Dominican Sisters Cabra http://www.dominicansisters.com Dominican Sisters Cabra Thu, 18 Dec 2014 10:20:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Fourth Sunday of Advent (21 December) http://www.dominicansisters.com/homily/fourth-sunday-of-advent-21-december/ http://www.dominicansisters.com/homily/fourth-sunday-of-advent-21-december/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 10:16:48 +0000 http://www.dominicansisters.com/?post_type=portfolio&p=3565 David had done well. It would appear that he got his way in everything. He was successful in battle. He had power over other people’s lives. He could claim anyone he wished for a wife or concubine. He had become the ruler of two nations, Judah and Israel, and had chosen Jerusalem to be the new capital. He was clearly depicted as being ‘favored by God’. Yes, David had done well. He had come a long way from his days as the shepherd boy, whose daddy didn’t even consider him important enough to be invited to the anointing festival. David was powerful. He had subdued his enemies. He had roped in all the twelve tribes under his power. It was now time to rope in a wandering God.

When David put the idea to Nathan he was affirmed in his proposal. But Nathan, the prophet, had read God incorrectly. They were not on the same page about this matter. The message came back from God, that this idea should be halted. What kind of God had David, and Nathan and their ancestors known? Theirs was a wandering God, a nomad, a God who traveled with them on their life’s journey, and whose presence on this journey they clearly knew. Theirs was a God who was with them in the desert, and who made a way, a highway, where no way seemed possible. Theirs was a God of the promised land, both of the promise and its fulfillment. Their God was a living God, not a static temple God. Simply put, theirs was a God-to-go.Tents_Himalayan_landscape

Is there a human tendency to control and enshrine God in special places, like temples and churches, and then consider them the holy and sacred places? How did we get from the wandering God we meet in today’s first reading, from Jesus of Nazareth the wandering preacher with nowhere to lay his head, to the idea that our God must be enshrined in ornate places? Perhaps, this gives us a sense of control, for we can open and close the doors of these establishments at our convenient times and to whomever we will. Meanwhile, God has escaped the shrine, and can be found dancing down the highways and the byways, laughing in the main streets and the back streets, taking up residence in the human heart. This same God can be found in every blade of grass, under every stone, in the song of the bird and the lowing of the cow.

We have heard the call this Advent to build the highway for and with our God. Our God is out there traveling with us in the desert and by the refreshing waters. As we celebrate Christmas we see the point made again. When God touched into our humanity in the birth of Jesus, remember the baby’s mother was also in transit. This was the only fitting way that a traveling God could be born into our lives. Today, I know that God is traveling with a family facing eviction before Christmas. That God is roaming through the debris of people’s lives in Peshawar, Pakistan, and becomes tangible and visible in the support, concern and love that each of us can give. Yes, we have a God-to-go who takes us along the journey to be the visible presence of the divine.

Elizabeth Ferguson, OP

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Journeying with those in Formation – A privilege http://www.dominicansisters.com/2014/journeying-with-those-in-formation-a-privilege/ http://www.dominicansisters.com/2014/journeying-with-those-in-formation-a-privilege/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 13:44:59 +0000 http://www.dominicansisters.com/?p=3553 In her role as Director of Novices, Sr. Marie Redmond works with women who are testing their vocation to religious life.  Rather than a rigid, formal set up, she sees her role as initiating the Novice into Community life and passing on the Dominican charism.  She sees the opportunity of working with Novices as a privilege, like walking on holy ground. It could be described as a two-year journey with someone who is discerning if this is where God wants her to be for the rest of her life.

Sr. Marie Redmond

The novitiate is a time for learning about and living the day-to-day life of a sister. During this time, Marie’s role is to accompany the Novice as she meets the demands of daily life, e.g. preparing the liturgy, joining in community meetings, and taking on community responsibilities. She also takes responsibility for ensuring that the Novice has the proper foundation in studies for religious life and has become immersed in the Dominican history and charism.

