Showing posts from May, 2011

What are the Differences Between Religious Orders?

The differences between religious orders are fewer than one might initially expect. For someone who is beginning their discernment process, this may come as a surprise, as it is easy to feel a little overwhelmed at the number religious orders in existence today (Franciscans, Benedictines, Dominicans, Carmelites, Trappists, etc.). However, they all bear common features that are the hallmark of religious life, such as; community prayer (primarily the Divine Office), community meals, labor/work, private prayer, meditation, study, and of course religious vows (typically the vows of the evangelical counsels; poverty, chastity, and obedience). There also may be similarities in the formation process as well, which is often divided into five "stages"; observant/aspirant, postulant, novice, simply professed, and solemnly professed (or perpetual vows). The discernment process usually continues for about 5-8 years until solemn profession. A person is free to leave any time prior to sol…

7 Practical Tips for Discernment

The following are a few points that one might follow during the discernment process.

Take action. Religious communities welcome discerning guests to stay with them. Make arrangements to visit certain communities for a short period of time (perhaps 4-6 days). They will provide you with food, shelter, water, shower, bathroom - in short, everything you need. All you need to bring is yourself, changes of clothes, and perhaps some work clothes.

Repeat #1. If a man were to approach marriage in the same way that some people approach discerning religious life, then he would remain single all his life. He might read books about relationships, or research dating on the internet, but would never actually spend time with the woman he is to court, to get to know her personality, to see whether she is to be his future wife. In much the same way, discerning religious life requires more than reading or conducting research on the internet. The more exposure one has to religious communities, the bett…

The Pope Says About World Day Of Prayer For Vocations

Benedict XVI says that every ecclesial community is called to promote and safeguard priestly and consecrated vocations, since the Lord's voice is at risk of being submerged by many other voices.
The Pope affirmed this today, the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, before praying the midday Regina Caeli with crowds in St. Peter's Square.
He noted that today's liturgy presents Christ the Good Shepherd, while the flock's attitude toward the Good Shepherd is presented "with two specific verbs: listening and following."
"These terms designate the fundamental characteristics of those who live as followers of the Lord," the Holy Father stated. "First of all, listening to his word from which faith is born and nourished. Only those who are attentive to the Lord’s voice are able to determine by their own conscience the right choices to act according to God. From listening, then, is derived the following of Jesus: we act as disciples after we have listened an…
Name: Fr Leo Donovan OP

Order: Dominican (Order of Preachers)

Date of Ordination: July 9, 1967

Portfolio: Parish Priest, Petit Valley

“I am grateful to Trinidad and to the Church in Trinidad.” A sentiment shared by many priests who come into our archdiocese to serve. These same sentiments were shared by Irish-born, Fr Leo Donovan.

As a young boy, Leo loved the members of his very Catholic family. Two members whom he particularly admired were two of his uncles, both of whom were priests serving in Trinidad, one in the 1930s, Fr Aengus Byrnes and one in the 1960s, Fr Anthony Roche.

He also had three cousins who were priests and one cousin who is a nun. It was therefore relatively natural that he would, at a young age, decide to join the Order of Preachers.

After seven years of study for the priesthood, he was ordained in 1967 and went to Rome to study for a license in theology.

In 1968, he followed in the footsteps of his uncles and came to Trinidad to serve as a priest. He arrived a few months…


It is important that we pray for more priest to the Catholic priesthood. Here in Holy Cross this shortage is visible, just two weeks a one our brother priest became very ill. This has place tremendous pressure on our community here in Arima to serve the people of God.

Prayers for Priests

You came from among us
to be, for us, one who serves.
We thank you for ministering Christ to us
and helping us minister Christ to each other.

We are grateful for the many gifts you bring to our community:
for drawing us together in worship,
for visiting us in our homes,
for comforting us in sickness,
for showing us compassion,
for blessing our marriage,
for baptising our children,
for confirming us in our calling,
for supporting us in bereavement,
for helping us to grow in faith,
for encouraging us to take the initiative,
for helping the whole community realise God's presence among us.

For our part, we pray that we may always be attentive to your needs
and never take you for granted.
You, like us, need friendshi…




Theme: "Proposing Vocations in the Local Church"

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

The 48th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, to be celebrated on 15 May 2011, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, invites us to reflect on the theme: “Proposing Vocations in the Local Church”. Seventy years ago, Venerable Pius XII established the Pontifical Work of Priestly Vocations. Similar bodies, led by priests and members of the lay faithful, were subsequently established by Bishops in many dioceses as a response to the call of the Good Shepherd who, “when he saw the crowds, had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd”, and went on to say: “The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest!” (Mt 9:36-38).

The work of carefully encouraging and supporting vocations finds a radiant source of inspir…