Together with young people, let us bring the Gospel to all

Dear young people, I would like to reflect with you on the mission that we have received from Christ. In speaking to you, I also address all Christians who live out in the Church the adventure of their life as children of God. What leads me to speak to everyone through this conversation with you is the certainty that the Christian faith remains ever young when it is open to the mission that Christ entrusts to us. “Mission revitalizes faith” (Redemptoris Missio, 2), in the words of Saint John Paul II, a Pope who showed such great love and concern for young people.

The Synod to be held in Rome this coming October, the month of the missions, offers us an opportunity to understand more fully, in the light of faith, what the Lord Jesus wants to say to you young people, and, through you, to all Christian communities.

Life is a mission

Every man and woman is a mission; that is the reason for our life on this earth. To be attracted and to be sent are two movements that our hearts, especially when we are young, feel as interior forces of love; they hold out promise for our future and they give direction to our lives. More than anyone else, young people feel the power of life breaking in upon us and attracting us. To live out joyfully our responsibility for the world is a great challenge. I am well aware of lights and shadows of youth; when I think back to my youth and my family, I remember the strength of my hope for a better future. The fact that we are not in this world by our own choice makes us sense that there is an initiative that precedes us and makes us exist. Each one of us is called to reflect on this fact: “I am a mission on this Earth; that is the reason why I am here in this world” (Evangelii Gaudium, 273).

We proclaim Jesus Christ

The Church, by proclaiming what she freely received (cf. Mt 10:8; Acts 3:6), can share with you young people the way and truth which give meaning to our life on this earth. Jesus Christ, who died and rose for us, appeals to our freedom and challenges us to seek, discover and proclaim this message of truth and fulfilment. Dear young people, do not be afraid of Christ and his Church! For there we find the treasure that fills life with joy. I can tell you this from my own experience: thanks to faith, I found the sure foundation of my dreams and the strength to realize them. I have seen great suffering and poverty mar the faces of so many of our brothers and sisters. And yet, for those who stand by Jesus, evil is an incentive to ever greater love. Many men and women, and many young people, have generously sacrificed themselves, even at times to martyrdom, out of love for the Gospel and service to their brothers and sisters. From the cross of Jesus we learn the divine logic of self-sacrifice (cf. 1 Cor 1:17-25) as a proclamation of the Gospel for the life of the world (cf. Jn 3:16). To be set afire by the love of Christ is to be consumed by that fire, to grow in understanding by its light and to be warmed by its love (cf. 2 Cor 5:14). At the school of the saints, who open us to the vast horizons of God, I invite you never to stop wondering: “What would Christ do if he were in my place?”

Transmitting the faith to the ends of the earth 

You too, young friends, by your baptism have become living members of the Church; together we have received the mission to bring the Gospel to everyone. You are at the threshold of life. To grow in the grace of the faith bestowed on us by the Church’s sacraments plunges us into that great stream of witnesses who, generation after generation, enable the wisdom and experience of older persons to become testimony and encouragement for those looking to the future. And the freshness and enthusiasm of the young makes them a source of support and hope for those nearing the end of their journey. In this blend of different stages in life, the mission of the Church bridges the generations; our faith in God and our love of neighbor are a source of profound unity.

This transmission of the faith, the heart of the Church’s mission, comes about by the infectiousness of love, where joy and enthusiasm become the expression of a newfound meaning and fulfilment in life. The spread of the faith “by attraction” calls for hearts that are open and expanded by love. It is not possible to place limits on love, for love is strong as death (cf. Song 8:6). And that expansion generates encounter, witness, proclamation; it generates sharing in charity with all those far from the faith, indifferent to it and perhaps even hostile and opposed to it. Human, cultural and religious settings still foreign to the Gospel of Jesus and to the sacramental presence of the Church represent the extreme peripheries, the “ends of the earth”, to which, ever since the first Easter, Jesus’ missionary disciples have been sent, with the certainty that their Lord is always with them (cf. Mt 28:20; Acts 1:8). This is what we call the missio ad gentes. The most desolate periphery of all is where mankind, in need of Christ, remains indifferent to the faith or shows hatred for the fullness of life in God. All material and spiritual poverty, every form of discrimination against our brothers and sisters, is always a consequence of the rejection of God and his love.

The ends of the earth, dear young people, nowadays are quite relative and always easily “navigable”. The digital world – the social networks that are so pervasive and readily available – dissolves borders, eliminates distances and reduces differences. Everything appears within reach, so close and immediate. And yet lacking the sincere gift of our lives, we could well have countless contacts but never share in a true communion of life. To share in the mission to the ends of the earth demands the gift of oneself in the vocation that God, who has placed us on this earth, chooses to give us (cf. Lk 9:23-25). I dare say that, for a young man or woman who wants to follow Christ, what is most essential is to seek, to discover and to persevere in his or her vocation.

