Home|Latin America
21 04, 2020

Psalm from our shore-Sr. Matilde Franchino OP

2023-07-13T12:07:23+00:00April 21, 2020|Good News, Latin America, Poems|

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,

our waking.

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

or comfortable

but rather

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

and forever

hurt, injured, handicapped

but whole.

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

Victoria, Argentina

27 02, 2020


2023-07-13T14:51:23+00:00February 27, 2020|Education, Events, Latin America, News|

On Sunday 23rd February 2020, late in the evening of a beautiful sunny day, some 60 friends gathered for the launch of the Cosmic Walk in the garden where we have been shaping a space for contemplation and peace.  Outside the entrance, a wooden sign puts before the visitor the three aspects of this venture: Nature, art and contemplation.

Nature as seen in the evolution of the universe as we know it, by walking slowly on a path marked out with signs that indicate how many billions of years ago such an event as the formation of galaxies, for example, happened.

Art as seen in the marvelous murals painted by Alejo Diaz.And the mandala based on the number twelve which was painted by Vanina.  Miguel Conde´s creation of the water fountain as well as aspects of the garden are also works of art.

Contemplation will be the focus of all visits inviting people to dig deeper into the soul and imagination for better connection with all of life, to widen their vision, to seek peace. The ombu at the end of the pathway will be a gathering spot for a short guided meditation.

How did this project begin? The congregation has prioritized for many years the care for the earth, and our centre in Wicklow offers a text for a cosmic walk.  Fr Martin Hunter asked me more than a year ago to translate this text into Spanish as he was keen to make a walk in the garden where he lives in the Capital –Buenos Aires.  As I translated I was captivated by the story enshrined in the text and at once thought I would love to shape a walk somewhere. The Benedictines were not too eager to allow this to happen on their ground so when Veronica Banchero offered her meditation centre garden it seemed the ideal answer.Veronica will continue the good work when I am gone!  A seed come to fruition at last.  And Laudato Si to back it up!

Another source of inspiration was the book written by a Chilean: David Molyneaux. Title: “In the beginning was the dream”. We formed a small reading group to read this book together.  Several videos by Barbara Hubbard Marx which Sister Matilde researched for us as well as Brian Cox gave us a lot of light.

Sr. Veronica  Rafferty OP



16 02, 2020

Brief resumé of our presence in Argentina 1968-2020

2023-07-13T12:09:00+00:00February 16, 2020|Dominican News, Highlights, Latin America|

Brief resumé of our presence in Argentina 1968-2020 

 In 1968 a trio of Sisters left Galway, Ireland to begin a mission in Argentina, invited by the St. Joseph Society to take over the Keating Institute in the Once area of Buenos Aires. As more Sisters arrived from the Congregation, they were able to extend their mission to Parana (Entre Rios), José C. Paz(outer Buenos Aires) and Solari, Corrientes, and as far as Tarija in Bolivia.

In the early nineties they were joined by a group of eight Argentine Sisters who had communities in Victoria and Monje. Toward the end of the nineties they founded a common novitiate with the Tucuman Dominican Sisters, and in Rosario a house for the care of fragile elderly sisters.

Their energies were focused initially on training and coordinating family catechetics, improving liturgical celebrations, biblical courses, summer missions and youth retreats.  Later they started two wide-reaching programmes: Peace Education in schools and Co-couselling for womens groups.  Special needs children and adults got care in Buenos Aires while AIDS/HIV prevention was operated there as well as in Victoria, Villa Gobernador Galvez and Rosario.  A few years ago a new project was begun called J.A.C. to promote university study for students from economically poor backgrounds.  Schemes to improve decent housing in barrios such as Barrio Triangulo in V.G.Galvez received funds from Ireland. At local and national level, the sisters participated and led activities and reflection commissions on Justice and Peace and Integrity of Creation.  At continental level three sisters have served as coordinators of the Latin American Confederation of Dominican Sisters since 1992, and in this role formed part of the team that coordinated Dominican Sisters International.

The most recent initiative is the Cosmic Walk project in Victoria, Entre Rios to be opened in February 2020.  It responds to the Congregational priority already incarnated in the An Tairseach project in Wicklow, Ireland, and universally confirmed by the papal encyclical Laudato Si.

