DOMINIC’S CONVERSATION WITH THE CATHAR INNKEEPER Maeve Mc Mahon O.P.
Dominic didn’t say, “You’re wrong! You’re wrong!”
Arguing with the innkeeper all night long.
He searched for the truth, engaged in disputation,
showed him the beauty of God’s creation.
He prolonged the discussion, kept up the conversation,
Behind dark utterances lay illumination.
He listened respectfully to what his opponent said,
NEVER DENYING what was in the man’s head.
SELDOM AFFIRMING his spoken thought,
lest it bring emerging truth to nought.
ALWAYS DISTINGUISHING the points essential
from the details inconsequential.
Dominic blazed a path, cleared a forest of confusion.
Defused a Cathar’s wrath whose illusion
of perfection, to the preacher was delusion.
Dominic, the enlightening truth sought to win.
Veritas at dawn, light bursting in,
Stretching forth into fresh skin.
We are delighted to share Laudare, Benedicere, Praedicare a new hymn by Sr. Columbia OP (Port Elizabeth SA) to commemorate our Holy Father St. Dominic during this Jubilee Year.
Music & Lyrica available here LAUDARE, BENEDICERE, PRAEDICARE
We are delighted to share the link to a guided tour of the Convent Bom Sucesso, Belém, Lisbon. The program was aired on the Portuguese national TV station RTP2 about Bom Sucesso, https://www.rtp.pt/play/p7378/e484388/visita-guiada
Psalm from our shore:
Blessed be the Lord
through Dominic and his family
who keep open their doors, eyes, ears and mind;
Open to divine wisdom and human science
all acquired through study.
Blessed are you, because in Dominic
the alliance between faith and reason was celebrated,
and so, the fire of your Word,
the divine science
embraced with human knowledge
sparked the fire,
in a thousand bright lights of truth,
lighting up reality
Blessed are you Lord, because today the
daughters and sons of Dominic
seek you, in the pages of Scripture,
which in turn gives light to all their searches,
in their journey towards the complete Truth.
The One who speaks from Scripture, history, creation
and the pages of new discoveries and human experience
is also found in the alley ways of misery,
on the roads and crossroads of the world
where life dreams, enjoys, weeps
achieves, fails, laughs and groans.
Blessed be the Lord
who created us with minds to investigate,
burning hearts to understand,
to accompany and welcome,
and feet daring to walk,
to share and commit to untrodden paths.
Blessed, because Dominic
prayer and study embrace,
community and dialogue are welcomed,
the sending forth and announcing begins
Lord be blessed in your Word,
it is fire; fire from an inexhaustible divine source
nurturing the spark of human knowledge through science
forming an alliance which unites faith and reason in intimate dialogue.
Blessed be God
in the men and women preachers, dispersed throughout the world,
shouldering the apostle’s luggage,
discovering You in your Word
and in the complexities of human experience.
Blessed are you Lord,
in those who contribute to love and human knowledge
for they inflame the human heart
and give wings to the preacher’s feet.
Blessed are you Lord,
because in this historic hour
you see the restlessness burning inside us
moving us to discover in the heights and in the depths
the project you have in mind for us.
Blessed be this thirst, that launches us
to stubborn searches for the truth
through study, dialogue, plans
dreams and encounters,
while knowing all of the time
that behind our living and our dreaming
is that which is most important,
And blessed be this uncertain hope
keeping us awake
driving us to face fears and risks.
Blessed above all for your love,
which pushes us, to confidently, make the leap
into the looming unknown.
Lord, our wineskins are new
still empty, waiting to be filled
with the water that flows from fountains of love and wisdom.
Water that quenches the thirst which burns within us,
the water of yesterday promised to the Samaritan woman,
that of the jug, taken from the well at Sychar.
Turn this water Lord into the wine of courage
that courage of the race of
explorers, martyrs, adventurers
and the creators of the new.
Shake off our sluggishness, our comfort and our fear.
become flesh in our blood
and incarnate in the meeting of 2020.
Blessed are you, Lord because you gave us an ear
to tilt to the ground
and listen to the cries of the world
and that for which it thirsts,
with the jarring notes
that don’t have a place in your concert.
Blessed are you, in the eyes you gave us
capable of surveying horizons,
like that of the human soul
with its own misadventures,
and those of history in its own times
of yesterday, today and tomorrow,
awaiting new projects, straightening the route
to give way to your Kingdom.
… not theory or eloquent words
destined to be forgotten or to fill fleeting pages
with reports and minutes.
This stage finds us being just a minority
exactly as how you started Master, with only 12,
hoping that someday the whole world would wake up
to your Gospel of life.
We are indeed a minority
Like Abraham who departed from his homeland,
daring to undertake the journey through the desert.
burdened with uncertainties,
but also with faith
in a promise
of reaching the land destined for his people.
Blessed are you Lord,
because here we are
in this land that waits for you
with stubborn hope.
Land of suffering humanity,
of which the poets sing,
and the poor pray
and ask of the earth
as our race,
the aboriginal people did and
as John had already prophesied
“a new heaven and new earth.”
In your divinity, blessed are you Lord,
who urges us
to put in this last attempt
of all that we are.
It is the challenge of history
to consecrated life,
beyond everyday horizons.
It is the evangelical impulse,
it is the breath of the Spirit
It is time for incarnation,
above and beyond the limits
imposed by the institution
that sometimes guides,
and other times
chokes or slows and stops.
Blessed are you Lord, you have shown us
there is no more important rule
than the law of the gospel
we know it, we say it, we write it
Do we live it? …
That is the challenge.
