Newsletter 2019

 

 

Newsletter 2019

 

 

Dear Lectio Friends

As another “Lectio Year” comes to an end it is encouraging to note the growth in our Lectio programme, both “in house” and “outreach”.

The Lectio Office:

We are grateful to the team of volunteers, managed by Joan, who look after the Lectio Office, which also functions as the main reception of the Dominican Priory.  The Office is now open from 10am-5pm, Monday-Saturday and 10am- 1.30pm on Sunday. The Sunday opening has proved to be very popular and convenient for Sunday Mass goers.

Board of Management

This is up and running.

Director:                     Father Joseph                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Chairperson:             Anne Smyth

Vice-Chairperson :  Kate Byrne

Secretary:                 Joan Byrne

Treasurer:                 Seamus O’Hanlon

Board members:     Dominican Prior- Fr David

Sister Zita

Ann Rocks

John Farrell

Dominican Bursar-Fr Cesare.

The first AGM was held on June 1st and was open to all members of the Lectio communities, Reading Group etc.  Director’s, secretary’s, and treasurer’s reports are all available online at lectio.newrydominican.com

The Board meets bi-monthly.

In House Programme:

There are 12 established Lectio Communities and two newcomer communities that have met over twenty weeks – 5 weeks in Autumn series, 4 weeks in Advent, 6 weeks in Lent and 5 weeks in Pentecost Series.

Servant Guides

On-going formation for Guides was held on 4 consecutive Thursdays in October and again in February This provides an opportunity for those responsible for facilitating communities around the word to grow together in our appreciation of Lectio Method’ Principles and Spirituality.

“Resource evenings” were also held prior to commencement of each new series – an opportunity for Guides to prepare together for the upcoming sessions.

 

Lectio Resource Material.

In addition to the weekly Sunday Guidelines Leaflets prepared by Lectio volunteers for the wider Sunday Mass congregation, Lectio Booklets for each series with an introductory essay on Spirituality of season, Texts, Biblical background and Guidelines were also produced for the Lectio communities.  Father Joseph, Kate Byrne and  Sister Zita were involved in their production and it is hoped to continue producing helpful resource Lectio material in this way.

Outreach Programme   

Four “Day Retreats” were held – Journeying with the Word of God in Advent, Lent, Eastertide and Ordinary Time.  The response was so encouraging and it is our hope to increase the number of days offered in the coming year.

The Centre has also offered formation for prospective Servant Guides for a new Lectio community to be set up in September in the parish of Rostrevor. It is hoped that this service to other parishes will become an integral part of the programme in the Centre.

Schools Outreach is an important part of our mission – to offer Lectio as a means of ongoing support and nourishment for Religious Education Teachers.  Father Joseph gave an input at the annual gathering of RE teachers for the Armagh Diocese on June 13th.

A School Retreat was held in the Lectio Centre for pupils from St Colman’s  and one is being organised for September for pupils from St Mary’s.

Father Joseph and Kate Byrne participated in a Priory Institute on line retreat during Advent which was well received. Father Joseph also offered Lectio days in Emmaus Retreat centre and Lumen Dominican Adult Education Centre in Sion Hill.

“Deeper Listening” to the Scriptures

Two courses are held each year providing a more academic and exegetical approach to the scriptures.  Father Wilfred Harrington gave courses on Mark and Luke which were very well received.  It is hoped to offer some additional courses such as – “Opening the treasures of the Psalms through Lectio Divina,” in the coming year.

Theological Reflection Group

Under Joan Byrne’s guidance a reading and reflection group meets on Tuesday Mornings at 11.30 to discuss topics from a range of Christian books and articles.

Website 

The website is easy to access and navigate and Sister Zita keeps it updated with weekly gospels and guidelines as well as all other material related to the promotion of Lectio Divina.

Members of different communities participated in a video montage on the topic of “what Lectio means to me”

The website is integral and crucial to the promotion of Lectio Divina and work to develop it further is ongoing.

Fundraising and Community Building Events 

A successful sponsored walk, co-ordinated by John McArdle was held in September, and a Christmas Bazaar organised by Marie O’Reilly and her team, raised funds for the upkeep of the Centre.  Marie’s team also made and sold St Brigid’s Crosses and St Patrick’s Day Badges.  These fundraising activities are also important community building activities for the life of the Centre.

Fr Brendan Clifford presided at our annual anniversary Mass for Fr Michel on the last Thursday in January.  Our annual Lectio retreat at the beginning of the Summer was given this year by Deacon Philip Carder of the Armagh Diocese.