Bearing witness to love

I am grateful to all those ecclesial groups that make it possible for you to have a personal encounter with Christ living in his Church: parishes, associations, movements, religious communities, and the varied expressions of missionary service. How many young people find in missionary volunteer work a way of serving the “least” of our brothers and sisters (cf. Mt 25:40), promoting human dignity and witnessing to the joy of love and of being Christians! These ecclesial experiences educate and train young people not only for professional success, but also for developing and fostering their God-given gifts in order better to serve others. These praiseworthy forms of temporary missionary service are a fruitful beginning and, through vocational discernment, they can help you to decide to make a complete gift of yourselves as missionaries.

The Pontifical Mission Societies were born of young hearts as a means of supporting the preaching of the Gospel to every nation and thus contributing to the human and cultural growth of all those who thirst for knowledge of the truth. The prayers and the material aid generously given and distributed through the Pontifical Mission Societies enable the Holy See to ensure that those who are helped in their personal needs can in turn bear witness to the Gospel in the circumstances of their daily lives. No one is so poor as to be unable to give what they have, but first and foremost what they are. Let me repeat the words of encouragement that I addressed to the young people of Chile: “Never think that you have nothing to offer, or that nobody needs you. Many people need you. Think about it! Each of you, think in your heart: many people need me” (Meeting with Young People, Maipu Shrine, 17 January 2018).

Dear young people, this coming October, the month of the missions, we will hold the Synod devoted to you. It will prove to be one more occasion to help us become missionary disciples, ever more passionately devoted to Jesus and his mission, to the ends of the earth. I ask Mary, Queen of the Apostles, Saint Francis Xavier, Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and Blessed Paolo Manna to intercede for all of us and to accompany us always.

From the Vatican, 20 May 2018, Solemnity of Pentecost


© Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Junto a los jóvenes, llevemos el Evangelio a todos

Queridos jóvenes, deseo reflexionar con vosotros sobre la misión que Jesús nos ha confiado. Dirigiéndome a vosotros lo hago también a todos los cristianos que viven en la Iglesia la aventura de su existencia como hijos de Dios. Lo que me impulsa a hablar a todos, dialogando con vosotros, es la certeza de que la fe cristiana permanece siempre joven cuando se abre a la misión que Cristo nos confía. «La misión refuerza la fe», escribía san Juan Pablo II (Carta enc. Redemptoris missio, 2), un Papa que tanto amaba a los jóvenes y que se dedicó mucho a ellos.

El Sínodo que celebraremos en Roma el próximo mes de octubre, mes misionero, nos ofrece la oportunidad de comprender mejor, a la luz de la fe, lo que el Señor Jesús os quiere decir a los jóvenes y, a través de vosotros, a las comunidades cristianas.

La vida es una misión

Cada hombre y mujer es una misión, y esta es la razón por la que se encuentra viviendo en la tierra. Ser atraídos y ser enviadosson los dos movimientos que nuestro corazón, sobre todo cuando es joven en edad, siente como fuerzas interiores del amor que prometen un futuro e impulsan hacia adelante nuestra existencia. Nadie mejor que los jóvenes percibe cómo la vida sorprende y atrae. Vivir con alegría la propia responsabilidad ante el mundo es un gran desafío. Conozco bien las luces y sombras del ser joven, y, si pienso en mi juventud y en mi familia, recuerdo lo intensa que era la esperanza en un futuro mejor. El hecho de que estemos en este mundo sin una previa decisión nuestra, nos hace intuir que hay una iniciativa que nos precede y nos llama a la existencia. Cada uno de nosotros está llamado a reflexionar sobre esta realidad: «Yo soy una misión en esta tierra, y para eso estoy en este mundo» (Exhort. ap. Evangelii gaudium, 273).

Os anunciamos a Jesucristo

La Iglesia, anunciando lo que ha recibido gratuitamente (cf. Mt 10,8; Hch 3,6), comparte con vosotros, jóvenes, el camino y la verdad que conducen al sentido de la existencia en esta tierra. Jesucristo, muerto y resucitado por nosotros, se ofrece a nuestra libertad y la mueve a buscar, descubrir y anunciar este sentido pleno y verdadero. Queridos jóvenes, no tengáis miedo de Cristo y de su Iglesia. En ellos se encuentra el tesoro que llena de alegría la vida. Os lo digo por experiencia: gracias a la fe he encontrado el fundamento de mis anhelos y la fuerza para realizarlos. He visto mucho sufrimiento, mucha pobreza, desfigurar el rostro de tantos hermanos y hermanas. Sin embargo, para quien está con Jesús, el mal es un estímulo para amar cada vez más. Por amor al Evangelio, muchos hombres y mujeres, y muchos jóvenes, se han entregado generosamente a sí mismos, a veces hasta el martirio, al servicio de los hermanos. De la cruz de Jesús aprendemos la lógica divina del ofrecimiento de nosotros mismos (cf. 1 Co 1,17-25), como anuncio del Evangelio para la vida del mundo (cf. Jn 3,16). Estar inflamados por el amor de Cristo consume a quien arde y hace crecer, ilumina y vivifica a quien se ama (cf. 2 Co 5,14). Siguiendo el ejemplo de los santos, que nos descubren los amplios horizontes de Dios, os invito a preguntaros en todo momento: «¿Qué haría Cristo en mi lugar?».