Blessed are you Lord in this
time of bold dreams,
of not being installed
time to be, to live, to die
just like the One
whom we promised to follow
in the time of our first love,
and in his ranks, he finds us still
hurt, injured, handicapped
Blessed are you Lord, because we are
Abrahamic desert and hope minority
and, as a prophet from my Latin American land said:
the desert awaits us,
it is a fertile desert
it is the desert where Jesus went to meet You,
to be energized
to live out the mission
that brought him into the human way.
Long live Hope.
Sr. Matilde Franchino OP
I would like to congratulate Sr Máire on her wonderful documentation of the social history of Ballyfermot and the impact that Dominican Education had on the lives of the young women with the provision of educational facilities.
She certainly captures life in the early 1950s vividly and how the opportunities provided by the Dominican sisters and other Religious organisations encouraged the young women to believe that education was crucial in their lives and in their future.
Sr Máire and the other sisters certainly laid strong ‘foundation stones’ for the people of Ballyfermot and for all of us who were lucky to follow in their footsteps in continuing to embed the importance of holistic education in our schools.
The Primary schools grew rapidly and went from strength to strength which resulted in the establishment of St Dominic’s Secondary School in 1956. Now, more than 60 years later, we are proud to continue to provide a strong and vibrant education for our young girls under the Trusteeship of Le Chéile.
Personally, I am honoured to have been lucky to spend 41 years of my teaching career in Ballyfermot, having arrived in St Dominic’s in 19-77!!!!! Naturally, I have experienced many changes and opportunities in the intervening years and I have no doubt that thanks to the Dominican Sisters, local Community organisations, staff and parents, we have certainly ensured that all our young ladies were challenged to be ‘the best that they can be’ and were and are provided with opportunities to take their place in an ever changing world.
Mar focal scoir, I certainly look forward to documenting the many memories from 1978!!!
Thanks to Ken Larkin Ballyfermot Heritage Group who captured the launch through photos and videos which can be viewed by clicking this Flicker Photo Album https://www.flickr.com/photos/ballyfermot/albums/72157711973462897 enjoy!
Mary Daly Former Teacher (September 1977 to 1997, Principal August 1997 -2018)
Link to the John Bowman broadcast (Sunday 21st July 2019) archival interviews of our Sister Margaret Mac Curtain OP (Sr Ben)
Click below to listen to the John Bowman broadcast (Sunday 21st July 2019) archival interviews of our Sister Margaret Mac Curtain OP (Sr Ben)
Congratulations Margaret on your life long commitment as a Dominican and inspiration to many!
Dominican convent of Nossa Senhora do Bom Sucesso located in the parish of Belém on the outskirts of Lisbon city, holds an important place in the history of Irish emigration to Europe.
It was the first continental convent founded explicitly for Irish women religious at a time when Catholic practice was proscribed in Ireland.
Since its foundation in the seventeenth century, a steady flow of new postulants joined the convent so that by 1900 almost 200 women had been professed there, the vast majority of them Irish (although there were a small number of Portuguese, Brazilian and Italian members).
The Bom Sucesso community has played a pivotal and longstanding role in sustaining an Irish presence in Lisbon and today their legacy continues through educational and outreach initiatives established by the sisters, including the Colégio do Bom Sucesso, the Casinha de Nossa Senhora and the Centro Sagrada Família in Algés. The church
adjoining the Bom Sucesso convent, construction of which commenced in the mid-seventeenth century, continues to serve the pastoral and spiritual needs of both the local and the Irish diaspora communities living in Lisbon.
The closure of the Bom Sucesso convent in August 2016 and the return to Ireland of its last remaining members, heralded the end of a significant phase in the history of Irish women religious and Irish emigration to Europe and thus prompted the oral history project of which the below recollections are the result.
The aim of the project was to record and document the experiences of those sisters who had spent either part or all of their professed lives at Bom Sucesso. Unfortunately, due to time and funding constraints, it was not possible to carry out interviews with every sister who had spent time at Bom Sucesso, while others elected not to participate. The interviews were conducted between December 2016 and October 2017 and subsequently transcribed. The below recollections are derived from these transcripts which were edited and amended by the interviewees.
The original transcripts and recordings are held by the Congregation of Dominican Sisters of Our Lady of the Rosary and Saint Catherine of Siena, Cabra, who also hold the copyright.
The interviews with Sister Teresa Wade and Sister Alicia Mooney were conducted by the author and Dr Caroline Bowden (Queen Mary, University of London) in September 2015, prior to the closure of Bom Sucesso. I wish to acknowledge my thanks to Dr Bowden for kindly granting permission to include these interviews here and for her encouragement and mentorship. Thanks are also due to Dr Carmen Mangion (Birkbeck, University of London) for support and advice.
I am grateful to William Cunningham (Fundação de Obra Social das Religiosas Dominicanas Irlandesas [FOSDRI]), Sister Elizabeth Smyth and Sister Mary O’Byrne for their help, encouragement and input.
Sincere thanks are also due to the Irish Ambassador, Orla Tunney and the Emigrant Support Programme, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for financial support.
Finally, my thanks to the participants, without whom there would be no interviews and no story to tell.
Bronagh McShane, National University of Ireland, Galway, May 2018
The oral history by some of our Sisters who lived and ministered in our convento de Nossa Senhora do Bom Sucesso in Lisbon (1944 – 2016) can now be accessed by clicking this link: http://www.fosrdi.pt/news/bom-sucesso-oral-history/
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.
Sr Bridget OP (Mission Area of Ireland) who is ministering in Haiti at present is seen here with volunteers from six local communities who are training as Pastoral da Criança leaders within their communities.