On the 2nd of February 2018, the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord, sister Mary Cathy Howard O.P made her Solemn vows as a Dominican Contemplative Nun in the Siena Monestry in Drogheda. Please find a short video encapsulating this event below.
On Friday, 23 March 2018, Fr Bruno Cadore, Master of the Order, blessed and opened a new class-room block, at Newbridge College, in the town of Newbridge, Co. Kildare, 49 km south-west of Dublin city centre. The school founded, with 50 pupils, as a boarding school for boys in 1852, is now a co-educational, secondary day-school with 884 students and a teaching staff of 73. Despite falling numbers, Dominican friars remain active in the College as chaplains and as teachers of religious knowledge, as well as serving on the Board of Governors.
The new block, of 17 additional rooms, is named the Walker Building, after Fr Dominic Walker who, with Fr Nicholas Freyne, founded the college in response to the educational needs arising after Catholics in Ireland and Britain were granted emancipation from the Penal Laws.
Speaking to the assembly of teachers, students and guests, Fr Bruno reflected on the values described in the College’s statement of its vision and its educational philosophy. The College is ‘dedicated to promoting, in co-operation with parents and guardians, the religious, spiritual, moral, academic, aesthetic, cultural, physical, emotional, and social development of all the students committed to its care.’ Further, the College seeks to impart ‘values for living in a way that shows respect for all that is noble and true. It acknowledges that each of its students is uniquely gifted and it seeks to provide each one of them with curricular and extra-curricular opportunities that are suited to his/her aptitudes and aspirations.’ Fr Bruno saw in this commitment to cooperative action and to being actively respectful of the unique gifts of each individual an ongoing expression of the Dominican ethos. And he wished parents, students and staff continuing success.
This week on the Light of Truth Fr. Luuk O.P. reflects on the role and presence of Mary in the journey of Jesus from the start of His ministry to the crucifixion.
The music played in the live program on Radio Maria were:
- Even If – Lifer – Mercy Me.
- Alive Again – Matt Maher
- How Great is Our God – Chris Tomlin
Catena Aurea, Jn 12:20-30, Lent 5B
St. Augustine (354-430): Listen we to the voice of the corner stone: And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Did He think Himself glorified, because the Gentiles wished to see? No. But He saw that after His passion and resurrection, the Gentiles in all lands would believe in Him; and took occasion from this request of some Gentiles to see Him, to announce the approaching fullness of the Gentiles, for that the hour of His being glorified was now at hand, and that after He was glorified in the heavens, the Gentiles would believe; according to the passage in the Psalm, Set up Yourself, O God, above the heavens, and your glory above all the earth (Ps 56 and 107). But it was necessary that His exaltation and glory should be preceded by His humiliation and passion; wherefore He says, Amen, Amen, I say to you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone: but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit. He was that grain, to be put to death by the unbelief of the Jews, to be multiplied in the faith of the Gentiles.
He teaches you Whom you should call on, whose will you should prefer to your own. Let Him not seem to fall from His greatness, because He wishes you to rise from your meanness. He took upon Him man’s infirmity, that He might teach the afflicted to say, Not what I will, but what you will.
St. John Chrysostom (c. 347-407): As He draws near to the Cross, His human nature appears, a nature that did not wish to die, but cleaved to this present life. He shows how much He is not without human feelings. For the desire of this present life is not necessarily wrong, any more than hunger. Christ had a body free from sin, but not from natural weaknesses.
For this reason I came to this hour. However much you may be troubled and dejected at the thought of dying, do not run away from death. I am troubled, yet I ask not to be spared. I do not say, Save Me from this hour, but the contrary, Glorify your name. To die for the truth was to glorify God, as the event showed; for after His crucifixion the whole world was to be converted to the knowledge and worship of God, both the Father and the Son. But this He is silent about.
St. Augustine (354-430): Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have glorified it, i.e. before I made the world; and will glorify it again, i.e. when you shall rise from the dead. Or, I have glorified it when you were born of a Virgin, did work miracles, was made manifest by the Holy Ghost descending in the shape of a dove; and will glorify it again, when you shall rise from the dead, and, as God, be exalted above the heavens, and your glory above all the earth. The people therefore who stood by and heard it, said that it was thunder.
The Fathers of the Church on this Sunday’s Gospel: Jn 3:14-21
Theophylact of Ochrid (1055-1107): See then the aptness of the figure. The figure of the serpent has the appearance of the beast, but not its poison: in the same way Christ came in the likeness of sinful flesh, being free from sin. By Christ’s being lifted up, understand His being suspended on high, by which suspension He sanctified the air, even as He had sanctified the earth by walking upon it. Herein too is typified the glory of Christ: for the height of the cross was made His glory for in that He submitted to be judged, He judged the prince of this world; for Adam died justly, because he sinned; out Lord unjustly, because He did no sin. So He overcame him, who delivered Him over to death, and thus delivered Adam from death. And in this the devil found himself vanquished, that he could not upon the cross torment our Lord into hating His murderers: but only made Him love and pray for them the more. In this way the cross of Christ was made His lifting up, and glory.
