Saturday, November 30, 2013

Pope Dedicates 2015 "Year of Consecrated Life"

Makes Announcement During 3-Hour Meeting with Superior General

Vatican City,  (

Emphasizing the importance of the religious vocation, Pope Francis announced today that the year 2015 will be dedicated to Consecrated Life.
The Holy Father made the announcement during the 82nd General Assembly of the Union of Superior Generals, which concluded today in Rome.
Although a brief meeting with the union was planned, the Holy Father spent an estimated three hours in a question and answer discussion with participants.
According to the Holy See Press Office, the first questions to the Pope dealt with the mission and identity of consecrated life. “A radical approach is required of all Christians, but religious persons are called upon to follow the Lord in a special way: They are men and woman who can awaken the world,” the Pope said.  
“Consecrated life is prophecy. God asks us to fly the nest and to be sent to the frontiers of the world, avoiding the temptation to 'domesticate' them. This is the most concrete way of imitating the Lord.”
While acknowledging that vocations in young Churches are “bearing fruit”, the Holy Father also stated that the Church itself must re-evaluate its “inculturation of charism.”
Citing the example of the Servant of God Matteo Ricci, Pope Francis told participants that the Church must ask “forgiveness for, and looking with shame upon, apostolic failures caused by misunderstandings in this field.” Ricci, a 17th century Jesuit priest, was one of the founders of the Jesuit Mission in China.
“Intercultural dialogue must press for the introduction persons of various cultures, expressing different ways of living charism, in the governance of religious institutes,” the Pope stressed.
Regarding the formation of religious, the Holy Father called on the Union of Superior Generals to avoid all forms of hypocrisy and clericalism. Formation, he said, is not a watch dog but rather, “an artisanal craft.”
“It’s aim is to form religious persons with a tender heart, not acid, not like vinegar. We are all sinners, but not corrupt. Sinners are to be accepted, but not the corrupt,” he said.
Other questions asked by the Holy Father were on the subject of brotherhood and the relationships between those in consecrated life and their particular Churches. The Pope also emphasized the importance of the educational mission of schools and universities.
“The pillars of education are transmitting knowledge, transmitting methods, transmitting values. By these means, faith is communicated. The educator must measure up to those he educates, and must give careful thought to how to proclaim Jesus Christ to a changing generation,” he said.
Before concluding the meeting, the Holy Father thanked participants for their years of service to the Church and announced 2015 as a Year dedicated to Consecrated Life.
“Thank you for what you do and for your spirit of faith and your service,” he said. “Thank you for your witness and also for the humiliations through which you have had to pass.”

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Priests' Necrology

March 2000 to March 2012

  • Fr. Casimir O'Loughlin, OP                                             15 Nov 2000
  • Fr Reginarld Ging, OP                                                      8 Sept  2001
  • Fr Athanasius Fardy, OP                                                  23 Apr 2002
  • Fr Engene Delahunt, OP                                                    8 Jul 2002
  • Fr John Woods, OP                                                         4 Aug 2005
  • Fr Kevin De LOughry, OP                                               28 Nov 2005
  • Fr Anthony Roddy, OP                                                     25 Feb 2005
  • Fr Stephen Doyle, OP                                                       19 Jul 2008
  • Fr Brendan Ryan, OP                                                        22 Nov 2011

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Sister That Loves to Preach

By Lara Pickford-Gordon

In 50 years of service to God and Church, Sr Mary Martin OP thinks her contribution has been her ability to preach and “open” the scriptures to people. In an interview with the Catholic News, Sr Mary said when she celebrated her 25th anniversary of consecrated life, she had wondered if she would make the 50th. But God had given her strength to go on. “Wherever He wants me to work, there I am.”
Sr Mary Martin Joseph OP sings as she and her ‘sisters’ present the gifts. At left is her biological sister, Sr Claire Joseph SJC. Behind are Sisters Gail Jagroop OP and Christina Araujo OP. Photo Raymond Syms
Sr Mary Martin Joseph OP sings as she and her ‘sisters’ present the gifts. At left is her biological sister, Sr Claire Joseph SJC. Behind are Sisters Gail Jagroop OP and Christina Araujo OP. Photo Raymond Syms

Asked what she has brought to service over the years, she smiled and said, “I love to preach.”