To prepare her for the role as director of novices, Sr. Marie completed a year-long course in Loreto House which gave her a certain confidence. While it was mainly a course in personal development, it was also an opportunity to learn skills which were needed for formation. It involved crash courses in counselling, spiritual direction and focusing.  Her role also involves exploring, with the Novice, her relationship with God and how her prayer life is developing, which can often be a delicate area.  Sr. Marie says that it is important to see the Novice settling in contentedly and flourishing, as this is a way to determine if religious life is for her.

Sr. Marie finds work placements for the Novice, mainly in different Ministries where the Dominican Sisters have had an influence and involvement, many of which were in challenging circumstances. These include the Matt Talbot Community Trust, which was founded for the youth of Ballyfermot by Sr. Caoimhín Ní Uallacháin OP and St. Dominic’s Contact Centre, a community response centre in Tallaght, which was set up by Sr. Marie Cunningham OP.  Other placements were in Benincasa and Casa Caterina schools, a local crèche and a local Travellers’ site.   The Congregation and Mission Area Councils liaise with the Novice and Novice Director to decide which Ministry will suit her best in the longer term and where her gifts can best suit the Ministry.  Often this may be determined by answering a societal need.

The charism of other Congregations differs but the approach to Formation is often similar.  In certain circumstances, Novices from different orders work together during the Formation period so that they can benefit from peer support. In the future, Sr. Marie sees that Formation will be very different.  She believes that religious life will continue, but not as we are living it now.  One form it might take is that of different religious orders working together to answer a need.  Part of the adventure of religious life in the future, in Sr. Marie’s view, will be the need for total flexibility while ensuring that the charism of Dominic will continue.

Sr. Marie Redmond has been Director of Novices since 2007.  Prior to this, and for most of her religious life, she was a primary school teacher in Ballyfermot, an area which she loved.  She also spent three years working in Harvey, an area in the suburbs of New Orleans.  The purpose of her time there, with other Cabra Dominicans, was to replace an American Dominican Congregation who no longer had the personnel to keep the school going.   Sr. Marie loves children and has found them to be the same the world over. However, she found huge differences between the teaching system in the US and the education system she had experienced in Ireland.  The main difference in the US was the focus on achieving grades at the expense of developing children’s creativity.

Marie’s other ministries included four years as Prioress in the Falls Road Convent in West Belfast which was an enriching experience.  A large part of her role there was to help look after some of the frail Sisters in the community. She has also worked in prisons and has helped to run the Alternative to Violence Programme (AVP) in Mountjoy, Wheatfield, Arbour Hill and Portlaoise prisons. The AVP programme originated with the Quakers in America and involves working directly with prisoners.  It is participative; it builds self-esteem and gives prisoners the skills to become facilitators and to conduct workshops for other prisoners. Participating as an ‘outsider’ in AVP helps you to see the person behind the crime.  Their crime is never mentioned unless they themselves choose to bring it up.  Sr. Marie is a member of the Irish Prison Reform Trust which is doing very positive work. She feels that conditions in some Irish prisons are slowly improving. The IPRT believes that deprivation of freedom is sufficient punishment. They argue that further punishments within the prison system ought not to be part of a sentence. She hopes at some stage to return to working with prisoners or those at risk, as she has always been drawn to this type of work.

For further information on vocations and formation with the Dominican Sisters Cabra, please contact : Sr. Edel Murphy OP, Email:  stmurphe@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

 

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Sr. Susie O’Rawe sends us news on her mission in Latin America http://www.dominicansisters.com/2014/sr-susie-orawe-sends-us-news-on-her-mission-in-latin-america/ http://www.dominicansisters.com/2014/sr-susie-orawe-sends-us-news-on-her-mission-in-latin-america/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 10:19:58 +0000 http://www.dominicansisters.com/?p=3493 Bolivia Uncovered 2014
TarijaIt is difficult to believe that I have been here now for nearly 4 months. When I arrived in Argentina at the beginning of August I had no idea what was ahead of me. It was a complete leap of faith and as I allowed my heart to lead me into this new life adventure things unfolded as if they had been patiently waiting for my arrival.