Transmitir la fe hasta los confines de la tierra

También vosotros, jóvenes, por el Bautismo sois miembros vivos de la Iglesia, y juntos tenemos la misión de llevar a todos el Evangelio. Vosotros estáis abriéndoos a la vida. Crecer en la gracia de la fe, que se nos transmite en los sacramentos de la Iglesia, nos sumerge en una corriente de multitud de generaciones de testigos, donde la sabiduría del que tiene experiencia se convierte en testimonio y aliento para quien se abre al futuro. Y la novedad de los jóvenes se convierte, a su vez, en apoyo y esperanza para quien está cerca de la meta de su camino. En la convivencia entre los hombres de distintas edades, la misión de la Iglesia construye puentes inter-generacionales, en los cuales la fe en Dios y el amor al prójimo constituyen factores de unión profunda.

Esta transmisión de la fe, corazón de la misión de la Iglesia, se realiza por el “contagio” del amor, en el que la alegría y el entusiasmo expresan el descubrimiento del sentido y la plenitud de la vida. La propagación de la fe por atracción exige corazones abiertos, dilatados por el amor. No se puede poner límites al amor: fuerte como la muerte es el amor (cf. Ct 8,6). Y esa expansión crea el encuentro, el testimonio, el anuncio; produce la participación en la caridad con todos los que están alejados de la fe y se muestran ante ella indiferentes, a veces opuestos y contrarios. Ambientes humanos, culturales y religiosos todavía ajenos al Evangelio de Jesús y a la presencia sacramental de la Iglesia representan las extremas periferias, “los confines de la tierra”, hacia donde sus discípulos misioneros son enviados, desde la Pascua de Jesús, con la certeza de tener siempre con ellos a su Señor (cf. Mt 28,20; Hch 1,8). En esto consiste lo que llamamos missio ad gentes. La periferia más desolada de la humanidad necesitada de Cristo es la indiferencia hacia la fe o incluso el odio contra la plenitud divina de la vida. Cualquier pobreza material y espiritual, cualquier discriminación de hermanos y hermanas es siempre consecuencia del rechazo a Dios y a su amor.

Los confines de la tierra, queridos jóvenes, son para vosotros hoy muy relativos y siempre fácilmente “navegables”. El mundo digital, las redes sociales que nos invaden y traspasan, difuminan fronteras, borran límites y distancias, reducen las diferencias. Parece todo al alcance de la mano, todo tan cercano e inmediato. Sin embargo, sin el don comprometido de nuestras vidas, podremos tener miles de contactos pero no estaremos nunca inmersos en una verdadera comunión de vida. La misión hasta los confines de la tierra exige el don de sí en la vocación que nos ha dado quien nos ha puesto en esta tierra (cf. Lc 9,23-25). Me atrevería a decir que, para un joven que quiere seguir a Cristo, lo esencial es la búsqueda y la adhesión a la propia vocación.

Testimoniar el amor

Agradezco a todas las realidades eclesiales que os permiten encontrar personalmente a Cristo vivo en su Iglesia: las parroquias, asociaciones, movimientos, las comunidades religiosas, las distintas expresiones de servicio misionero. Muchos jóvenes encuentran en el voluntariado misionero una forma para servir a los “más pequeños” (cf. Mt 25,40), promoviendo la dignidad humana y testimoniando la alegría de amar y de ser cristianos. Estas experiencias eclesiales hacen que la formación de cada uno no sea solo una preparación para el propio éxito profesional, sino el desarrollo y el cuidado de un don del Señor para servir mejor a los demás. Estas formas loables de servicio misionero temporal son un comienzo fecundo y, en el discernimiento vocacional, pueden ayudaros a decidir el don total de vosotros mismos como misioneros.

Las Obras Misionales Pontificias nacieron de corazones jóvenes, con la finalidad de animar el anuncio del Evangelio a todas las gentes, contribuyendo al crecimiento cultural y humano de tanta gente sedienta de Verdad. La oración y la ayuda material, que generosamente son dadas y distribuidas por las OMP, sirven a la Santa Sede para procurar que quienes las reciben para su propia necesidad puedan, a su vez, ser capaces de dar testimonio en su entorno. Nadie es tan pobre que no pueda dar lo que tiene, y antes incluso lo que es. Me gusta repetir la exhortación que dirigí a los jóvenes chilenos: «Nunca pienses que no tienes nada que aportar o que no le haces falta a nadie: Le haces falta a mucha gente y esto piénsalo. Cada uno de vosotros piénselo en su corazón: Yo le hago falta a mucha gente» (Encuentro con los jóvenes, Santuario de Maipú, 17 de enero de 2018).