Sr. Veronica Rafferty OP


En 1968, un trío de hermanas oriundas de Galway, Irlanda iniciaron un camino en Argentina, invitadas por la Sociedad de San José a tomar la dirección del Instituto Keating en la zona de Once, Buenos Aires. Luego con la llegada de mas hermanas de la Congregación, pudieron extender su misión a Paraná (Entre Ríos) José C. Paz (Buenos Aires), a Solari (Corrientes) y aun más lejos a Tarija en Bolivia.

Al principio de los noventa se les une un grupo de ocho hermanas argentinas que tenían comunidades en Victoria y en Monje. A fines de los noventa fundaron en Termas de Rio Hondo un inter-noviciado junto con las dominicas tucumanas, y en Rosario pusieron una casa para atender a las hermanas mayores.

Capacitaron y coordinaron catequesis familiar en diversos lugares, cursos bíblicos, misiones de verano y retiros para jóvenes.  Pusieron énfasis en dos programas sociales de amplio alcance: en colegios y escuelas- Educación para la Paz y grupos de apoyo para mujeres utilizando técnicas de Escucha Mutua.  Dieron atención a la mujer maltratada y a los discapacitados y ofrecieron talleres en prevención de VIH/SIDA en Buenos Aires, Victoria, Villa Gobernador Gálvez y Rosario. Mas reciente iniciaron en Moreno (Buenos Aires) un programa de apoyo para estudiantes universitarios de pocos recursos económicos. En los barrios marginales tal como Barrio Triangulo (VGG) promovieron la construcción de viviendas dignas. A nivel local y nacional han dirigido las acciones y reflexiones de la comisión dominicana de Justicia y Paz e Integridad de la creación.

A nivel continental tres hermanas han coordinado la Confederación de Dominicas de América Latina (1992- 2020) participando desde ese rol del equipo directivo de la Unión Mundial de Dominicas (DSI)

La última iniciativa es la creación de la Caminata Cósmica en Victoria, Entre Ríos (febrero 2020), respondiendo a una espiritualidad muy vigente en la Congregación (ver An Tairseach- Centro Ecológico de Wicklow, Irlanda)  y confirmada por el Papa Francisco en su encíclica  Laudato Si.

Hermana Veronica Rafferty OP

16 03, 2018

Fifty Years in Argentina 1968 – 2018

2023-07-13T15:23:36+00:00March 16, 2018|Latin America, News, Uncategorized|

Sr. Veronica Rafferty OP reflects on our celebration of 50 years in Argentina 

Sister Matilde Franchino wrote a sonnet for the occasion and it opens with the line: “The day we have been waiting for has finally arrived!”

24 February was set aside for the celebration of our fifty years in Argentina as the first three Galway Dominican sisters arrived in Buenos Aires in February 1968. We gathered in Cuartel Quinto, a barrio in the outer circle of the city of Buenos Aires, renowned in recent times for a high level of violence, but as well for its multiplicity of community organizations.

All the sisters who had served on the mission were remembered in a special way even though they were absent, as a chart with their names was attached to the front of the altar, while those Dominican sisters present led the procession at the opening ceremony.

Colourful drapes, murals, flags, photos, symbols and lively music greeted us as we entered the large hall that is used for a gym by the local secondary school and for all the community events. The photos will show all of us sixteen sisters wearing a black and white top made specially for the occasion.

Many close friends gathered to be with us for Mass, followed by a fiesta – sandwiches, musical numbers and of course long conversations remembering times past. Fr. Flannan Hynes and Martin Hunter with the Argentina Provincial, Mercy sisters, Dominican sisters as well as the local bishop and clergy, were welcomed by Noemi before Eucharist began.

Soil brought specially from Galway, Victoria, Buenos Aires and Bariloche was placed at the root of the national tree called the Ceibo, as each decade was recalled. St Dominic and Our Lady had a place of honour near the altar and were the focus of gestures typical of the people’s devotion.

Sr. Veronica Rafferty OP




This is a New Day, Sr. Matilde OP, Victoria Community (English Translation, Sr. Veronica Rafferty)

This is the day we’ve been waiting for, the day for remembering
For reliving memories of what happened and is still happening
This is the day to join with friends and companions on the way
With those who once shared our lives in countless encounters.

Loving words are spoken softly
Words that blow away in the wind
To express a life that our alphabet cannot do.
And to say how the soul bows before the great Mystery
We kneel and stammer a simple thank you.
Mute and calm.

With the Spirits breath that increases in silence
We hope that our fervent prayer will rise in vibrant waves
To make the stars in the heavens dance to the rhythm of the history
that was lived in this Argentine land.




Go to Top