After a few weeks settling into Argentina – made much easier by the fantastic support of our Dominican sisters who have been in this mission area for many years; Thank you! – I finally made the journey from Argentina to Tarija which was overland and fairly arduous. I had minimal Spanish but it is amazing how much one can communicate without a common language – it was refreshing to rediscover that we are all well able to connect with one another in other ways apart from speech. After spending 6 weeks in Cochabamba studying basic level Spanish, in the excellent and renowned Maryknoll Language Institute, I got enough of a basis on which to build exponentially on my new language skills – let’s just say I now know what I need to learn!

On the 12 October  2014 Evo Morales was re-elected for a third term as the President of Bolivia. Despite a bit of negative murmuring among the middle classes of Bolivian (he is the first indigenous president) he has done a lot for Bolivia as President in the last 12 years and I believe will continue to bring notice to and improve the quality of life for the majority population of Bolivia who are indigenous.

Despite the fact that Tarija has the second largest reserve of natural Gas in Latin America, according to the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) World Fact Book, Bolivia’s population is now close to 11 million and ranks at or near the bottom among Latin American countries in several areas of health and development, including poverty, education, fertility, malnutrition, mortality, and life expectancy. On the positive side, it seems that more children are being vaccinated and more pregnant women are getting prenatal care and having skilled health practitioners attend their births.   Bolivia’s income inequality is the highest in Latin America and one of the highest in the world. Public education is of poor quality, and educational opportunities are among the most unevenly distributed in Latin America, with girls and indigenous and rural children less likely to be literate or to complete primary school. Bolivia’s lack of clean water (absolutely everyone, rich or poor, boils their water from the tap) and basic sanitation, especially in rural areas, contributes to health problems.

Dominicans in Tarija, Bolivia

Our Dominican community in Tarija is small but very active with only three, myself, Sr. Patricia from Argentina and Mariel a young student from the countryside in Tarija. Mariel is with us because she can’t afford accommodation while at the University of Tarija (studying Forestry) so she is living with us for the duration of her degree. Sr Patricia has been in Bolivia for 12 years and has extensive experience working on projects such as Education for Peace and running and working in the Diocesan Human Trafficking Office.

Ministry of Health

My own mission project emerged from a chance encounter with a colleague/friend of Patricia’s. I had only been here for a week or two and he called Patricia to ask if I could have a look at a post op appendix wound that had become infected. I managed to treat it successfully and it turned out he had a nephew who was a young doctor working for the Ministry of Health and he was looking for a nurse to help him. This is a new government initiative to collect heath statistics and reach all families and communities in rural areas who previously had little contact with any health provision.(null) (19)

Dr Daniel Lima (from Tarija) trained in Havana, Cuba the largest medical school in the world called ELAM – Latin America Medical School which was set up specifically to train and give scholarships to people from very poor countries who show academic promise. The idea is that they are trained to work with the least equipment and are taught how to treat people in the most basic conditions. It is a fully accredited regular medical school and graduates are expected to give their skills in the first few years back in their own communities working with the poorest of the poor. Daniel told me he would like to be a Heart Surgeon in the future but in the meantime he is happy working very hard among his own people.

(null) (17)The Clinica de Salud (Health Clinic) is a small room inside a another charity complex compound and is open in the mornings from 7.00am –11.00am for people to come and see the doctor and then from 11.00am – 2.00pm we go out together on a motorbike to the rural areas in the mountains. We do regular visits to families and call in on new families to offer a full health check and let them know about the free clinic. I assist Daniel by taking blood pressures, giving injections etc and this very often happens by the roadside – so I can see how working with very little comes into play. On one visit we had to use the motorbike as a examination table to check out a little girl who had a parasite. Mostly the health problems are connected to poor water hygiene, so parasites abound along with diabetes, and malnutrition high on the agenda. This is a very poor part of Tarija and lots of people live in very basic conditions. The WHO (World Health Organisation) suggests that extreme poverty creates ill-health because it forces people to live in environments that make them sick, without decent shelter, clean water or adequate sanitation.  The people of Tarija, Bolivia are strong and resilient. They are fantastic to work with and have a strong cultural identity which they extend to everyone around them. They love fiestas and at a moment’s notice will sing and dance the night away.

