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10 06, 2019

Eucharist celebration and thanksgiving to mark the closing of St. Rose’s Dominican College, Belfast.

2023-07-13T12:10:47+00:00June 10, 2019|Dominican News, Education, Events, Ireland|

Concluding remarks by Sr. Maire McHugh OP, Mission Area Prioress Ireland, at the Thanksgiving Mass to mark the closing of St. Rose’s Dominican College, Belfast. 

Ascension Sunday 2nd June 2019,

St. Paul’s Parish Church, Falls Road, Belfast

How often have we found when looking through the lens of the Gospel that we can always see our own lives. For me today is one of those times, as I listen to the Gospel story of the Ascension. It is a Gospel about change, about transition. No one likes change! yet for the disciples the departure of Jesus was an important point of growth for them. Jesus was to be with them in a very different way. Yet for them his leaving was very painful indeed. Letting go of the physical presence of Jesus and adjusting to the new reality that was unfolding for the disciples did not sit comfortably with them.

This is a time of transition and change for those of you who have been so loyal to St Rose’s College.  Like all endings, it can leave you disturbed and bereft. And yet, very often too the very idea of endings can be a time of inspiration and the promise of new possibilities.

Though St Rose’s, Dominican College, is closing, each of you, members of the Staff, the Board of Governance, Past Pupils, have embodied the values of Dominican Education, that search for the Truth, the source of inspiration that guides you in your efforts to respond to a rapidly changing world…or as Sr Catherine of Siena said, “Preach the Truth as if you had a million voices. It is silence that kills the world.”

None of us can underestimate how over the last number of years, the reduction of budgets, the years of uncertainty and the amalgamation with two other schools, has affected you the staff and board members. However, as Grace Mc Callion said in her invitation letter, “we have come to the end of an era which evokes mixed emotions, so it is important that the achievement of all are honoured and commemorated.”

There is no doubt that since 1961 – 2019, the Staff in St Rose’s has provided the very best for each individual child and has appreciated the varying gifts and talents of every student. This could only have come about as the result of the total commitment of all the members of staff to the welfare of the students and the support of the Board of Governors, who always had the needs of the students to the forefront. Those needs were many as most of the students came from very disadvantaged backgrounds, from different faiths and cultures and many for whom English is not their first language. You faced those challenges courageously. With the advancing technology of the 21st C and new means of conveying information and knowledge, the staff has always shown great resilience, constantly adjusting to rapidly changing needs. This has demanded on-going professional development, so that you could provide new courses for your students and be constantly innovative in response to syllabi change. Also, to deal with a population downturn and its effect on St Rose’s school from 1000 to 200 students, the staff have needed the ability to be proactive.

Sound leadership has been displayed on the part of the Principals and the Board Of Governors throughout the last 58 years, with the introduction of theoretically applied courses which provided the pathway for so many students into University. There is no doubt that the focus has been on meeting the needs of the students, encouraging them to believe in themselves and to always remain true to themselves.  Again, I quote St Catherine of Siena, “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”

No one likes to remember the years of the “Troubles” here in Belfast, but we are grateful that St Rose’s staff who provided a safe place for the students, going to extreme lengths to ensure their safety and well-being.

Always alert to the signs of the times and showing a willingness to adapt to changing conditions, over the last number of years, despite the difficulties, the Board of Governors and the Staff have fully embraced collaboration with Corpus Christi College and Christian Brothers School, Glen Rd, to provide the very best for the students and to form a new co-educational school, All Saints.

On behalf of all the Dominican Sisters, I would like to say a sincere thank you to the present Board of Governors and its chair Mr James Mc Kerrow, who with gentle negotiating power and endless courtesy has steered St Rose’s into amalgamation.

We are very sad indeed that St Rose’s, as a Dominican College, will no longer exist. However, we are reassured, knowing that the students of St Rose’s, have been endowed with rich, positive educational experiences in keeping with the Dominican ethos.

A very special word of acknowledgment and appreciation to Dr Bob Cummins, who has represented the Dominican Sisters through the long negotiation of the amalgamation under the guidance of the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS).

Recalling again the Ascension story today, Jesus instructs the disciples to “stay in the city” – to wait patiently for the moment of grace. May this time of waiting be a moment of grace for you too.