Queridos jóvenes: el próximo octubre misionero, en el que se desarrollará el Sínodo que está dedicado a vosotros, será una nueva oportunidad para hacernos discípulos misioneros, cada vez más apasionados por Jesús y su misión, hasta los confines de la tierra. A María, Reina de los Apóstoles, a los santos Francisco Javier y Teresa del Niño Jesús, al beato Pablo Manna, les pido que intercedan por todos nosotros y nos acompañen siempre.

Vaticano, 20 de mayo de 2018, Solemnidad de Pentecostés.


© Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

The theme for World Mission Sunday 2018 is “Through Youth To The World: Voices for Mission.” Pope Francis addresses his message for this year’s celebration to young people, saying, “In speaking to you, I also address all Christians who live out in the Church the adventure of their life as children of God. What leads me to speak to everyone through this conversation with you is the certainty that the Christian faith remains ever young when it is open to the mission that Christ entrusts to us.”



El tema para el 2018 del Domingo Mundial de las Misiones es “A través de la juventud para el mundo: Voces para la misión.” El Papa Francisco dirige su mensaje de la celebración de este año a los jóvenes, diciendo, “Dirigiéndome a vosotros lo hago también a todos los cristianos que viven en la Iglesia la aventura de su existencia como hijos de Dios. Lo que me impulsa a hablar a todos, dialogando con vosotros, es la certeza de que la fe cristiana permanece siempre joven cuando se abre a la misión que Cristo nos confía.”

…where catechists and youth travel to remote areas to bring the Good News of God’s great love to families.

…donde los catequistas y jóvenes viajan a zonas distantes para llevar las Buenas Nuevas del gran amor de Dios a las familias.

…where those who are sick are provided loving care at 6,500 Catholic hospitals and small clinics, and where 19,000 young men           are preparing to be priests, to uplift the poor, celebrate the Sacraments, reach out to children and families, and comfort the sick and dying.

…donde los enfermos reciben atención con amor en 6.500 hospitales y pequeñas clínicas católicas, y donde 19.000 hombres jóvenes se preparan para el sacerdocio, para dignificar a los pobres, celebrar los Sacramentos, llegar a los niños y a las familias, y consolar a los enfermos y moribundos.

…where six million children receive an education from Religious Sisters in more than 15,000 Church-run elementary schools.

…donde seis millones de niños reciben educación de las Hermanas Religiosas en más de 15.000 escuelas primarias administradas por la Iglesia.

…where new churches are being built to welcome faith communities, renewed after years of persecution. 


…donde se están construyendo nuevas iglesias para dar la bienvenida a las comunidades de fe, renovadas después de años de persecución

BE A VOICE FOR MISSION IN THE PACIFIC ISLANDS… …where 3,500 religious bring the Lord’s mercy and peace to those in need.

SEA UNA VOZ MISIONERA EN LAS ISLAS DEL PACÍFICO… …donde 3.500 religiosos llevan la misericordia y paz del Señor a los necesitados.




(extracts from

Job Vacancy Centre Administrative Coordinator,   Lumen Dominican Centre, Sion Hill Campus, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, A94 A3C7

Job Details

Seniority Level

Mid-Senior level of executive officer


  • Education
  • Charity

Employment Type

Fixed term contract for one year, extendable for further two years contingent on performance review

Job Functions

Administration, financial and office management responsibilities

Job Description
Lumen Dominican Centre – Centre Administrative Coordinator

Responsible for assisting and supporting the director of Lumen Dominican Centre and the Board of Management. Provides administrative support and performs numerous duties as outlined below.

Primary responsibilities

  • being present in the centre, 15 hours a week
  • assisting in the logistical running of the courses on a day-to-day basis and responding to technical queries from Centre Director or course tutors
  • hours of work: Mon-Fri 9.30am-12.30pm, September-June inclusive
  • being responsible for opening up the Centre Mon-Fri at 9.30am
  • arranging the printing and distribution of brochures twice each year
  • preparing and administering contracts
  • overseeing enrolments and collection of fee payments twice each year and preparing class lists
  • managing accounts including budgets, payroll and a wide variety of payments and receipts
  • maintaining office procedures
  • operating office equipment such as photocopiers, computers and scanners
  • coordinating child safe-guarding procedures and being responsible for Garda vetting of lecturers, workers and others
  • liaising with cleaning, caretaking and gardening services
  • coordinating general day-to-day maintenance and liaison with service providers
  • administering website and social media outreach
  • data protection
  • other tasks as assigned by the Centre director


Available upon request

Qualifications and competencies

Education and Experience:

  • Third level degree preferred
  • Qualifications pertinent to stated duties

Must also have the following demonstrated knowledge, skills, and abilities:

  • Payroll functions, Excel and Word
  • Advanced planning
  • Negotiating issues and resolving problems
  • Effective verbal and written communication, including active listening skills and skill in presenting findings and recommendations
  • Establishing and maintaining harmonious working relationships with co-workers, staff and external contacts, and working effectively in a professional team environment
  • Helping sustain a welcoming learning environment for students and staff
  • Organisational skills
  • Good leadership skills
  • Ability to interact well with middle/senior management
  • Strong interpersonal and teamwork skills

To apply please send a CV and covering letter to:

Dr Sabine Schratz OP, 47 Mount Merrion Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin A94 V8W

For further information please contact  Tel.: 01 288 2075 / Email:

Postal Applications Only Closing date for receipt of applications is 5pm on Friday, 9 November 2018.