I have been welcomed by everyone I have met with open arms. It is my honour and privilege to serve here as a Cabra Dominican Missionary for the next 2 years.

“We travellers, walking to the sun, can’t see

Ahead, but looking back the very light

That blinded us shows us the way we came,

Along which blessings now appear, risen

As if from sightlessness to sight, and we,

By blessing brightly lit, keep going toward

That blessed light that yet to us is dark…

The incarnate Word is with us,

is still speaking, is present

always, yet leaves no sign

but everything that is.”   Wendell Berry, selection from “Sabbaths, 1999″

 

 

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Third Sunday of Advent (14 December) http://www.dominicansisters.com/homily/third-sunday-of-advent-14-december/ http://www.dominicansisters.com/homily/third-sunday-of-advent-14-december/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 13:40:58 +0000 http://www.dominicansisters.com/?post_type=portfolio&p=3501 It is interesting to note that some of the images used during the Advent liturgies center around the exile and the post-exilic times. The highway through the desert served as an image of freedom for the exiled people in Babylon. It held a vision of a smooth return to the homeland along the highway of God.

The poetic images of today’s first reading are drawn from the post-exilic dream. We don’t have to imagine what it was like for the Israelites returning from exile. Right in our living rooms we hear the stories and see the destruction that comes about through political upheavals, the ensuing battles and wars as one regime tries to replace another. We see the plight of the people caught in the violence and their flight into exile. We know the destruction of natural disasters, and the numbers left homeless in the wake of such events. We also know the dream in the heart of the exiled people, the dream to return home to their city, their town, their village.

But what does the exile find? Jerusalem was rubble and devastation. Tohoku lay in ruins, Port au Prince lay in ruins, Mosul lies in ruins, New Orleans lay in ruins, so much of Somalia is in ruins. It is sad to say the list is endless. When the exiles with hearts of hope are able to return, they find the rubble and the devastation. But worse than that, they are greeted by the predators of greed and power. Such was the return from the Babylonian exile.Devastated city

Slavery is officially abolished, but millions of people are exiled in slavery in our world today, their lives and spirits reduced to rubble. Laws ended apartheid, but there is no home of hope to return to for the millions abused by the system. Equal rights acts have been passed, but people remain exiled in poverty and the injustices of racial discrimination.

The poet in today’s first reading recognized the situation. Those returning home are wounded, and vulnerable to the predator. Into this situation comes one anointed by the Spirit of God to bring good news to the poor, release to the captive, sight to the blind. Those who construct the new Jerusalem must come anointed by the Spirit of God. For only then will it be ‘clothed with a robe of salvation, and wrapped in a mantle of justice’.

We are still in the construction work, building up the city of God. We are called to be workers led by the Spirit of God to bring the good news to the returning exile, to be a voice for those exiled by the sins of injustice in our church and society, and to ensure that their return is to a home of safety, love, respect and equality. May the city we are building be ‘clothed with a robe of salvation, and wrapped in a mantle of justice’.

Elizabeth Ferguson, OP

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Sr. Eileen O’Connell’s ministry in Matt Talbot Community Trust in Ballyfermot http://www.dominicansisters.com/2014/sr-eileen-oconnells-ministry-in-matt-talbot-community-trust-in-ballyfermot/ http://www.dominicansisters.com/2014/sr-eileen-oconnells-ministry-in-matt-talbot-community-trust-in-ballyfermot/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 11:30:31 +0000 http://www.dominicansisters.com/?p=3478 As a Novice, one of Eileen O’Connell’s placements in Ministry was in the Matt Talbot Community Trust in Ballyfermot. She recounts her time there and how the recognition of the innate dignity and worth of all people is so important.ca03f6c74fda3cdc7abfa8deca1cf5c4_f92

 History and present situation

The Matt Talbot Community Trust in Ballyfermot was founded in 1986 by Sr. Caoimhín OP. It is a drug free community education programme. Originally, its aim was to support young men going to prison. Today, Matt Talbot tackles the social issues that lead to problem drug use and criminal behaviour and works with those seeking assistance with addiction and those involved in the criminal justice system. It also supports the wider Ballyfermot community.

