800 years of Dominican presence in Ireland

On 11th February, in St Saviour’s Church in Dublin, the Master of the Order, fr Gerard Francisco Timoner III, OP, presided over a Eucharist of thanksgiving for 800 years of Dominican presence in Ireland. 

At the beginning of the celebration, the Provincial of Ireland, brother John Harris, OP, welcomed the Archbishop of Dublin, Mgr Dermot Farrell, the numerous friars who had come from all the communities of the Province, including Rome and Trinidad and Tobago, and the members of all the branches of the Dominican Family. 

For the occasion, four chalices that belonged to friars who suffered persecution during the period of religious repression in Ireland in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the pectoral cross of the martyred Dominican bishop, blessed Terrence Albert O’Brien, were used for the celebration. At the end of the celebration, the Master of the Order unveiled a painting by the artist William A. Nathans depicting the arrival of the friars in Dublin in 1224. History has not given us the names of the friars who came from the convent in Oxford to preach the Gospel, nor the exact place where they disembarked, but they initiated a Dominican presence that has accompanied the Irish faithful through good and bad times. 

Other events organised by the Province on the occasion of the Jubilee can be found on www.dominicans.ie.

The day before the celebration, the Master of the Order paid a visit to the Dominican monastery of Siena in Drogheda who have blessed Ireland by its prayerful presence for 302 years.

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