Based on the feedback she has received, she said she believed God has blessed her with this ability: “Opening the scriptures to people and seeing how they respond to it and trying to get people to get closer to God because the closer you get to him the more grounded you will be.”

She has studied the scriptures and did courses, including in Rome. She takes time almost every week for Lectio Divina (slow contemplative praying of the scriptures).

Last week Saturday, family, friends and people whose lives Sr Mary has touched gathered at Our Lady of Fatima RC Church, Curepe, to celebrate her golden jubilee.

Fr Ferdinand Warner OP, who presided at the Mass, said Sr Mary had given powerful witness in the way in which “zeal for God’s life” consumed her.

“There was always a big concern for the poor, for justice, for right treatment and for service and outreach and at that time she was living in the convent, the monastery and at the time it was a little more challenging to be out and mingling but she found a way,” Fr Warner said.

Concelebrants were Frs Dexter Brereton CSSp, Steve Ransome and Wilfred John.

Sr Mary was cloistered at the Rosary Monastery, St Ann’s, until 2000. The following year she transferred to the Sinsinawa Dominicans.

Fr Warner said zeal for God’s house was always burning in Sr Mary’s heart.
“Every time we sat down to plan anything, talk about anything, reflect on the scriptures with an intention of going out to ministry there was always a strong, strong justice element of her ministry because there was a zeal for God’s house, not just mortar and bricks but people.”

Fr Warner said the life flowing from God’s sanctuary went into Sr Mary’s service and work. “She gives tremendous life to people,” he added.

Last week Saturday was the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica and in the homily Fr Warner spoke about the importance of a church. Although people could pray anywhere at any time, a church served a specific purpose in giving focus, he stated.
“In a church building there is something different. Everything here reminds us God is part of our lives.” He noted that people might get “vex” when others did not dress appropriately or talked too much in church. This was because a church was not just a gathering place but a place to experience “the presence of God in a different way”, he said.
Fr Warner said a church was meant to convey the life of God so people would expect to find something which inspired and motivated them to do good and live well. He added that a church was not only a blessed place but also a consecrated place because it was anointed with Oil of Chrism, which was to signify that the church was a life-giving place. “Here is where the people of God come for the Body of Christ. So this is where we come to draw life.”

Sr. Ann OP a Living Stone

Fifty years ago, Ann Bradshaw and Mary Martin made their final religious profession as cloistered Dominican Sisters. Last week Saturday, they both celebrated their golden jubilee – but separately. In 2001, Sr Mary Martin was called to live out her vocation in a different way and joined the Sinsinawa Community of Dominicans. Sr Ann has continued to live out her vocation at the Rosary monastery in St Ann’s. The Catholic News congratulates them both on their milestone achievement and their life-giving ministry.

Bishop Robert Llanos presided at the November 9 Mass at Rosary Monastery, St Ann’s, to celebrate the golden jubilee of Sr Ann Bradshaw
Sr Ann Bradshaw OP last week Saturday. Photos Ronald Daniel
Sr Ann Bradshaw OP last week Saturday. Photos Ronald Daniel
Bishop Robert Llanos presided at the November 9 Mass at Rosary Monastery, St Ann’s, to celebrate the golden jubilee of Sr Ann Bradshaw

On November 9, around 200 persons gathered at Rosary Monastery Chapel, St Ann’s, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of religious profession of vows of Sr Mary Ann Bradshaw OP, the newly re-elected Prioress of Rosary Monastery. A written Apostolic Blessing, signed by Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Nicola Girasoli on behalf of His Holiness Pope Francis, was delivered in anticipation of the Eucharistic celebration.

Auxiliary Bishop Msgr Robert Llanos presided at the Mass, assisted by Deacons Lennox Toussaint and Patrick Laurence. Frs Clyde Harvey, Derek Anton, Emmanuel Pierre, Leslie Tang Kai and Harold Imamshah concelebrated.