We were also blessed this year to have the company of  Sr Martina Phelan OP who spent time with us here in Lectio Centre as part of her sabbatical year.

We are grateful for all the support and participation which is in keeping with Vatican 11’s vision of collaboration and co-responsibility for the ministry of the church.

And together let us continue to experience the Word of God Alive and Active Today!.

Enjoy your Summer break.

We include this letter written by:

Our Chairperson Anne Smyth sent to the Catholic News Trinidad as it provides some interesting background information to the origins and inspiration for the growth and development of the Lectio Centre

Newry says “thank You” for the work and inspiration of Fr Michel De Verteuil.

The new Dominican Lectio Divina Centre in St Catherine’s, Newry Co Down, Ireland, stands as an active and humble witness to the life’s work and teaching of Fr. Michel de Verteuil in the promotion of Lectio Divina.  Fr. Michel’s presentation of this ancient practice with its particular emphasis on “incarnation” is at the heart of our ministry here in the Dominican Lectio Centre in Newry.

In the early nineties I had the great privilege of attending, with my friend Sr Terese, some of Fr Michel’s Lectio lectures here in Ireland and this marked the beginning of my Lectio journey.  It was also around that time that  Fr. Joe Ralph, OP was posted to the Irish Dominican

province in Trinidad and Tobago. Fr. Michel became  Fr. Joe’s mentor, friend and guide. Fr. Michel’s passion for this way of reading, praying, and reflecting on scripture so inspired Fr. Joe that on returning to Ireland he began to sow the seeds of this teaching by setting up Lectio Divina communities.  This is how those precious green shoots from Fr. Michel’s work were transplanted to the soil of Newry and continue to flourish and develop here.

The feast of St Dominic, August 8th, 2016 marked the 800th Jubilee of the founding of the Dominican Order of Preachers.   In the presence of the Bishop of Dromore, Dr John McAreavey, the Provincial of the Irish Dominicans, Fr Gregory Carroll O.P, distinguished guests and a large congregation present in St.  Catherine’s Church, we celebrated the dedication and opening of the much awaited new Lectio Divina Centre. It was a most memorable and joyous occasion for all of us at which  Fr Michel was fondly remembered.

Today, three years later, with Fr. Joe as Director, there are now 14 communities meeting in the Centre following the principles and method of Lectio Divina as presented by Fr Michel.  The Centre writes and produces booklets for each session, containing Scripture texts, Historical situations and Guidelines for Meditation.  Formation of our “Lectio Guides”, who lead the communities, is an integral part of the work of the Centre.  Our Lectio Website has been an invaluable resource for many on the Lectio Journey: lectio.newrydominican.com.

The Centre also offers Day Retreats “Journeying with the Word of God” spread throughout the year.  Recently the centre has offered a number of school retreats to secondary school children, and seeks to offer ongoing support and nourishment to Religious education teachers in both primary and secondary schools.

The Lectio Outreach Programme also seeks to support other Parishes to establish communities around the word in their own environs and this has become an important part of the mission of the Centre.

On the last Thursday of January each year, the Dominican Lectio Communities come together for the Anniversary Mass of Thanksgiving for the life and work of Fr. Michel.    It was celebrated this year by Fr Brendan Clifford O.P, a close friend of Michel, and friend of the Lectio Centre.

The ongoing work of the Lectio Divina movement in the Dominican Lectio Centre is a cause of thanksgiving and great joy as we continue to face the challenges of growth and expansion and finding new and creative ways of facilitating this encounter with the Word.  We continue to draw inspiration from our Holy father Pope Francis,“May the Word of God become the heart of every ecclesial activity, the beating heart, which vitalizes the limbs of the Body.” (Address to Catholic Biblical Conference,   April 2019.)  And of course the prophetic words of his predecessor Pope Benedict, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Dei Verbum, give us hope and encouragement, “I would like to recall and recommend the ancient tradition of Lectio Divina: the diligent reading of scripture accompanied by prayer brings about that intimate dialogue in which the person hears God who is speaking, and in praying, responds to him with trusting openness of heart.  If it is effectively promoted, this practice will bring to the church; – I am convinced of it – a new Spiritual Springtime.” And how much our Church needs that at this time!!