Reflection Mark 10:35 – 45

When I was 11 years old the family got a telephone for the first time. I remember hurrying home from school and there it was sitting in all its glory big, black, and shiny and it was beckoning to me. This was my first experience of liberation. We lived 10 miles from the city and I felt isolated. Now I could ring and make arrangements to meet up with friends. This joy was almost equaled the day many years later, when I bought a phone that I could put into my pocket and then an IPad that I could carry in my bag. The companies who sold these devices made a lot of money but I was happy to part with some of mine for the possibilities they afforded to me. However, in just a few years I was puzzled by what I saw. The pocket phones got bigger, the IPads got smaller and gone were the convenience they offered when I first bought them. A few weeks ago I heard that Apple was getting ready to release its latest merchandise and I wondered what they could possibly have in mind. Then I heard it – the IWatch is going to get bigger!  When are we going to get it?

This question came to mind when I read the Gospel for today 29th Sunday of the year Mark 10:35-45. The disciples are on the road to Jerusalem and Jesus is telling them what is going to happen,

‘The son of Man is about to be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes. They will condemn him to death and hand him over to the pagans, who will mock him and spit at him and scourge him and put him to death; and after three days he will rise again.’

Immediately after these deep, powerful and prophetic words, James and John ask Jesus if he will do them a favour. They ask for a cosy place in heaven.

‘Allow us to sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your glory’.

The picture this little scene evokes is of James and John filtering out the enormity of what is going to happen. They seem sure, almost in a light-headed way, that they are keeping the right company but have misunderstood the implications of the ministry of the one who has walked beside them. Jesus is about to enter Jerusalem and confront the ‘temple based aristocracy’. He will suffer and die in this confrontation before the emergence of New Life. He is rejecting the authority of the temple and replacing it with a new type of authority; one that rejects high places and favours for friends.

‘Anyone who wants to become great among you, must be your servant and anyone who wants to be first among you must be a slave to all.’

He asks them if they are ready for this.

‘Can you drink the cup that I must drink? They replied, “We can.’

This seems to have brought them back to earth for now anyway. James and John accept this challenge not understanding the consequences. Later when Jesus is arrested they will not be so sure. Mark tells us later

‘All of the disciples deserted him and fled.’

If we were to ask a favour of Jesus what would it be? I know of many people who would offer a heartfelt request much less self-serving that that of James and John.  yet receive a response that does not make sense. We really don’t get it. It might be good to call to mind the conclusion of a little girl in the States who was trying to figure it out.  She said, ‘Jesus is king of an upside-down kingdom.

She gets it!

Sr. Kathleen Fitzsimons OP



























Below is speech by the President of the Fundação João Sales Luis at the 25th Anniversary of the CSF

Today is a day of great joy.

President of the Fundação João Sales Luis

Let me begin with thanking the chamber musical quintet group of the Army Band for its excellent performance. On behalf of the whole of the Administrative Council of the Foundation, here present and also of the Congregation, I want to thank you for being here. The congregation is represented this evening by Sister Elizabeth Smyth, who is also a member of the Foundation’s Administrative Council, but many Sisters have sent messages and the Prioress-General of the Congregation, Sister Elizabeth Healy, has written a very beautiful letter to the entire Sagrada Família team remembering and thanking them for all the work done. We would like everyone to use this event to remember so many good things that have happened in the last 25 years and to reflect on the challenges and commitments for the next 25 years.

Let me start with a phrase that served as a spiritual reflection last week, here in the Centre. In the Gospel according to Luke, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Go out and cast your fishing nets”. In the debate about this phrase someone asked: “How, at age 70, did Sister Agnes respond to the Congregation’s call to launch a Social Centre in this place?”

The answer is in the book – “A Light Undimmed” published in 2007, that tells the story of more than 375 years of the presence of the Sisters in Portugal. The book says:
“In 1993, the sisters were again called on to fulfil this vocation of as people of frontier missions, by creating a Social Centre. The Social Security and the Municipal Camera of Oeiras offered them an existing centre in Algés, in the Quinta do Leonel, consisting of two prefab huts”.

