February 2014 issue published

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

In this month's issue, the Master of the Order fr Bruno Cadore OP writes a reflection on the Dominican vocation and is our main feature.

There is news of upcoming vocations events for the friars and the Dominican family. Retreats and courses available in the Dominican retreat centre in Cork are highlighted. News items from Dominican circles throughout the world are also given to give readers a sense of the international aspect of the Order.

Our featured friar this month is fr Louis Hughes OP of our Newbridge community.

Copies of Dominican Connect will be available in all Dominican churches and centres from this weekend and you can also download an electronic copy here:

Friday, January 17, 2014

Pope's message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations 2014

The 51st World Day of Prayer for Vocations takes place on May 11th, 2014. This special day of prayer is better known to us as Good Shepherd Sunday or Vocations Sunday. In anticipation of the day of prayer, Pope Francis has issued a message to coincide with the day. The message is one of encouragement, summed up in this paragraph:

"Today too, Jesus lives and walks along the paths of ordinary life in order to draw near to everyone, beginning with the least, and to heal us of our infirmities and illnesses. I turn now to those who are well disposed to listen to the voice of Christ that rings out in the Church and to understand what their own vocation is. I invite you to listen to and follow Jesus, and to allow yourselves to be transformed interiorly by his words, which “are spirit and life” (Jn 6:62). Mary, the Mother of Jesus and ours, also says to us: “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5). It will help you to participate in a communal journey that is able to release the best energies in you and around you. A vocation is a fruit that ripens in a well cultivated field of mutual love that becomes mutual service, in the context of an authentic ecclesial life. No vocation is born of itself or lives for itself. A vocation flows from the heart of God and blossoms in the good soil of faithful people, in the experience of fraternal love. Did not Jesus say: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:35)?"

For the full text of the message for the world day of prayer for vocations, click here.

Friday, January 10, 2014

New book on Vocation: 'The Disciples' Call' edited by Christopher Jamison OSB

A new book on theologies of vocation from scripture to the present day has recently been published. Entitled "The Disciples' Call", it is edited by Fr Christopher Jamison OSB and includes contributions from well known writers on vocation including Sr Gemma Simmonds, Fr Joseph Bolin and Fr Stephen Wang.

The new book, which should be of interest to anyone involved in vocations ministry, traces the theology of vocation from the scriptures, tradition and the task of discerning a vocation in the modern world.

Two areas of interest to this blogger are (1) the understanding of vocation from the point of view of Saint Thomas Aquinas and (2) the distinctive nature of vocations to the religious life. The contributors who have a keen interest in the theology and nature of vocation have given an excellent exposition of all the major themes that will help vocations directors and promoters in the exercise of their ministry.

The assistance that psychologists offer to vocations personnel and their teams are covered in one of the concluding chapters of the book. This piece, authored by Dr Peter Tyler, is quite simply essential reading for vocation ministers. It is by far the best exposition of this topic that I have seen in some years.

While this is not a book review, I would heartily recommend this contribution to the much underdeveloped corpus of material on vocations and will be a most useful resource.

"The Disciples' Call", edited by Fr Christopher Jamison OSB is published by Bloomsbury - ISBN-978-0-567-31099-6

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Vocation Weekends 2014

Three vocation weekends have been organised by the Irish Dominican friars for the first half of 2014. These weekends are an ideal opportunity for serious enquirers to find out more about the life and ministry of the brothers of the Irish province. Participants will join the community in which the 'weekend' takes place to pray, recreate and learn more about the Order in an informal way.

These weekends are open to those over the age of 18 and who would like to use the time for more serious discernment in the environment of a Dominican community. It is open to those considering the vocation of a Dominican priest or brother. Those who have attended such weekends in the past have found them very helpful as part of an ongoing discernment.

The dates for upcoming vocation weekends are as follows:

January 17-19, 2014
April 11-13, 2014
May 16-18, 2014

To register for one of the weekends or to find out more please contact the vocations director fr Gerard Dunne OP at either of the following email addresses or