The rock from which we were hewn - Mother Catherine Plunkett, our foundress.
Fondly know as “The Siena” by the town’s people, the Monastery of saint Catherine of Siena has been part of Drogheda’s history for three hundred years. On this day 300 years ago we received official recognition from the master of the Order. From our first beginnings in 1722 in a humble mud cabin on the banks of the Boyne to our present location in the Twenties our praying presence has enfolded the town and radiated the presence of God to the very ends of the earth. It is this consistent praying presence that we would like to honour and give thanks for, in this celebration of our third centenary.
On this day in 1722 (300 years ago), our Monastery in Drogheda was officially recognised and established by the Master of the Dominican Order at that time. Below is a copy of the English translation of his letter (together with a photo of the original letter from our Archives).
We often hear the phrase ‘the war is being fought on two fronts.’ This is as true for the war in the Ukraine as it is for any previous war. But there is also a deeper sense in which this war is being fought on two fronts. There is a battle going on between light and darkness, between good and evil, between grace and sin. It has never been put any better than it was by St. James over 2000 years ago. “Where do all these battles between your selves begin? Is it not in your own hearts? Is it not your passions that are at war in your members?
On the 11th of February, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, we had the great joy of celebrating our Sr Natallia’s Silver Jubilee of Profession. It was a wonderful day, acknowledging and thanking God for her presence in our Community and the beautiful gift of 25 years dedicated to the Lord, first in the Dominican Monastery in Krakow and then here in our Monastery in Drogheda for the last 16 years. Below are some photos from the day.
In 1997, St. John Paul II chose the 2nd February, feast of the Presentation of the Child Jeus in the Temple as the World Day of Consecrated Life. In this way, the Holy Father wanted to create an opportunity for the whole Church to reflect more deeply on the gift of consecrated life being consecrated to God.
Referring to the gospel of the Presentation in the Temple I would like to highlight the sacrifice of the two pigeons, which Mary and Joseph made in the Temple to God for their firstborn Son. This sacrifice is very significant because the second of these pigeons was offered as a burnt offering to the Lord
A short video clip of Sr Leonie Marie making First Profession as a Dominican Nun in our Monastery.
The community of Dominican Nuns of the Monastery of St Catherine of Siena, Drogheda began 2022 with the joyful occasion of Sr Léonie Marie Langley’s first profession on the 6th January, Solemnity of the Epiphany. It was even more joyful that her parents and sister were able to travel from the UK – they had not met for the past two years due to Covid19.
The community of Dominican Nuns of the Monastery of St Catherine of Siena, Drogheda began 2022 with the joyful occasion of Sr Léonie Marie Langley’s first profession on the 6th January, Solemnity of the Epiphany. It was even more joyful that her parents and sister were able to travel from the UK – they had not met for the past two years due to Covid19. Before joining the Dominican Nuns Sr Léonie Marie worked as a nurse in the UK and several times volunteered to serve on Mercy Ships to Africa in addition to missionary work in India and Haiti.
Immanuel, a name which means God is with us. In Jesus we see our God made visible.
This is what Christ said on coming into the world. “You, who wanted no sacrifice or oblation, prepared a body for me. I am coming to do your will.” And this will was for us, you and me, to be made Holy by the offering of that body once and for all, for our salvation
O Rising Sun. You are the splendour of Eternal Light and the Sun of Justice. O come and enlighten those who sit in darkness, those who dwell in the shadows of death.
At this time of year, and today as the shortest day of the year, it is wonderful how the Church puts on our lips this antiphon where we call on the Light of Christ to come and enlighten our darkness. My prayer during this Advent season is asking for the grace to acknowledge the times when we prefer darkness before true light, as the intercessions for Week One of Advent put it.
The fourth of the Advent antiphons evokes the coming of Jesus with a title referring to the great King David and the prophecy of Isaiah, who wrote: ‘I will put the key of the house of David on his shoulder; when it opens, no one will close; when it closes, no one will open it‘ (Is.22, 22)
“O Root of Jesse who stand for a sign for the people; before whom kings are silent; whom the nations bessech: Come to deliver us, no longer delay.”
The image of Christ as the ‘Root of Jesse’ – a sign for the peoples; before whom kings fall silent and whom the peoples acclaim – evokes a variety of ideas and there is much that can be gleaned, so to speak, when this title is attributed to Him.
What does it mean for us to think of JESUS, to acknowledge Him, as the ‘root of Jesse’ and a ‘sign for the peoples’?
“O Adonai and leader of Israel, you appeared to Moses in a burning bush and you gave him the Law on Sinai. O come and save us with your mighty power.”
In this antiphon we call on God by the name Adonai. The dictionary says that this word comes from the Cannanite and Hebrew word adon, which means - LORD. When God appeared to Moses, he called himself: I AM WHO I AM. (Ex 3:14). Out of reverence the Jews did not utter his name but substituted Adonai.
An exceptionally good answer, taken from ‘The Pastoral Letters of St Charles Borromeo, is worthy of prayerful meditation, and will hopefully increase your amazement in the wonder and mercy of God, and lead you closer to Him as you live through these days of Advent (– you’ll find it in the Office of Readings today)
We are raffling this lovely hand-knit '12 Days of Christmas' Set (knitted characters from the famous song, "Twelve Days of Christmas").
Our good friend and Benefactor, Vivienne Lamont, knit the characters (all 78 of them) and kindly donated them to us to raffle to raise funds. We are very grateful for this, as we have had a lot of large maintenance expenses in 2021 - removing badly damaged/cracked exterior plaster on the chapel walls & replastering, replacing damaged windows, replacing the Monastery boilers.
Christ Jesus is the image of the unseen God’. (Col 1:) While reflecting on this line of Scripture I was inspired to write this short reflection on a painting on the Holy Face of Jesus which I have just completed.
This is not the first picture of the Holy Face which I have painted but always while painting I ask myself what did Jesus really look like when he walked on this earth? Our paintings, no matter how beautiful, can only be a pale reflection of the beauty of the God Man – the Eternal Son of the Father. Each painting looks different – I’m sure that it also contains some small reflection of each artist!
The Divine Office ... “is a gift, not a burden, and many are the graces that flow from this source: Grace to praise God; to comfort our hearts; to brighten our path; to renew our strength; and to edify and sanctify the faithful”
Wishing and Praying a blessed feast of Our Lady of Knock to all of you – may she unceasingly draw all of us ever more deeply into the heart of her Son, our Eucharistic Lord.
The following is part of the homily given by Pope St John Paul II on his visit to Knock in 1979 – a prayer as relevant today as it was when he made it ... possibly even more so. Also our prayer for Ireland and for you today:
During the our Novena to St Dominic (the 9 days leading up to his Feast Day on the 8th of August) we sing an English translation of the latin 'O Spem'; a prayer to St Dominic referring to his promise on his deathbed that he would continue to intercede for us in heaven. Here is a short clip of us singing that prayer.
Dominic on his deathbed bequeathed to his brethren, as their rightful inheritance, his last will and testament saying: “have charity, guard humility and possess voluntary poverty.” This was the path which led him to holiness and he was and is inviting us his sons and daughters to imitate him as he imitated his Saviour, Christ Jesus.