Welcome to the Lectio Divina site of St Catherine's Dominican Newry

Fr Joe

Fr. Joseph Ralph OP

Lectio Divina is a term we are hearing more often these days, especially here in St. Catherine’s. Lectio Divina translates from two latin words as “Sacred Reading”. It is an ancient method of reading the bible and goes back to the first thousand years of christianity as the principal way of forming communities centered on the sacred Word of God. In the church today Lectio Divina is undergoing a marked revival and is being rediscovered by people worldwide as a personal and communal way to meet Jesus and to grow your relationship with him and with each other. It is a way to deeper understanding of God and of ourselves and in doing Lectio Divina we are doing theology. St.Anslem defined theology as “faith seeking understanding”.


35 & 37 Dominic Street

Here in St.Catherine’s there are seven Lectio Divina communities who meet for twenty weeks of the Church year, Advent, Pentecost, and Michaelmas (September). They meet in the Lectio Centre which is at 35 Dominic Street. This was the address of the old Dominican Priory. Fr. Joseph Ralph O.P. formed the first Lectio Divina community over four years ago and continues to form and develop a growing number of Lectio communities each year. Fr. Joseph offers an introduction to Lectio Divina each Thursday evening in the Lectio Centre for those who are interested and wish to learn more about this method of praying and reading the Bible. The Bible text which all of us read and pray is the Gospel text for the following Sunday Mass. In this way Sunday Mass becomes a fuller, whole hearted celebration of the Gospel. The Good News of Jesus risen and alive at work in our lives and in our world today.

“Lectio Divina has made the Gospels become more meaningful and relevant to everyday life. It has helped me to get to know Jesus better and develop my own personal relationship with him.”
“Lectio Divina is for me a life-line, drawing me closer and deeper to the Jesus of the Gospels and giving me the joy of finding him in my life and the life of the world today.This leads to a truly deeper celebration together of the Sunday Eucharist.”
"In Lectio communities we are supporting one another’s growth both in prayer and Christian life. It is surely what community is meant to be."
Through the practice of Lectio Divina I find that the Gospel reading stays with me throughout the whole week, and at times you can see the gospel passage unfold in experiences that you have in that week. .Lectio Divina puts the Word of God at the centre of our lives, and makes it as relevant today as it was 2,000 years ago. It brings my faith to life in a very real and practical way.”