Presently Matt Talbot has a staff of five. Members of staff act as key workers to participants. The aim of this is to create an environment of trust, belonging and learning that recognises the value of each individual and leads to the development of positive relationships. Its mission statement describes how it actively works towards the reintegration of adults into family, community and social life by the provision of education and structured, person-centred supports. Its objectives include promoting and facilitating achievement of personal autonomy, increased independence, progression and enhanced life opportunities.

The service provides a number of programmes including: education, personal support, Saol Nua peer support, supported work placement, family support and family summer programme, women’s group, and outreach work (prison visits and post-programme outreach).I was in prison and

Reflection on Matt Talbot Community Trust

Initially, I found it difficult to be in Matt Talbot. As I had no life experiences in common with those attending the centre, I struggled to feel that I could relate to them and felt that I had nothing to offer there. However, this changed a little as time went on. As we became more familiar to one another, I felt more able to speak to people, to ask them some questions and to join in conversations.

I was very impressed by the level of commitment of those who work in Matt Talbot, their investment of so much of themselves, and their genuine care and concern for the wellbeing and welfare of both participants and their families. On several occasions, Grainne Jennings, the Director, spoke to me of what happens in Matt Talbot, of their struggles, challenges and successes, and of their vision. She spoke of various people they have helped and of different battles they have fought with, and for, people who come to their door. Her level of emotional involvement and passion for justice for those who seek help was clearly evident, and both that and incidents she related stayed with me.

What was also obvious was how much the work of Matt Talbot Community Trust is in line with the principles of Catholic Social Teaching. This revolves around God’s call, recounted by Micah and the other Old Testament ‘prophets of social justice’ to “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). It is this that informs the key tenets of CST. Recognition of the innate dignity and worth of all people, as images of God, along with the understanding that we are all our ‘brother and sister’s keepers’ and responsible to and for one another (principle of solidarity) means the promotion of social justice is the duty of all who profess themselves disciples of Jesus.

One instance to illustrate this involved a man who was homeless and who had numerous health problems as a result of addictions. Grainne related to me how they fought frantically on his behalf when he was due to be released from hospital, still a very sick man. It was winter and both the man himself and the staff of Matt Talbot were afraid he would die if he had to sleep rough for even one night. They phoned his family and friends, homelessness and addiction services and hostels, and everywhere they could think of, trying to find a bed. Grainne spoke of her disbelief, and anger, at what happened during one phone call to a hostel that had no free beds. The person on the other end, after listening to her tell of the man’s situation, hung up saying there was nothing more he could do. Eventually, they decided the only option left was to set up temporary accommodation and to stay there with him. In the end, a member of the man’s family offered him somewhere to stay, so it wasn’t necessary. However, Grainne and others working with the man were willing to leave their families, the warmth and comfort of their homes and their beds, to care for him. They were unwilling to let him die alone if that were to be the outcome.

WA2_080AWA2_080AI was helpless and youNumerous verses from the Old Testament and New Testament relate to this and to the work of the staff. God, through Isaiah and Zechariah, calls us to “seek justice, rescue the oppressed; defend the orphan, plead for the widow” (Is 1:17) and to “show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor” (Zech 7:9-10). In a similar way, Proverbs calls us to “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute … defend the rights of the poor and needy” (31:8-9). Jesus asks that we love, that we see the dignity of all, and that we act out of care and concern for others. In the Sermon on the Mount, He teaches “if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile” (Matthew 5:41). John writes, “let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:17-18) and this is surely what those in Matt Talbot do. Their dedication, and their genuine concern for each person, was really inspiring. My time in Matt Talbot was an enjoyable and positive experience. The qualities and capacity of those who work there to serve others in the way that they do are to be admired as is their involvement in something that seeks, in some way, to tip the balance in the inequalities in our world.

To paraphrase Don Goergen OP: they walked with the poor so as not to walk over them; they went to the margins, so there are no more ‘us’ and ‘them’.

