St. Dominic and friendship....

by Sr M. Jadwiga

 I call you friends not servants because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my father. 

This, of course, is a passage from John, but in the passage which Sr M. Joanna read to us the other evening, Simon Tugwell says that Dominic did not found the Order, rather he friended it: he was the friend of those who joined him in preaching, and gave them an Order to found.  The note of friendship is, indeed, one that sounds throughout Dominic’s life.  We are told that he was a friend of Simon de Montfort – an unlikely person, one would have thought, for Dominic to be friend to; even more famous, perhaps, and the subject of a number of pictures  is his friendship with Francis; - a prayer attributed to Bl. Jordan (Dominic’s successor as Master of the Order) talks of Dominic’s friendship with Christ.


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Aquinas and The Mysteries of Light

On Saturday 25th March the Rosary Shrine hosted its first day conference in Blackfriars Hall. Four talks were given on the insights into the mysteries we contemplate in the Rosary which are found in the works of the great Dominican theologian St Thomas Aquinas.  The following is Sr Ann's talk.

The other talks at the conference may be found at the following link:

"Et in mundo conversatus, sparso verbi semini" St Thomas on the Mysteries of Christ's Ministry, and on the lessons of His lifestyle. by Sr Ann Swailes o.p.


photo by Lawrence Lew o.p.

The eagle eyed among you will recognise that, in the way today's conference has been structured, the four papers correspond to the four chaplets of the rosary, the joyful, luminous, sorrowful and glorious mysteries.

This is both obviously and deeply appropriate in this place, where the rosary is literally built into the fabric of the church next door, but at first sight, perhaps I could be forgiven for thinking that, in being asked to speak here, of all places,  about the mysteries of light, the mysteries, as my title puts it, of Christ's ministry, I've drawn something of a short straw compared with my three dear brothers in St. Dominic

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Nightfever Transfigured...

 by Sr Ann Catherine o.p.


A reflection  for Compline at the close of "Nightfever",  at Fisher House, Cambridge, an initiative in which student volunteers go out into the streets and invite those they meet to come into the church to light candles and spend some time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.


They will see the Lord face to face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no more night; there will be no need of lamplight or sunlight, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign for ever and ever.

There will be no need of lamplight or sunlight. Compline this evening has been a little different from usual. We did not start our night prayer tonight as we have come to do in this place, every Friday, with the ceremony of lighting the lamps, reminding ourselves at the end of our day, as more and more candles are set ablaze about the altar, of our need for the light of Christ. That’s not just because we began our prayer significantly later than usual, and we decided to cut the ritual down to the bare minimum so that we can all go home to bed..  At the start of this compline, our church was already afire with the light of candles, each one representing the longings, the anxieties, the prayers of those we have welcomed here tonight, representing too the Lord’s longing to shelter and protect them, to protect us, to protect our desire, and theirs, fragile and flickering as it may be, to come to him in love and faith, to give ourselves to him as fully as we can.  And so it would have been a little redundant, a little artificial, on this night, to light yet more candles. The Lord’s love for each one of us is our light, and it is already shining on us here. The Lord, the light of the world, is enshrined in his Eucharistic presence on our altar, and his glory is reflected in the candles surrounding the monstrance.  Our love for the Lord, however fitful and dimly burning, and our desire to serve him in our brothers and sisters, as we have done this evening, that desire which is itself his gift to us, is shining out in this place too.

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To Praise, To Bless, To Preach.