Dominican Sisters Cabra Dominican Sisters Cabra Fri, 27 Mar 2015 14:39:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Walking the Walk Fri, 27 Mar 2015 14:32:15 +0000 Irish Independent Wed. 25 MarchThis Sunday 29th March, Sr. Caoimhín Ní  Uallacháin will lead a 4km Fun Walk in aid of the Matt Talbot Community Trust (MTCT) in Ballyfermot.

See article on right which was in Irish Independent, 25th March 


See also Candle and Matt Talbot Community Trust 




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A NEW HARMONY – THE SPIRIT, THE EARTH AND THE HUMAN SOUL Thu, 26 Mar 2015 11:28:33 +0000 On 1st and 2nd April at An Tairseach, Dominican Farm and Ecology Centre, Wicklow

Philip Newell will present a two-day Conference on john-philip-newell_1




In a world that seems increasingly fragmented, we are called to a vision of life’s essential oneness. This conference will explore the essential interconnectedness of all things, exploring the oneness of our origins and the oneness of Earth’s destiny. Only by knowing and naming the extent and depth of our disharmony will we find the way forward.

Cost:  €100, Booking fee €20 – includes conference, teas/coffees home made snacks plus a delicious dinner prepared by qualified chefs who use organic produce fresh from our own certified organic farm.


     Time:  9.30 – 4.00 pmlogo an-tairseach-logo

     Enquires: Phone 0404 61833


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Palm Sunday (29 March) Wed, 25 Mar 2015 11:57:52 +0000 Lenten Reflection (Sr Eileen O’Connell OP)

Throughout his Gospel, Mark forewarns of Jesus’ ultimate fate – opposition and misunderstanding accompany his public ministry. We have been propelled, almost relentlessly, with Jesus towards Jerusalem and the cross. This Sunday, we have arrived. In the text for the Procession, we hear of Jesus’ dramatic entry into the city of Jerusalem. We can only assume that among the enthusiastic crowd are some who will soon shout for Jesus to be crucified and mock him as he dies.

Mark’s Gospel is concerned with Jesus’ identity and with discipleship. The opening verse tells us Jesus is the Messiah and Son of God. But what this means – both for Jesus and for us as his disciples – can be known only at the cross. Without seeing the centrality of suffering to his mission, and correspondingly to ours as his followers, we cannot understand Jesus or be true disciples. Watching Jesus suffer and die, one of his killers, the Roman centurion, is moved to faith and can answer the question ‘who do you say I am?’IMG_0012

Today’s passages from Isaiah and St. Paul underscore Mark’s message. Like the ‘suffering servant’, the Messiah will be rejected, persecuted, experience abandonment and be killed an apparent failure. As God’s disciple, Jesus lives authentic discipleship: forgoing privilege and status to endure suffering and, ultimately, death. The hymn from Paul summarises the Paschal Mystery. We see the extent of Jesus’ self-emptying love: ‘he did not cling to equality with God.’ Discipleship also demands trust in, and acceptance of, God’s will. In Gethsemane, Jesus’ distress and anguished prayers to the Father end: ‘not my will, but yours.’ He is prepared to ‘give his life as a ransom for many’, even though he will be rejected by that ‘many,’ even his friends.

In his account of the Passion, Mark emphasises Jesus’ isolation, which reaches its peak on the cross. Jesus experiences rejection, betrayal and denial by those who might support him: family, friends, religious leaders, the Jerusalem crowds, and finally those dying with him. Apart from the women disciples, everyone deserts him, leaving him friendless among his enemies. Jesus dies very much alone. Jesus’ abandonment is added to by God’s participation. Despite his acquiescence to God’s will, it appears that Jesus feels even God has deserted him – the final, perhaps most significant, rejection. The starkness of Jesus’ isolation and powerlessness is highlighted in his loud cry to ‘God’, rather than his ‘Abba.’

Jesus fully divine and fully human, reveals God and shows what it is to be human -ultimately, dependent on God. Faced with the inevitability of meaningless suffering, Jesus’ suffering can be a source of hope and reassurance, allowing us to know a God who suffers with us in the person of Jesus. With his dying words, Jesus identifies with all those who experience being deserted. Here, we meet our God who enters wholly into humankind’s humiliation and suffering. Although Jesus dies an apparent failure, we know the cross is not the end. The resurrection means Jesus is hugely significant for us. Despite Jesus’ sense of being ‘forsaken’, God had not abandoned him. Likewise, God will not leave us alone.

The Holy Week ceremonies draw us into the events of the final days of Jesus’ life. Like the prophet Isaiah, each of us is called to ‘listen like a disciple,’ to be open to the voice of God. When we discover the Good News, it is not for ourselves alone. Our task as preachers is to share it: the Lord has given each of us ‘a disciple’s tongue’ so that we can ‘reply to the wearied’ with a word of life.

During this Holy Week, may our faith be deepened and may we experience with Christ the Paschal Mystery, dying and rising with him to new life.