I would now like to take this opportunity to thank the Mayor of Oeiras, Dr. Isaltino de Morais, for being with us today. He has been very involved in the Centro de Sagrada Familia from the very beginning
As the book says: the Centre consisted of two prefabricated huts on stony ground in the middle of a crowded shanty town neighborhood. Undeterred by this unpromising location, Sister Agnes undertook the organisation of the centre and with the help of many partners (now I offer a special welcome to each of the partners that appears on the windows of the entrance building), the many volunteers, the support of the other Centres of the Foundation, CBS and CNS, and an excellent team of 43 employees led by Drª. Amélia Borges, co-founder of the project
The site is now very different, involving two merged and renovated sites under the designation: “Dominican Community.”
Later, the book states: “ The institutional cooperation that has been going on for 25 years between the Municipality of Oeiras and the Sagrada Família Centre is in pursuit of a common goal: to create opportunities so that families in the local community, especially those have reduced economic and cultural resources, may enjoy conditions of well-being.
It should be remembered that it was within the scope of the project against poverty that this collaboration began.
The book also contains an acknowledgement of the contribution by the Municipality of Oeiras: “Collaboration with the CSF is not only a tribute to the work of the sisters, but also a reassuring expression of the humanitarian ideals of a modern town council”.
Today, the CSF helps educate about 200 children and actively promotes its Social Project “Families with Soul” in which more than 300 people are involved.
We wish to maintain the same spirit of mission influenced by the Dominican spirituality with great transparency and a spirit of service.

João Sales Luis – 2/10/2018

Comemoração do 25 aniversário do CSF – dia 2 de Outubro de 2018
Hoje é um dia de muita alegria e começo desde já por agradecer ao Grupo musical do exercito o seu excelente desempenho. Em nome de toda de todo o CA da Fundação, aqui presente e também da Congregação, quero agradecer a vossa presença. A congregação está aqui representada pela Sister Elizabeth Smith, que também faz parte do CA da Fundação, mas muitas Sisters enviaram mensagens e a Prioreza da Congregação, Sister Elizabeth Healy, escreveu uma carta muito bonita para toda a Equipa do Centro Sagrada Família lembrando e agradecendo todo o trabalho realizado. Gostaríamos que todos aproveitassem este evento para recordar tantas coisas boas que se passaram nos últimos 25 anos e continuar a refletir sobre os desafios e compromissos para os próximos 25 anos.
Deixem –me começar por uma frase que serviu de reflexão espiritual na passada semana, aqui no Centro. No Evangelho segundo São Lucas, Jesus disse a Simão Pedro – Faz-te ao largo e lança as redes para a pesca. No debate sobre esta frase alguém se interrogou?
Como é que com 70 anos, a Irmã Inês respondeu ao apelo da Congregação para lançar um Centro Social?
A resposta vem no livro – Uma luz que não se Apaga- editado em 2007 e que relata a história de mais de 375 anos da presença das Sisters em Portugal. Diz o livro: “Em 1993, as irmãs foram novamente chamadas a desempenhar esta vocação de gente de missão, no sentido de criar um Centro Social. A Segurança Social e a Camara Municipal de Oeiras ofereceram-lhes um Centro em Algés, a Quinta do Leonel. Quero agora aproveitar para agradecer muito a presença do nosso Presidente da Camara, Dr. Isaltino de Morais que está hoje entre nós e que esteve muito envolvido desde a primeira hora. Continuando o texto: o Centro consistia em 2 Pavilhões pré-fabricados sobre chão de pedra, no meio de um bairro de lata abarrotado. Sem se deixar abalar por esta localização tão pouco prometedora, a irmã Inês começou a organizar o Centro e agora digo eu, com a ajuda de muitos parceiros (um cumprimento especial para cada um dos parceiros que aparece no vidro das janelas do edifício da entrada, muitos voluntários, o apoio dos outros Centros da Fundação, O CBS e CNS, e uma excelente equipa de 43 colaboradores liderada pela Dra. Amélia Borges fundadora do projeto . O Centro Sagrada Família está hoje muito diferente, envolvendo 2 quintas fusionadas e com um subnome de “Dominican Community “
Mais á frente o livro refere: a cooperação Institucional que se vem mantendo há vários anos, já são 25 anos entre a CMO e o Centro Sagrada Família é resultado de um objetivo comum: criar oportunidades para que as famílias da comunidade local, especialmente as que tem menos recursos económicos e culturais, possam usufruir de condições de bem-estar. Recorde-se que foi no âmbito do projeto contra a pobreza que começou esta colaboração. E no livro vem também um depoimento da CMO: A colaboração com o CSF é não só um tributo ao trabalho das irmãs, como também uma reconfortante expressão dos ideais humanitários de um município moderno.
Hoje o CSF ajuda na educação de cerca de 200 crianças e promove ativamente o seu Projeto Social “Famílias com Alma “onde estão envolvidas mais de 300 pessoas.
Desejamos manter o mesmo espirito de Missão influenciados pela Espiritualidade Dominicana com muita transparência e espirito de serviço.
Temos total consciência que para além deste espirito de missão, muito importante, precisamos de continuar a trabalhar em equipa e a aproveitar todas as oportunidades de colaboração
Muito obrigado pela amizade. Muito obrigado a todos os que organizaram este excecional evento. Contamos com todos e passo desde já a palavra à fundadora Dra. Amelia Borges.
João Sales Luis – 2/10/2018

Indian Classical Dance & Music
Welcome Café is delighted to host a Classical Indian Kathak dance, Sarod and Tabla concert as part of a large festival taking place in Ireland this autumn.

