To be a Dominican is to be a preacher.  As preachers, we share the Good News that has been entrusted to us.  Every day, we preach the word of God in hundreds of different ways through our work in the communities and with one another.

We also share the Word of God on our website through the Sacred Space. This is a collection of reflections, written by a Dominican Sister.  These works proclaim the Word of God and impart a message of hope and peace to those who need to take out of their busy daily lives to reflect and consider.

RTE Broadcast schedule for the Easter Ceremonies

 RTE Broadcast schedule for the Easter ceremonies 2020 Palm Sunday 5 April 2020  1100-1150 Mass on Palm Sunday Mass in the Kairos chapel studio, Maynooth, Co Kildare. (RTÉ One TV / RTÉ Radio 1 Extra / LW252 / Digital Radio platforms.) Holy Thursday 9 April 2020 1640-1735 Mass of the Lord’s Supper. Father Joe Campbell CC, Mullingar, Diocese of Meath. (RTÉ One TV and RTÉ Radio 1 Extra / LW252 / Digital Radio platforms. The Mass will air on radio at the later time of 19.00.) Good Friday 10 April 2920 1500-1600 Solemn Liturgy for Good Friday. Live from the Cathedral of Christ the King. (RTÉ One TV & RTÉ Radio 1Extra/LW252) Holy Saturday 11 April 2020 2200-2300 Easter Vigil Mass. Bishop Tom Deenihan of Meath celebrates the resurrection of Christ, with a vigil Mass in the Cathedral of Christ the King. (RTÉ Two & RTÉ Radio 1 Extra/LW252). Easter Sunday 12 April 2020 1000-1100 Easter Sunday Mass, takes place in the Dominican Convent of Saint Jacques (Saint James the Great) in Paris. Translation and commentary are by Fr Thomas McCarthy OP (RTÉ One & RTÉ Radio 1 Extra). 1100-1120 Urbi et Orbi: Pope Francis’ Easter Message. Pope Francis will deliver his Easter blessing To the city and the world with prayer and encouragement by video link from within the Vatican. Translation and commentary by Fr Thomas McCarthy OP (RTÉ One).

Palm Sunday

Christ’s Entry to Jerusalem Matthew 21, 1-11 While browsing the web recently I came across somethought-provoking reflections on Christ’s entry into Jerusalem given by Pope Benedict XVI over successive Palm Sundays from 2006 to 2012.  I felt I could do no better than include some of these ideas in the following paragraphs.   First let us take Jesus as king.  By sending for a donkey, Jesus claims the right of the kings of antiquity to requisition modes of transport.  The use of an animal on which no one had sat previously is a further pointer to this right.  Yet Jesus is making a statement totally at variance with that usually made by leaders of triumphal entries into cities at that time.  Jesus is not coming to Jerusalem as a conquering king.  Rather he comes as a messenger of peace.  This is evident by his choice of animal, a donkey, an animal of peace – whereas the horse is an animal of war.  We can imagine that this message possibly was not understood by curious onlookers from Jerusalem who might have been accustomed to more ambitious spectacles.  In fact, it was not even understood by Jesus’ own followers who at times urged him to take strong measures against those challenging him.   A further idea from Benedict concerns the crowd.  According to him, a close scrutiny of the Gospels would show that on his way from Galilee to Jerusalem, Jesus had picked up quite a number of people who were ready to follow him and his teaching.  A very useful word describing Jesus’ ministry beginning in Galilee is “movement”, a word meaning something that would spread, that had energy and dynamism.  Jesus’ followers coming to Jerusalem were carried along by this enthusiasm and allowed themselves to organise a celebratory entry into Jerusalem to proclaim that their Jesus of Nazareth was the king, the prophet who was to come. The timing of the entry coincided with the Passover.  The pilgrims already in the city found themselves caught up in the disciples’ enthusiasm.  The spreading out of garments likewise belongs to the tradition of Israelite kingship. (cf. 2 Kings 9, 13).  People plucked branches from the trees and cried out blessings from Israel’s pilgrim liturgy.  “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Then, how do we address the fickleness of this crowd? According to Benedict XVI, all four Gospels make it very clear that the scene of Messianic homage to Jesus was played out on his entry into the city and that those taking part were not the inhabitants of Jerusalem, but the crowds who accompanied him and entered the city with him.  This point is made most clearly in Matthew’s Gospel through the passage immediately following the Hosanna to Jesus, Son of David: “When he entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying:  Who is this?  And the crowds said: This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee (Mt 21, 10-11)”.  People had heard of the prophet from Nazareth, but he did not appear to have any importance for Jerusalem, and the dwellers there did not know him.  The crowd that paid homage to Jesus at the city gateway was not the same crowd that later demanded his crucifixion.  That is also borne out by numerous references in the Gospel to the fact that Jesus’ disciples and followers deserted him when they saw that public opinion was going against him and that all he stood for seemed bound for failure.  His own disciples and the people of Jerusalem were being truly disappointed at the manner in which He presented himself as Messiah. Finally, we ask ourselves at home these days:  where are we among the spectators of this entry of Jesus of Nazareth?   As followers, let us have the courage and strength to continue faithfully believing in Jesus and His word in spite of apparent failure.  We journey in his footsteps towards Calvary, travelling together and trusting within our hearts that He will lead us safely onward.   In these days of uncertainty, waiting and concern, let us walk together with Him, aware that we are somewhat fearful of our future, but holding firmly to our belief that life will undoubtedly be changed and surely for the better. Sr. Mary O’ Byrne OP 

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Readings:  Ez 37:12-14;  Rom 8:8-11;  Jn 11:1-45              The readings for this Sunday (and the previous Sundays of Lent, Year A) are seen by the Church as so important that, chosen in its very early days, they have remained unchanged through the centuries.  In looking at traditions and practices, especially liturgical, I find it can be enlightening and enriching to see what their original meaning was. Lent was originally the period when catechumens completed their preparation for baptism at Easter.  Since they were joined on their journey by the local christian community, it was a time of renewal for all, deepening their understanding, faith and commitment.  Perhaps a very appropriate practice for Lent might be to reflect and deepen our understanding of what it really means to be a christian.             The readings for the third and fourth Sundays present the action of the Spirit in our lives in images and metaphors of water (the woman at the well), light (the man born blind), this week’s readings are full of LIFE.  Taking all three readings – or even the gospel alone – it is clear that the focus is not on the resuscitation of Lazarus, but on a quite different life – the Spirit of the living God living in us as our life.. Ezechiel: ‘ I shall put my spirit in you and you will live.’ Paul: ‘The Spirit of God has made his home in you.  If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, then he who raised Jesus from the dead will give life to your own mortal bodies through the Spirit living in you’.  The core and climax of the readings must be Jesus’ statement: ‘I am the Resurrection and the Life’. Then Paul’s ‘If Christ (the Resurrection and the Life) is in you, then your spirit is life itself’.  And, of course, ‘life’ cannot die. How amazing!   What inspiring Good News this was for the catechumens, and is for us.             What does it really mean to be a christian?   For sure it does not primarily mean believing certain doctrines and dogmas, and obeying given laws and rules.  Perhaps essentially it means: knowing, accepting, acknowledging, rejoicing in and responding to the presence of the Christ Spirit living within us – and trying to live accordingly. Sr. Genevieve Mooney OP