Jul 6, 2016

Limerick owes a great deal to the Dominicans

The final Mass with Dominican Priests as they departed Limerick on Sunday was more than about marking their departure but was a major event in the order’s 800 year old history, said Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy.

And in his homily at the final Mass at St. Saviour’s, Episcopal Vicar of the Diocese Fr. Eamonn Fitzgibbon said the Church in Limerick owes a great deal to the Dominicans.

Addressing a gathering after the Mass, Bishop Leahy said that it was a day of sadness, poignancy and gratitude.  The Dominican’s presence in Limerick, he added, had been a story of great resilience and that while the clergy are leaving, the Dominican’s religious presence in the city will remain strong with the arrival of Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia to take over the Priory and breathe new life into St. Saviour’s Church in the early autumn.

“The Dominicans have shown resilience. Again and again, they were threatened with banishment from Limerick. Their numbers were reduced also even the past they were down to three! But each time they came back. And this time too, that resilience of their charism seems to be winning out.

“Just as we were faced with the dark day of the Dominicans leaving us, a new dawn has broken with the arrival of the Dominicans sisters,” he added.

In his homily Fr. Fitzgibbon said:  “Today is a day for giving thanks and saying farewell. The Church in Limerick owes a great deal to the Dominicans – the Order will be greatly missed from Limerick and no matter what new arrangement can be put in place it is impossible to replace what is irreplaceable.

“But all pastoral Ministry is about relationships and personal connections, and therefore, it is with very real affection and a true sense of loss that we say farewell to the current community. Fathers Vincent, Brendan and Jordan will be sorely missed.

“As a community they brought all the charisms of the Dominican life to bear. A genuine love of and generosity to the poor, a commitment to catechesis and adult faith formation, a dedication to breaking open the Word of God through teaching and preaching and showing people how the Word can nourish their prayer life, a generous giving in their pastoral care of the parish community here and those who come to celebrate daily and weekend Eucharist. Limerick will be the poorer for your absence.”