 

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Winter in An Tairseach http://www.dominicansisters.com/2014/winter-in-an-tairseach/ http://www.dominicansisters.com/2014/winter-in-an-tairseach/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 10:09:58 +0000 http://www.dominicansisters.com/?p=3470 Winter in An Tairseach

Advent Quiet Evenings
Celebration of the Winter Solstice

 

 

Praying with the Advent GospelsAdvent Candle

 Wednesdays

 December 10th

 December 17th

 Time 7:30 – 8:30

(followed by cuppa)

 

Please join us in celebrating  the Winter SolsticeWinter Solstice

on Saturday 20th  December

From 4—6pm

Followed by refreshments

Click here for full brochure:

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Christmas with the Dominican Mission in Tarija http://www.dominicansisters.com/2014/christmas-with-the-dominican-mission-in-tarija/ http://www.dominicansisters.com/2014/christmas-with-the-dominican-mission-in-tarija/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 12:36:52 +0000 http://www.dominicansisters.com/?p=3463 Christmas with the Dominican Mission in Tarija

I am not sure what we as a small Dominican community will be doing for Christmas in Bolivia this year. It could be one of many things – we might even be invited to join a local family on Christmas day. In Tarija and all of Bolivia the old traditions around Christmas are strong and very active. The holiday lasts from Christmas day until February when families prepare and dress the child Jesus in white clothes, prepare their cribs and decorate their home altars with silk and other colourful cloths. They also add products from the earth such as grasses, wheat and barley, flowers, vegetables and fruits of the season.Baby Jesus figures for nativity scenes for sale in Christmas market , La Paz , Bolivia

The statue of Jesus is carried to the local church to “listen to mass” usually accompanied on the way by a group of children dancing in front of the ‘Christ Child’ while they play Christmas melodies on flutes. Some wealthy families even hire bands to accompany the family procession.

Churches, devout families, neighborhoods in its squares, prepare the  ‘la trenzada’ a long stick of three or four meters from which hang ribbons of colours woven especially for this occasion, they are considered here to be “sacred”. This is probably one of the oldest traditions of Tarija’s worship. This and the God child, and has maintained its spiritual richness here along with a spontaneous child dance ritual. After Mass on Christmas day they go outside to entertain the children with milk, chocolate and sweet cookies  and they give out fruit cakes and some toys.

On the eve of Christmas, after attending midnight mass, families share dinner at twelve midnight with a traditional meal called la ‘picana’ which consists of a very special soup cooked with three kinds of meat: chicken, beef and pork, serving this with potatoes, cheese, and corn.

On January 6 in the countryside community members celebrate the ‘day of the oxen’ adorning their animals with flowers in their ears, they paint the backs of the oxen red and take the day off. A double ration of food is also given to the poor.bolivia oxen

The Christmas religious tradition in Tarija, is very rich in rituals and symbols that express a very deep faith, as well as preserving much of the ancient and Christian tradition. While they have imported some western ideas – decorations and Christmas trees – on the whole the ancient traditional spirit of ritual and symbol is very much alive.

Sr. Susie O’Rawe OP

 

 

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Dominican Associates meeting in Ballyfermot is open to All http://www.dominicansisters.com/2014/dominican-associates-meeting-in-ballyfermot-is-open-to-all/ http://www.dominicansisters.com/2014/dominican-associates-meeting-in-ballyfermot-is-open-to-all/#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 09:59:45 +0000 http://www.dominicansisters.com/?p=3456 Dominican Associates meeting in Ballyfermot is open to All

The theme of the meeting of the Dominican Associates in Ballyfermot in early December was to explore Advent.  Thinking about Advent is important at this time of the year because so many of us forget the real message of Christmas as we get caught up in the hustle and bustle.

The purpose of the Dominican Associates meeting is to be reflective.  So much of our lives are focused on action that we don’t take the time to reflect on how we are living our lives.  Dominican Associates aim to live their lives according to the Dominican charism.  This means being true to yourself and also living out the values of the gospel.  Part of this is to take the time to reflect and a number of reflective prayers form part of the meeting.