In the context of the readings of that day’s Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, Bishop Llanos shared: “It is a celebration of the integrity of this building block called Ann Bradshaw, in the building, in the temple of the Lord. You only know the integrity of the building, its strength, its value, its worth, when it has stood the test of time and experiences and that’s what we come to celebrate this morning – a heart, that committed to Jesus Christ, has remained faithful, and not just faithful but from what I know of Sr Ann, lovingly faithful to the Lord and to his Church…Sr Ann represents for me a stone in that building which has been constant, dependable and ever present to the Lord. I imagine that the call that Sr Ann received deep in her heart was a call that she chose to respond to not in part but with her whole life, the consequence of which, again, from all reports, all those who encounter Sr Ann, coming to her seeking her counsel and guidance and so on, have been recipients of the life that flows from this sanctuary. Amen! …What we celebrate is the mighty hand of God at work in this sanctuary and in the living stone that is Sr Ann and I imagine by extension all the other sisters who have lived in this monastery over the years and are her companions on the journey.”

Bishop Llanos stated that the celebration was a reminder that all were called to be living stones in God’s temple. He encouraged everyone to reflect on whether their attitudes and behaviours contributed to turning God’s temple into a marketplace, and in what ways they compromised God’s values for selfish consolations.

Bishop Llanos then led the Rite of Renewal of Vows. Dominican Friars Fr Karol Wielgosz and Fr Thomas Lawson sang the Dominican antiphon, “O Spem Miram” while Sr Ann prostrated. Sr Ann then knelt and renewed her profession and obedience to God, Blessed Dominic and the Master of the Order and his successors. Soloist Hermina Charles performed a touching rendition of “Ave Maria”.

The liturgical music sung by the Jubilee singers included traditional Latin hymns such as “Agnus Dei” and “Adoro Te Devote”, and was well appreciated by the congregation.

A luncheon was held after Mass during which Paul Keens- Douglas, in his usual humorous style, shared some key values for the journey ahead, such as love for vocation, leadership and focus.
– Sr Mary Magdalen, Novice

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Mission Mandates in Puerto Rico

The Socius of the Master of the Order for Apostolic Life fr. Prakash Lohale, OP, visited the General Vicariate of the Holy Cross in Puerto Rico in the month of October 2013.   Brother Prakash was able to come across most of the ministries in which the Dominicans in Puerto Rico realize their mission, despite their small numbers—there are only 14 friars solemnly vowed. Thus, the Socius for Apostolic Life had the opportunity to visit the Bayamón Central University and its Graduate School of Theology (CEDOC), the Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas (Elementary and High) and Santa Rosa High, the House of Preaching San Vicente Ferrer adjacent to Our Lady of the Rosary Convent, and the parishes of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (Cataño), Our Lady of Perpetual Help, St. Catherine of Siena, Santo Domingo de Guzman, Invention of the Holy Cross (all in Bayamón) and the Shrine to St. Martin de Porres (Cataño).

On Thursday, October 10th, fr. Prakash met in CEDOC with a good group of representatives from the various fraternities and associations of the Dominican Laity in Puerto Rico. During the gathering, he shared with attendees a reflection on the "Mission Mandates" of the Order, as they were addressed in the last General Chapter of Trogir, especially the "Salamanca Process". After the presentation, the lay Dominicans in Puerto Rico had the opportunity to share their experiences with fr. Prakash, including the diversity of charisms of each specific fraternity.
A similar dialogue was held by the Socius for Apostolic Life with in a fraternal meeting with the friars on Friday, October 11. During that morning, fr. Prakash spoke to the friars about some ways to contribute to the dialogue on the "Mission Mandates" of the Order. A special time was devoted to discuss how to implement the "Process Salamanca" establishing a deeper dialogue between the academic work of the university mission of the friars in Puerto Rico and the pastoral fronts in Bayamón, Cataño (north Island) and Yauco (South Island).

The Dominican friars in Puerto Rico founded Bayamon Central University (UCB) in 1961 as a branch of the current Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico. Since 1970, UCB has autonomy with license by the Department of Education of Puerto Rico, as well as regional accreditation by an U.S. agency. In 1991, with the implementation in Puerto Rico of Ex Corde Ecclesiae, it was recognized as a Catholic university by the Puerto Rican Conference of Bishops, along with the other two Catholic universities in the country. The University has five academic colleges and a school of theology, 65 different professional programs among certifications, associate, bachelors and master degrees. The Graduate School of Theology (CEDOC) is affiliated to the Faculty of Theology at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Rome and professionally accredited by the Association of Theological Schools of U.S. and Canada, and offers theological and ministerial training to three dioceses and several Religious congregations in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, and U.S. Hispanic seminarians.