St. Augustine (354-430):. As then formerly he who looked to the serpent that was lifted up, was healed of its poison, and saved from death; so now he who is conformed to the likeness of Christ’s death by faith and the grace of baptism, is delivered both from sin by justification, and from death by the resurrection: as He Himself said; That whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. What need then is there that the child should be conformed by baptism to the death of Christ, if he be not altogether tainted by the poisonous bite of the serpent?
Alcuin (c. 735- 804): Truly through the Son of God shall the world have life; for no other cause came He into the world, except to save the world. God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
This week on the Light of Truth Fr. Luuk O.P. is joined again by Fr. Philip and this week the discussion is on the journey through life. The period of Lent can be a representation of our journey through life, and has parallels with the Exodus story of the Israelites. Fr. Philip and Fr. Luuk look at some aspects of this journey, especially with the use of the Transfiguration as found in the Gospel of St. Luke.
The music played in the live program on Radio Maria were:
- Here I am – Here I am – Lincoln Brewster
- When we pray – Hills and Valleys – Tauren Well
- God of All My Days – The Very Next Thing
This week on the Light of Truth Fr. Luuk O.P. is joined by Fr. Peter O’Kane. As this program falls at the beginning of Lent Fr. Peter and Fr. Luuk reflect on some of the topics related to this season of spending time in the desert in which we can seek and find a deeper understanding of God and fuller communion with Him.
Recently, on the 23r to 25th of February six Dominican friars, two Dominican sisters (from St. Saviour’s Priory, Limerick) and about 20 young adults gathered in Knock Shrine, Co Mayo, for our 3rd Credo (which means I believe) weekend to date.
Over the last year, Dominican brothers have invited young adults from all around Ireland to come on a weekend retreat of prayer, study and recreation. Credo weekends focus on teaching the Catholic faith with a particular emphasis on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The most recent Credo weekend saw talks given by a variety of speakers on a range of topics. Sister Maura Grace from Limerick spoke about the concept of happiness, Fr. Ciaran, from Sligo, gave a very interesting talk on the history of philosophy and Fr. Brian, Fr. Alan and Br. Matthew, all from Dublin, gave informative talks on the topics of The Last Things, Grace and the Eucharist, respectively.
Many university students attended the weekend, particularly from Trinity College where Fr. Alan is chaplain. The Divine Office and Eucharistic adoration also formed part of the weekend schedule as well as plenty of free time for relaxation and a very enjoyable social get together on Saturday evening for a drink and some friendly chat. The weekend was very much enjoyed had by all who attended and we hope to have our next Credo event in the month of June in Glencomeragh, Co. Waterford.
Catena Aurea, Lent 3B, Jn 2:13-25
Origen (182-253/4): Should it appear something out of the order of things, that the Son of God should make a scourge of small cords, to drive them out of the temple? We have one answer in which some take refuge, viz. the divine power of Jesus, Who, when He pleased, could extinguish the wrath of His enemies however innumerable, and quiet the tumult of their minds: The Lord brings the counsel of the heathen to nought. This act indeed exhibits no less power than His more positive miracles; on the contrary, more than the miracle by which water was converted into wine: in that there the subject-matter was inanimate, here, the minds of so many thousands of men are overcome.
The Venerable Bede (672/3-735): They then are the sellers of doves, who, after receiving the free grace of the Holy Spirit, do not dispense it freely, as they are commanded, but at a price: who confer the laying on of hands, by which the Holy Spirit is received, if not for money, at least for the sake of getting favour with the people, who bestow Holy Orders not according to merit, but favour.
Origen (182-253/4): Both those, i.e. both the Body of Jesus and the temple, seem to me to be a type of the Church, which with living stones is built up into a spiritual house, into an holy priesthood; according to St. Paul, You are the body of Christ, and individually members of it. And though the structure of stones seem to be broken up, and all the bones of Christ scattered by adversities and tribulations, yet shall the temple be restored, and raised up again in three days.
On Wednesday 7th February the Commission for Studies organised a study day for the Irish Province of the Dominican Order on the issue of the referendum to amend the Irish Constitution which proposes to remove the right to life of the unborn.
Five speakers addressed the study day:
- Fr. John Harris OP of the Studium presented the Thomistic understanding of human law.
- Prof. Gerry Whyte of Trinity College Dublin presented the profound legal ramifications of the proposed amendment.
- Ms. Maria Steen, a barrister at law and an accomplished journalist and social commentator presented the political background to the amendment and its disturbing effects on culture politically, socially and medically.
- Finally two brave mothers from Every Life Counts, Tracy and Vicky, shared their own personal stories as parents of children who were diagnosed with a terminal condition. They put a very human face on the issues that we will have to preach about and give guidance on.
We invite you to listen to the talks and to reflect seriously on the issues involved and support the campaign to save the lives of babies by helping to defeat the referendum to repeal Article 4.3.3. of the Irish Constitution.
The first talk is by Prof. Gerry Whyte: “An examination of the proposals to amend Art.40.3.3”