Saturday, June 30, 2007

An Anniversary..........

Today, June 3oth, 2007 I celebrate the eleventh anniversary of my priestly ordination. It only seems like last week! I have so much to be thankful for as I remember that day. I was ordained by the auxiliary bishop of Dublin, Dr. Eamonn Walsh and remember him vividly reminding us of the joy that priesthood can bring. I certainly did not fully understand his words then, but I do now. The joy of priesthood, for me, is in the service of the Lord - bringing Christ to others. I do not underestimate the many challenges that it also presents - but these are graced moments too.

Today, I think of a particularly holy Irish Dominican friar that I had the pleasure to know and who died some years ago: Fr. Anselm Moynihan OP. Fr Anselm wrote a beautiful book entitled The Lord is Within You and I'd like to quote from a section of the book on the understanding of the Blessed Sacrament. It has helped me hugely:

'At Communion, we meet the Son of God in a way that breaks down all bodily barriers. It is the closest of personal presences this side of heaven.

Jesus is not merely present in the Eucharist. He is there to be eaten. He gives us his Body and Blood as the spiritual food of our souls. Food is necessary for life. Our life of grace, in which we share the divine life of God, is a very real kind of life.

- the life of grace,

- the trinitarian life of our souls,

- the indwelling presence.

This supernatural life needs supernatural food. And the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is that supernatural food for our grace-life. It is the Body and Blood of the Incarnate Word of God. Quite simply, faith teaches us that Jesus is the source of all our grace-life'.

Thanks be to God, and thanks to the goodness and kindness of family, friends and my Dominican brothers for deepening the appreciation of the Eucharist in my priestly life.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Interviews for Admission to the Novitiate

One of the many tasks of a vocations director is to accompany candidates through a period of discernment to a point where they wish to apply to join the Order and enter the novitiate. This process can take some time.

The minimum period of accompaniment is one year and generally up to two years. During that time those interested in the Order learn to know more about the Dominican way of life through regular contact with the director of vocations, meeting other friars, spending some time living with Dominican communities, learning about our spirituality and through prayer.

During the week ahead, three men will present themselves to the Irish province for acceptance into the novitiate. They will undergo some days of assessment and interview ending on Friday 29th June. The admission process will take place in Saint Mary's Priory, Tallaght.

In a few weeks, the Province will interview a candidate from Trinidad for acceptance to the novitiate of the Irish province in Limerick. (Irish Dominican friars live and minister in Trinidad and Tobago, which is a vice-province of Ireland).

This is an important event in the life of our province, but more importantly a significant moment in the life of those who seek acceptance into the novitiate. Please pray earnestly for all concerned at this time.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Dominican Priestly Ordination

It is a cause of great joy for myself and all the Dominicans of the Irish Province to announce the priestly ordination of Ciaran Dougherty OP. The ordination will take place at 4.30 pm on Sunday June 17th, 2007 in the Dominican church of Saint Saviour, Upper Dorset Street, Dublin 1. The ordaining prelate is Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

Ciaran, from Belfast, a graduate in philosophy from Queens University, joined the Order in 2001. He has undergone his formation and training in our novitiate house in Limerick, our student house in St. Saviour's, Dublin and in Blackfriars, Oxford. In the past year he has undergone post graduate studies in philosophy at University College, Dublin.

Ciaran is the first of those who joined the Order during my time as Vocations Director to be ordained priest, and so is a source of great pride!

I wish him every blessing in his future priestly ministry.