Thursday, September 27, 2007

A prayer for Dominican vocations.....

A new prayer-card has just been issued to promote vocations to the Irish Dominicans. The same prayer card is also an opportunity for people to learn more about the life and work of the Dominicans in Ireland by accessing the new website of the province. (More on this anon!)

The text of the prayer is:

Lord Jesus, as you once called Saint Dominic to preach the Gospel, so now send preachers into your harvest. Give them courage, wisdom and grace to make them faithful witnesses of your death, resurrection and return in glory. Through the intercession of Mary, patroness of the Order, may they bring true faith and light to brighten the darkness. You who live forever. Amen.

Readers of this blog who would like to have copies of this prayer card can message me through the comment facility on the blog or alternatively through the 'contact vocations director' section of the website of the Irish Dominicans.

Monday, September 24, 2007

News from across the pond.........

Congratulations to our brothers in the English province on their reception of new novices in Blackfriars, Cambridge and the first profession of last year's novices - also at Cambridge. These events are very well documented at the excellent blog of the English Dominican students. I heartily recommend a visit to the said blog!!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Solemn Profession

The Irish Dominican province joyfully celebrated the solemn profession of our brother, Declan Corish OP on Saturday 15th September (Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows) in St Saviour's Church, Dominick Street. In making solemn profession a brother makes a definitive commitment to remaining a Dominican until the end of his earthly life.Br Declan is originally from Co Wexford, and he was clothed in the habit on 14th September 2002. Since then he has lived and studied in our Dominican communities in Limerick, Dublin and Rome. He is one of a group of three Irish brothers who began their Dominican life together in 2002 and who are all proceeding through their initial formation.I pray God's blessing on our brother Declan as he continues his Dominican journey.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Our New Novices

Pictured above (left to right) are Brothers Colm Mannion, Luuk Jansen and Matthew Martinez who were clothed in the Dominican habit by the Provincial of the Irish Province Fr. Pat Lucey OP today, September 14th, 2007.

They begin their novitiate today. In the Constitutions of the Order the novitiate is defined as '......a trial period during which the novices come to understand more clearly the nature of a divine and Dominican vocation. They experience the Order's way of life, are trained, mind and heart, in the Dominican spirit, and their intention and suitability may be ascertained.'

I pray that the Lord may bless our three new brothers abundantly in the year ahead.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

More on Discernment....

The late Pope John Paul II said: 'Take courage: Christ is calling you and the whole world awaits you! Remember that the Kingdom of God has need of your generous and total dedication. Do not be like the rich young man who, when invited by Christ, was unable to accept but remained with his possessions and sadness, even though Jesus glanced at him with love. Be like the fishermen who, when they were called by Jesus, left everything promptly to become fishers of men.'

There is no doubt that the words of John Paul inspire and challenge everyone to discern God's unique call. Most of us know, however, that this is never as easy as it seems. Discerning your vocation has few, if any, absolutes. If you are waiting for a burning bush or a tongue of fire or a sms message on your mobile telephone, then you're in for a long wait. God speaks in the quiet of our heart and in the people around us. His call, no matter how it is heard, requires only one thing from you: a commitment to respond and a desire to honestly examine your life.

Whenever you seek to discover God's call in your lives you enter a period of discernment. The common definition of discernment is to separate, sort out and sift through. Discernment, then, is a time of sorting out and sifting. Religious and vocational discernment is also a time to see with the eyes of your heart so that you can choose a life in God. It is a time when you allow yourself to be open to God's will, and it is an opportunity to allow your heart to guide your mind more than only trusting your own reasoning.

A vocations director will know that it is perfectly natural to feel some sense of uncertainty at this stage. You may not know a lot about the Dominican Order. You may not know how to begin the discernment process. That is natural - and you will not be the first! The ministry of any vocations director centres specifically on helping you discern God's call.

There are some other hints on discernment in other contributions to this blog. But it is important to know too that you will have access to many resources including being sent information material. You will be sent books on vocation related topics. You will be sent relevant articles about discernment and vocation. Arrangements will be made for you to visit our priories for prayer and sharing in our common life. You will be invited, if deemed appropriate, to attend vocations weekends at various times through the year. You will be invited to meet regularly with the vocations director (at least once a month).

It takes courage to take first steps, but be assured that you will be helped through every step of the discernment process.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A time of preparation....

It's early September. Traditionally, communities go on retreat around this time. Our new novices are currently on retreat prior to receiving the habit of the Order on September 14th - the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross. Readers of this blog might include these three men in their prayers as they begin their year of discernment in the novitiate in Limerick.

Our student brothers are currently on retreat too at this time. One of them will make solemn profession on September 15th (Feast of our Lady of Sorrows) and one other student brother will renew simple profession on the same day.

Its an appropriate time for all of us to reflect on our own vocation as preachers during this week - which is a week of hope and joy in our Irish province. We are receiving new members and new life. We thank God for his goodness to us.