The Indian Classical Music Society of Ireland promotes Indian classical music and musicians in Ireland. Their aim is to share the richness of Indian classical music through concerts and workshops.

Third Space Café
Smithfield Square D7
tea, coffee & snacks

The community of Bariloche, Srs. Ana and Nancy, and their lay volunteer, Florencia celebrated the official opening and blessing of their new home on the Feast of the Holy Rosary last Sunday 7th October.  They were joined by their local Bishop, Juan José Chaparro,  by Sr. Noemi, Mission Area Prioress, Sr. Patricia,  Councillor, priests, sisters and the wider community of the diocese of San Carlos, Bariloche.

This is a great blessing for the communities of Bariloche, for the Mission Area, and the whole Congregation.  We rejoice with them and ask God to bless this new mission and all who support it.



The world premiere of ‘Aifreann’ by Kevin O’Connell, performed by The Palestrina and Senior Girl Choristers led by choral director Blánaid Murphy and accompanied by organist David Grealy

at: 11.00am Solemn Mass on Sunday, 14th October 2018
in: St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Marlborough Street, Dublin 1

Aifreann was commissioned in Bliain na Gaeilge 2018 by the following families: Kerrigan Quinn, Meek Conlon, Moore Murphy, O’Driscoll McDonagh, O’Driscoll Murray, O’Shea Farren and Quinn Elliot.

This is a public Mass and all are welcome to attend.

Kind regards,

Helen McMahon.
Executive Officer
Loyola Institute
School of Religion
Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin
Dublin 2, Ireland
Telephone: 00 353 01 896 4790 Ebhlin Ní Maithaughuna
Rúnaí, Loyola Institiúid
Scoil na Reiligiún
Coláiste na Tríonóide, Ollscoil Átha Cliath
Baile Átha Cliath 2, Éire

Below is a recent article from GLOBAL SISTERS REPORT (

Reconfiguring my discipleship

by Julia Walsh

The sisters and I are finished with eating our dinner, but remain seated at the table. I am sharing from a vulnerable place, telling a story about my struggles, growth and the challenge of being a healthy and balanced human. Then, our conversation is interrupted by a strange, loud squawking noise coming from the top of one of the tall pines on the nearby lakeshore. Together, we jump up from the table, a mix of curiosity and concern moving us outward.

The youngest and the quickest, I am the first to make my way to the end of the dock and turn my gaze upward to the treetops. There, I see two giant birds on neighboring branches. One is a mix of brown and white, a hawk; the other black and white with a golden beak, an eagle. The hawk is the one screaming, yelling at the eagle like a human toddler claiming its toy, its territory: “Mine! Mine!”

From my vantage point, the eagle seems to be staring at the other. Perhaps glaring. Possibly stubborn. Definitely quiet and bold. The deafening hawk continues screaming, unfazed by the humans crowding on the shore and staring upward at the spectacle. Eventually, the birds take flight, the eagle first going in one direction and then the hawk in the other. As they go, the only sound heard is the movement of their expansive wings moving through the air. With wonder all over our faces, the sisters and I head back to our home, to our dining table, and to tasks of washing dishes and praying together — our shared life.

When my heart aches because of the scandals of the church, I think of those powerful birds having a territorial fight in the treetops and the way that my housemates and I continued onward with our lives. The birds squabbled and fought, they towered over us little sisters gaping upward, unfazed by our presence and power. Quieter than the birds, we tended to the mundane and sacred matters of our humanity: community building, cleaning things up, steadfast prayer and devotion to Christ. We remained small and calm.

I never before thought the division in my beloved church would get so bad that some bishops would be asking for my beloved pope’s resignation; such a circumstance was unimaginable less than six years ago when loyalty to the Holy Father was the mark of a good Catholic. The allegations toward Pope Francis by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò cannot be Spirit-led — although the Holy Spirit can be fiery, its glow is always mercy and hope. The division made manifest by this act of sinful use of power ought to be seen as an attack on the Body of Christ, as a gaping wound cut close to its heart.

The heartache of scandals and infighting is dizzying, confusing, painful. Not long ago, I felt the hurt so deeply that my prayer life spiraled into a place of frustration, a tunnel of confusion leading to collapse. I wasn’t sure how to be a Franciscan Sister anymore, how to be a public face of the church. I felt paralyzed by the pain.