Sr. Eileen O’Connell OP


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Article in Wicklow People on Dominican Farm and Ecology Centre Wed, 25 Mar 2015 10:12:39 +0000 The article below appeared in the Wicklow People, on 18th March, 2015.

Ecology Centre welcomes Global Students

You may have seen some strange new faces or heard a couple of accents that are not the norm in these parts. That is because a group of participants from many different parts of the world have arrived in Wicklow to attend a course in the Dominican Farm and Ecology Centre. Why have they chosen An Tairseach? They are interested in sustainable living and also with integrating the Christian story into the ‘new’ Universe story.

 For almost ten years now An Tairseach has established and promotes a new consciousness about the earth and a new relationship with it. It seeks to foster sustainable living patterns, living simply and lighter on the earth.Anb Tairseach

 The student’s first impressions of Wicklow town are all very positive: it’s so beautiful beside the sea with magnificent vista of Wicklow Bay stretching into the distance; the small shops and narrow streets make it an ‘intimate’ place to be; people are so friendly and helpful.

 The Dominican farm is like an island in the midst of an urban sprawl with the land used for many things: production of organically grown vegetables; grazing for a suckler heard of cattle; pupils and students on science outings or retreats. Various habitats include pond  and woodland areas: indeed in the ten years since the ecology centre opened 10 000 sponsored trees have been planted. Attracting many more visitors especially our feathered avian neighbours.  Some land is designated for areas of conservation.

 Produce from the farm is sold in the organically certified shop providing the people of Wicklow with high quality healthy nutritious food, all on their doorstep.

Contact Information: Phone: 00353 404 61833 | Fax: 00353 404 65054 |DSCN5700



Address: An Tairseach, Bayview, Wicklow Town, Co Wicklow, Ireland.

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Fifth Sunday of Lent (22 March) Fri, 20 Mar 2015 10:17:05 +0000 At first glance, the passage offered to us today in John 12 can appear a bit disjointed, a collection of ideas from which we can pull out a few salient points to ponder. Some Greeks came to Philip to seek an appointment with Jesus, and when Philip and Andrew approached Jesus about it he seemed to go off on another track. This can leave us wondering if the Greeks ever got to see Jesus, because they didn’t seem to figure in Jesus’ follow-up response.

It’s common in the Gospel of John to find a setting, like a little scene or an event, prior to the proclamation of an important message about Jesus. The Greeks are part of such a scene. Who are they? They may not necessarily be Greek citizens, but they are possibly gentile converts to Judaism, who have come to Jerusalem for the Passover feast. No doubt they have heard about Jesus and they want to speak with him. These gentiles stand in contrast to the Jewish authorities who were rejecting Jesus.

However, their presence here has a deeper significance. Leading into this section the Gospel narrative relates that the crowds were going out to meet Jesus because he had raised Lazarus from the dead. The Pharisees, in their frustration, acknowledged that they were gaining nothing, because “the whole world has gone after him.” Now we understand that these ‘Greeks’ represent this whole world that is seeking after Jesus. When Jesus is told of their seeking him, his response is, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” There is here a sense of completeness and beginning. Jesus is fully aware that it was for this hour he came. This is the hour he must go through, just as the seed must go through a radical transformation to generate new life. This is the hour of an apparent shameful ending. This is the hour to glorify God’s name. This is the hour of lifting up when all people will be drawn to Jesus, and all people will be lifted. This is the hour when God’s selection of all humanity is manifested. This is the new Passover which is accomplished in the passing from death to glory. It is the Passover for all people, it is the new and universal covenant, in which all people are drawn to God through Jesus. This is the hour of completion of a phase in human understanding and the hour of beginning a new phase in knowing God’s universal love and care of all creation.

Jeremiah, in the 1st. reading, also speaks of a new covenant, a covenant in which God’s way is written in every human heart. There will be no need to teach it or learn it from someone else, for God has made a covenant in which all, from the least to the greatest, will know God who will forgive our evil doing and remember our sins no more. “But what of our teaching and preaching?” we might ask. The best of both are done by those who can lead a person to tap into the divine within and manifest it in the world.cross2

In 1854, when the American government sent a proposal to Chief Seattle about purchasing land from the Native People he is reported to have begun his response thus: “How can you buy or sell the sky? the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?” For millennia, we humans have carefully packaged and parceled God into religious systems and each group has offered its package as the true system. Shouldn’t the idea be strange to us? For we do not own God, nor can we grasp the divine that we can parcel and package it into a system. There is a new covenant written in every human heart, and we are called like Jesus to manifest it as God’s universal covenant with all.


Elizabeth Ferguson, OP

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Latest News from Dominican Sisters International (DSI) Fri, 13 Mar 2015 11:23:15 +0000 Read the latest news from Dominican Sisters International (DSI) Mission Brief – February 2015

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Fourth Sunday of Lent (15 March) Thu, 12 Mar 2015 10:04:34 +0000 Lenten Reflection (Sr. Therese Lenehan OP)

Our Mission Statement as Dominican women challenges us to witness to the liberating word of God.  The Scripture Readings for the fourth Sunday of Lent provide us with that same challenge.  We are invited to be witnesses of God’s attributes of compassion, mercy and unconditional love.