At the meeting we talked about the Dominican Family Day and the Dominican Youth Forum.  Many schools came together at the Dominican Youth Forum to discuss the importance of the Dominican ethos and being part of the Dominican community of schools.   We also discussed St Dominic and how we can learn from his preachings and simply how to be kind to others.

As part of our concluding reflection, we watched the following www.youtube.com/user/DublinDioceseEd which gives a simple message on the importance of loving your neighbour.

For further information on the Dominican Associates in Ballyfermot or to join one of our 2015 meetings please contact regionop@gmail.com

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Second meeting of Alzheimer Cafe – 4th December 2014 http://www.dominicansisters.com/2014/second-meeting-of-alzheimer-cafe-4th-december-2014/ http://www.dominicansisters.com/2014/second-meeting-of-alzheimer-cafe-4th-december-2014/#comments Fri, 05 Dec 2014 12:40:02 +0000 http://www.dominicansisters.com/?p=3434 Minister Paschal Donohoe with Sr. Ruth Pilkington

Minister Paschal Donohoe with Sr. Ruth Pilkington

Sr. Darina Hosey giving her presentation on Relating to the Person

Sr. Darina Hosey speaking on Relating to the Person

On Thursday 4th December the  second meeting of the Alzheimer Cafe was held in Cabra, Dublin 7.

Minister Paschal Donohoe greeting Jim Corrigan and his daughter Anne McSweeney

Below are some snapshots of the evening.

Next  Meeting of  Alzheimer Cafe on Thursday  8th JANUARY, 2015

 

Sr. Patrice de Burgh giving her presentation on Relating to the Person

Sr. Patrice de Burgh giving her presentation on Relating to the Person

 

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Second Sunday of Advent (7 December) http://www.dominicansisters.com/homily/second-sunday-of-advent-7-december/ http://www.dominicansisters.com/homily/second-sunday-of-advent-7-december/#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2014 12:54:12 +0000 http://www.dominicansisters.com/?post_type=portfolio&p=3412 desert highwayMost of us have seen road construction. Where highways or motorways are built there is often a great gouging of the natural landscape. We have seen where lower places have been built up, and where hills that have been ‘in the way’ are dynamited to bring them down. All this is done so that a level highway can be built. We have seen where roads have been directed through swamps and farm fields, and even through city neighborhoods to remove the bends and turns so that a straight roadway might be made. All of this is done for convenience and expediency, but none of this is brought about without great cost and loss.

We hear the call in Isaiah and reiterated in Mark’s gospel to prepare the way. The voice is calling out in the desert to prepare the way of God, to build a straight highway for God through the wilderness. Yes, the way is through the desert. It’s a long, hot, and thirsty crossing, and there is no quick exit road. The image reminds the people of their ancestors’ journey through the desert after the exodus event. It was a rough time, but they emerged from the journey with an identity that they had been formed as God’s people.

The way was a familiar term in New Testament times. Jesus described himself as the Way. He went into the desert to find his way. Luke uses the term to refer to disciples and discipleship, those following the Way. That way too takes us through the desert, and as people with a mission it takes us into the deserts of life where we must walk together and build that highway with God’s suffering people. The group that can be formed together in the deserts of life is familiar with the way, comes to know the way and how to be on the way together. For, it is only through the desert that God’s highway can be built.

The back roads may be quiet and pretty, conducive to pondering and meditation. But as people with a mission to confront the distortions of truth with the power of the Word, we are asked to leave the back roads, just as our sister Catherine was asked to leave her cell. We are called to construction work on God’s highway. And so we must find ourselves constructing –
A Highway of Peace through the desert of war, violence, terrorism
A Highway of Equality of opportunity through the desert of racism, sexism, classism,
A Highway of Justice through the desert of economic want, poverty, hunger, devasting diseases,
A Highway of Freedom through the desert of enslavement, abuse, imprisonment of any kind.
Might Jesus point out to us today, “The deserts are vast, and the construction workers few.”

Elizabeth Ferguson, OP

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