I went away on a retreat and silenced the news of scandals of heartache so I could reconfigure my discipleship, so I could reimagine what it means to be a woman of the church. Within hours of my arrival, I found myself returning my gaze to Jesus — and ignoring arguments from treetops and towers. With my gaze turned back to Christ, I was quickly healed and gained much strength and peace.

In the past, certain injustices and encounters of human suffering in church and society have compelled me to raise my voice, my angry fist, my megaphone. When it comes to the current corruption of the church that I have dedicated my life to, however, the call of this moment is different. Now I want to remember my minority, not my might.

I have grown convinced that the broken ones need us sisters to be companions holding them in their pain, offering shoulders to sob on and sanctuaries for expressing their anger. By the offering of our feminine energy we can tend to the heart of Christ who is beaten and bloody in our midst; we can be instruments of healing, peace and strength.

When I think of those birds having a territorial fight in the treetops and the scandals of this time, I am reminded of the human tendency to build and destroy, to lift up and tear down. Construction and destruction have been our pattern since before there was an Incarnation, since the days when borders were blurred. And in this hard and sacred time, during this era of disillusionment and crumbling institutions, we are invited to reconfigure who we are and how we are in relation with every living being around us.

The wildness of creatures around us — whether it is beasts screaming at others, the might of predators, the interruptions of the loud cries — can cause us to naturally feel our smallness, as we ought. The birds squabbling in the tree helped me understand that I am a daily visitor to the habitat of several species.

This sacred time that we are in now together may be crammed with challenge, but we have no need to despair. When I was with Jesus in the quiet of my retreat, my concern for the sorrows of church and society didn’t decrease, but my trust in Jesus increased. Christ’s love and power are bigger than any human-made heartache, failure or sin. Christ is redeeming and healing the splits near his heart, the divides over territory. Jesus is showing us all that there is enough for everyone. And we are called to quietly aid and assist in this mission of compassion, to embrace the sacredness of smallness. This is a path to peace.

[Now on staff at Marywood Franciscan Spirituality Center in northern Wisconsin, Julia Walsh is a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, a Catholic youth minister, a committed social justice activist, and a graduate of Catholic Theological Union. Her award-winning writing has appeared in America, Global Sisters Report, Living Faith, and PILGRIM Journal. Visit her online at and follow her on Twitter @juliafspa.]

From Argentina Vicky Nagel and her two sons Lihueel and Hector were chosen and sponsored to participate in this international event, they sent us the following response on their return to Argentina:

We left Argentina to come to Ireland with lots of expectations and fears. It was Lihueel’s and Hector’s first flight, we had little English and we doubted that we would be good representatives at this international meeting of families.

We were lovingly received at the airport by Sisters Elisabeth and Caitriona. Sr Liz had booked our accommodation and our participation at the Congress, so, everything was ready for us, even to the tiniest detail.

We have brought back from Ireland :
• The special moments we lived with the Sisters and with the Dennis family from South Africa, John, Kelly, Dayna and Gizelle.
• The trips with Srs. Elisabeth, Caitriona and Liz
• The scenery and the green landscape so typical of Ireland
• The learnings from the workshops we chose to attend:
Lectio Divino in the home,
Dignity and Security in a digital era
The vocation of a leader in the workplace,
The transmission of faith from one generation to the next,
The role of grandparents,
Trafficking of people,
Sport, faith and family,
The development and testimony of leadership and women,
Accompanying human fragility
The family that prays together.

The presence of Pope Francis in the festival of families and the Mass in the Phoenix Park also touched our heats and fed our minds and spirits.
It was very emotional to meet Sisters Sheila, Mary and Kathleen in St. Mary’s in Cabra and share news of our communities with them while recalling past lived experiences. It was good to feel the affection that exists between us despite the distance.
Our eyes and souls are filled with images of Cabra and its history.

The grace of being able to meet our dear friend Bro. Jim and bring him the love and gratitude of the communities where he ministered was indeed very special.

We got great joy from sharing as family, we laughed a lot and learned how to manage in English! It was an unforgettable experience; the climate, the scenery which we enjoyed, the humanity of the people and the friendship with the Dennis family will remain with us forever.

Thank you to all of the Sisters, those in Argentina who accompanied and supported us prior to our visit and all those who embraced us through their loving care in Ireland. We never felt alone.

The challenge and commitment now for us as family is to multiply all we have learned, firstly, in our own large family and later in all of the spaces where we participate.

We thank the Congregation of Dominican Sisters of Our Lady of the Rosary and Saint Catherine of Siena, Cabra for all we have received, for the affection, attention to detail and so much more, so that we could feel at home and be free to get around and relate to so many others.

May God bless you.
May God guard you in the palm of his hand.
May Dominic guide you on your way.
May Saints Rose and Martin de Porres
journey with you.
My the Virgin cover you with her mantle.

With sincere thanks and every blessing,

Vicky, Lihueel and Hector.