The contrast of the positive versus the negative is clearly portrayed in today’s readings.

In Chronicles we see how the religious and political leaders and the people of Judah have “added infidelity to infidelity, practicing all the abominations of the nations.”  Yet God’s response to their atrocities was to “send his messengers to them early and often – because he had compassion on them.”  Is it not the same with us today as we are challenged to witness to the goodness in each person rather than judging and demeaning them for their shortcomings?

Again in Ephesians, God gives us the invitation, because of his great love for us, to turn from our sinful ways and receive his rich mercy – for by grace we have been saved.  The pleasures of the world are often wrapped in attractive packages, but God’s invitation is to accept and use God’s gifts to us, ” for we are God’s handiwork, created in Jesus Christ for the good works God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.”

light and darknessJohn in the gospel assures us that “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved by him.”   God continually offers us his grace, but leaves us free to choose light over darkness.  However, God promised that whoever lives the truth – VERITAS – comes to the light, so that their works may be seen as done in God.  Is this not the desire of all God’s chosen ones?

Can we take God’s challenges this week and “Dress for Success” daily, by “putting on as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved… compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness and patience, bear with one another, and if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other… and on top of all these put on LOVE, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  (C0l.3: 12-14)

What a way to live out our Mission Statement, witnessing to the liberating word of God!

 Therese Lenehan, OP



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An Tairseach Dominican Farm and Ecology Centre – Programme of Events March Tue, 10 Mar 2015 14:02:00 +0000  MARCH

Farm Walks                    First Saturdays, March to October at 11.00 a.m.

Sabbatical Course       10-week residential programme beginning 1 March.

Dance                                 Mondays beginning  9 March.

Course                                New Cosmology: Eight week Programme – Mondays

Walking the Labyrinth:           Thursdays beginning 19 March.

Spring Equinox:                        Saturday 21 March.

Day Conference: Exploring the Impact of Climate Change. Presented by Sean McDonagh

                                                                                      19 March.

Three & Half Day Conference: Creation, Evolution and Faith. Presented by John Feehan

                                                                                                24-27 March.

For further information : Phone: 00353 404 61833 | Fax: 00353 404 65054 | email:

Address: An Tairseach, Bayview, Wicklow Town, Co Wicklow, Ireland.


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Third Sunday of Lent (8th March) Fri, 06 Mar 2015 09:48:41 +0000 Lenten Reflection (Sr Columbia Fernandez O.P.)

The Wisdom of God is beyond our human thinking.  It is a wisdom that can be compared with strength and power, justice and peace.

The Readings today talks about God laying down the law.  There was a need for God to give His law to the people of Israel because they were being unfaithful to God, living immoral lives and having no regard for their neighbour, let alone themselves.  They were living lives in pursuit of selfishness.  They were ignorant of their sins and the makers of their own destruction.  God had to intervene and show them who was ultimately in control.

When God gave the Ten Commandments to God’s people, God spoke words of wisdom.  God made them see things in a new light.  This new light is the Wisdom of God, namely Christ.  Christ makes us see that loving God with all our hearts, means loving our neighbour as well as ourselves.  He wants us to have zeal for His Father’s house.  He wants us to get rid of our foolish ways and to put an end to worshipping false gods, lust, enslaving ourselves with the ways of the world and through selfishness and greed.  God wants us to believe in God’s Son and in God’s name and to trust God in all areas of our lives.

The Wisdom of God tells us that just as the disciples believed in God’s Word, so too, we are called to believe in God’s Word, Jesus Christ.

We are the Temple of the Holy Spirit.  God wants to come and live within us.  However, we need to do much soul searching and clean up the mess of our lives.  “Stop making my Father’s house into a market”.  We need to take those words seriously in our lives, by eradicating our sinfulness.

Zeal for the Father’s house means believing in the Resurrection of God’s Son, Jesus, and allowing Him to transform us from the inside out.  He is the Wisdom of God who brings us healing, who restores our brokenness and who forgives us our sins.  God is a mighty God who wants to make the wrongs in our lives right with Himself, thus restoring us once more to His love and friendship.

Jesus said, “Destroy this Sanctuary, and in three days, I will raise it up”.  The Sanctuary is His body who has been raised 3rd sundayfrom the dead.  We need to experience the Resurrection in our lives in a powerful way this Easter.  It is only when we seek to destroy the reign of sin in our bodies, will we truly experience the power of the Resurrection.

May the Sanctuary of Christ’s body lift us from our ‘death’ so that we can fully experience anew what it means to be a ‘Covenant People’.

Sr Columbia Fernandez O.P

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Sr. Margaret MacCurtain awarded honorary degree by Dublin City University Wed, 04 Mar 2015 12:52:38 +0000 Sr Margaret MacCurtainCongratulations to Sr. Margaret MacCurtain OP who was awarded an honorary degree by Dublin City University on Thursday 26th February in recognition of her work as an academic, campaigner and advocate.

See more information on : Dublin City University website.

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