“May you be blessed with constant hope, with confidence in what awaits you, and a strong trust that all shall be well. May you be blessed with graced surrender to let go of what keeps you from growing, to learn from the obstacles that arise, and to live each day with a spirit of openness.” (Joyce Rupp)

And from all the Dominican Sisters we say, may each of you go with courage and trust. And may our love support you as you go in peace with our deep gratitude alive in you as you depart from St Rose’s.

Following the Eucharist celebration guests were invited to return to the school for refreshments and an opportunity to visit the school and chat with friends and colleagues.


11 05, 2019

Vocation Sunday – Sr. Colette talks about her Vocation Call

2023-07-13T12:16:35+00:00May 11, 2019|Dominican News, Good News|

We invite you to watch this short video https://drive.google.com/…/1Dqi9K2XokinpYYnHrYUzcFHQk…/view… were  Sr. Colette O.P.  shares her Vocation call. Colette is the director of An Tairseach our Dominican Farm and Ecology Centre, in Wicklow,  https://antairseach.ie

We thank Vocations Ireland www.vocationsireland.com for inviting Colette to share her vocation call.

5 03, 2019

Official opening of the Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education- Maynooth

2023-07-13T12:33:10+00:00March 5, 2019|Dominican News, Education, Ireland, News|

Our Sisters were very happy to be part of the official opening on 21st Feb. 2019 of the Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education located in The School of Education on the North Campus Maynooth. Formerly known as the Froebel College of Education, Dominican Campus, Sion Hill, Blackrock, Co. Dublin.

The Froebel College was founded in 1943 and governed, until 2013, under the trusteeship of our Congregation. Today we are delighted to see the legacy of the Froebel College become fully incorporated into the university campus of Maynooth.

We wish Prof Marie McLoughlin Head of Department and all her staff every blessing and success for the future and thank them for their commitment.

1 02, 2019

Bicentenary Mass celebrating 200 years of Dominican Sisters’ presence in Cabra

2023-07-13T14:54:51+00:00February 1, 2019|Dominican News, Education, Ireland, News, Uncategorized|

On Tuesday 29th January, the Bicentenary Eucharistic celebration took place in the Church of the Most Precious Blood, Cabra West, celebrating the 200 years of Dominican Sisters’ presence in Cabra.

Click here to read Homily by Fr. Michael O’Grady, (Parish Priest, Church of the Most Precious Blood, Cabra West )

Click her to read  Welcome by Ms. Anne Donnelly Principal of St. Dominic’s College, Cabra

28 08, 2018

Pope Francis greets our Sisters in Cabra

2023-07-13T15:05:53+00:00August 28, 2018|Dominican News, News|

Pope Francis greeted some of our Sisters on Sunday 26th August as he arrived for a meeting with the Bishops at our Convent Chapel in Cabra, following his afternoon Phoenix Park Mass, to conclude the World Meeting of Families.

Sr Elisabeth Healy, Congregation Prioress greeted Pope Francis welcoming him on behalf of the Congregation to Dominican Convent Cabra. She and thanked him for his courage and his words. Pope Francis greeted each sister and asked us to pray the Hail Mary with him. He thanked us for our fidelity and asked that we remember him in our prayers which we assured him we would do.

Members of the local parishes had gathered at both entrances to greet Pope Francis on his arrival and departure to and from the Airport.

A number of our Sisters who had ministered in Argentina greeted the Pope and shared a quick memory re the traditional drink Mate. The Pope requested one of his team to go to his car and then presented our sisters with a packet of Jerba leaves.


5 12, 2017

300 Years of Dominican Sisters in Dublin. Part 11.

2023-07-13T15:40:31+00:00December 5, 2017|Dominican News, Ireland, Stories|

300 years conclusion:

Previous instalments reviewed the settlement and growth of a group of Galway Dominican nuns in Dublin from 1717. The story described the trials, tribulations, and challenges they faced in Penal days, with decreasing numbers and increasing debts owed to them. 102 years after their arrival, in Dublin, (followed by a few years in Clontarf), the final destination of the Dublin Dominican nuns was Cabra,(Dublin). In May 1819, Fr Cruise, (a Dominican priest and their community chaplain in Clontarf) was instrumental in the purchase of a house and seven acres in Cabra. The nuns stayed in Clontarf until their lease there expired. During those months, however, two nuns accompanied an ailing Sister to Cabra, hoping that the country air would be beneficial to her. Sadly she died during the night. On December 12th, 1819, the community of five finally moved Cabra. It would never have occurred to them, that during the following 200 years Cabra Dominican Community would “grow” into a Congregation with branches, not only in a number of towns/cities in Ireland but also worldwide, with missionary foundations and various ministries (still existing) in South Africa, Australia, Louisiana and Latin America. Details of the growth, and in some instances, the death of old branches, are described in sections of our website. Most of the details of the instalments of this series are quoted from Sr Maire Kealy’s book “From Channel Row to Cabra” (2010). Deo Gratias


From Sr. Maris Stella McKeown, Archivist, Mission Area of Ireland

For more details, see this website link WHO WE ARE, with Drop down menu –HISTORY and BOOKS.

The drop down menu in WHAT WE DO provides insights into how and where the seed, planted in Dublin in 1717, has grown and sprouted other branches in the following three centuries.

9 11, 2017

300 years of Dominican Women in Dublin: Part 10

2023-07-13T15:51:36+00:00November 9, 2017|Dominican News, Ireland, Stories, Uncategorized|

By 1798 there were only three Sisters in Channel Row. After the landlord did not renew the lease, the account books note: “received for old furniture sold on leaving Brunswick St £14.10.9d.” Thus, in the spring 1808, the Sisters, with some parlour boarders, moved to a rented house (later known as “Convent House”) in Vernon Avenue, Clontarf. With a good-sized garden, and fields purchased, they made some money: “received for vegetables”, “for grazing”, “for sheep sold in Smithfield”.

The Sisters opened a day school and a small boarding school in August 1808. Textbooks included Goldsmith’s English (abridged), French Grammar, Thompson’s Geography, Usher’s Grammar, Fontaine’s Fables. A Dancing Master was engaged. Each young lady was required to have a summer, winter, and dancing costume. The Bellew organ had been brought from Channel Row. The nuns made great efforts to restore the religious life and observances they had previously known. They used their religious names with the prefix Sister; they also wore the Dominican habit of white serge, a fact reflected in the laundry expenses. However, over time, their financial situation did not improve, with “debts” owed to them and taxes which had increased after the 1798 rebellion. One very encouraging sign, which proved to be to their salvation, was the arrival of four new members to the community and later, a Dominican priest and chaplain, Fr Edmund Cruice. However, after eleven years, due to decreasing numbers of pupils and lack of money to pay extern teachers, the school closed.


From Sr. Maris Stella McKeown, Archivist, Mission Area of Ireland


2 11, 2017

How Luther’s Reformation led Irish nuns to Lisbon

2023-07-13T16:07:40+00:00November 2, 2017|Dominican News, News, Uncategorized|

Read below article from RTE website by Dr Bronagh Ann McShane
RECIRC, Moore Institute



17 10, 2017

300 years of Dominican Women in Dublin: Part 9

2023-07-13T15:54:47+00:00October 17, 2017|Dominican News, News, Uncategorized|

300 years part 9 [extracts from Sister Maire Kealy’s book From Channel Row to Cabra]
It is possible to chart the decline of the Channel Row community by comparing the numbers in the community, in the boarding school and the parlour boarders in certain years. Putting the value of the bonds held by the community alongside that information, it is easy to see how they came to be in such a sorry state at the end of the century.

1729 was a year when the nuns were well established in Dublin; in 1744 the numbers in the school were down to nine. 1756 and 1767 were years in which there were accurate figures for the number of nuns in the community and in 1792 it would seem that things had gone beyond recovery. The community was experiencing great difficulties, their financial state was grave and their numbers were falling fast.


1729 22 20 10+Servants £5080
1744 16 9 12 £3400
1756 27 18 21+Servants £6250
1767 19/20 3 6 £3600
1792 5 0
£1800 [good] NOT KNOWN £1800 [good]
£1100 [bad]

[good = money in hand; bad = money owed to nuns but the recovery of debt doubtful]


From Sr. Maris Stella McKeown, Archivist, Mission Area of Ireland

For more details, see this website link WHO WE ARE, with Drop down menu –HISTORY and BOOKS.
The drop down menu in WHAT WE DO provides insights into how and where the seed, planted in Dublin in 1717, has grown and sprouted other branches in the following three centuries.



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