But to leave the final word to our brother Michel:  “When I meet and read about the many men and women who are engaged in the pastoral biblical apostolate, I feel confident that the will of the Vatican Council expressed in “Dei Verbum” will prevail and that bible reading will indeed become the soul of theology and the inspiration of the whole of Christian living. I am happy to have been, in a small way, part of this historical movement.”

Thank you Michel!

Anne Smyth

Chairperson of Board of Management

Dominican Lectio Centre

Newry.

N.Ireland.

 

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lectio Divina Centre

35-37 Dominic Street

                                                     WEB: www.lectio.newrydominican

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Lectio Friends

As another “Lectio Year” comes to an end it is encouraging to note the growth in our Lectio programme, both “in house” and “outreach”.

The Lectio Office:

We are grateful to the team of volunteers, managed by Joan, who look after the Lectio Office, which also functions as the main reception of the Dominican Priory.  The Office is now open from 10am-5pm, Monday-Saturday and 10am- 1.30pm on Sunday. The Sunday opening has proved to be very popular and convenient for Sunday Mass goers.

Board of Management

This is up and running.

Director:                     Father Joseph                                                                                                                                           Chairperson:             Anne Smyth

Vice-Chairperson :  Kate Byrne

Secretary:                 Joan Byrne

Treasurer:                 Seamus O’Hanlon

Board members:     Dominican Prior- Fr David

Sister Zita

Ann Rocks

John Farrell

Dominican Bursar-Fr Cesare.

The first AGM was held on June 1st and was open to all members of the Lectio communities, Reading Group etc.  Director’s, secretary’s, and treasurer’s reports are all available online at lectio.newrydominican.com

The Board meets bi-monthly.

In House Programme:

There are 12 established Lectio Communities and two newcomer communities that have met over twenty weeks – 5 weeks in Autumn series, 4 weeks in Advent, 6 weeks in Lent and 5 weeks in Pentecost Series.

Servant Guides

On-going formation for Guides was held on 4 consecutive Thursdays in October and again in February This provides an opportunity for those responsible for facilitating communities around the word to grow together in our appreciation of Lectio Method’ Principles and Spirituality.

“Resource evenings” were also held prior to commencement of each new series – an opportunity for Guides to prepare together for the upcoming sessions.

 

 

 

 

 

Lectio Resource Material.

In addition to the weekly Sunday Guidelines Leaflets prepared by Lectio volunteers for the wider Sunday Mass congregation, Lectio Booklets for each series with an introductory essay on Spirituality of season, Texts, Biblical background and Guidelines were also produced for the Lectio communities.  Father Joseph, Kate Byrne and  Sister Zita were involved in their production and it is hoped to continue producing helpful resource Lectio material in this way.

Outreach Programme

Four “Day Retreats” were held – Journeying with the Word of God in Advent, Lent, Eastertide and Ordinary Time.  The response was so encouraging and it is our hope to increase the number of days offered in the coming year.

 

The Centre has also offered formation for prospective Servant Guides for a new Lectio community to be set up in September in the parish of Rostrevor. It is hoped that this service to other parishes will become an integral part of the programme in the Centre.

Schools Outreach is an important part of our mission – to offer Lectio as a means of ongoing support and nourishment for Religious Education Teachers.  Father Joseph gave an input at the annual gathering of RE teachers for the Armagh Diocese on June 13th.

A School Retreat was held in the Lectio Centre for pupils from St Colman’s  and one is being organised for September for pupils from St Mary’s.

Father Joseph and Kate Byrne participated in a Priory Institute on line retreat during Advent which was well received. Father Joseph also offered Lectio days in Emmaus Retreat centre and Lumen Dominican Adult Education Centre in Sion Hill.

Deeper Listening” to the Scriptures

Two courses are held each year providing a more academic and exegetical approach to the scriptures.  Father Wilfred Harrington gave courses on Mark and Luke which were very well received.  It is hoped to offer some additional courses such as – “Opening the treasures of the Psalms through Lectio Divina,” in the coming year.

 

Theological Reflection Group

Under Joan Byrne’s guidance a reading and reflection group meets on Tuesday Mornings at 11.30 to discuss topics from a range of Christian books and articles.

Website

The website is easy to access and navigate and Sister Zita keeps it updated with weekly gospels and guidelines as well as all other material related to the promotion of Lectio Divina.

Members of different communities participated in a video montage on the topic of “what Lectio means to me”

The website is integral and crucial to the promotion of Lectio Divina and work to develop it further is ongoing.

 

 

 

Fundraising and Community Building Events

A successful sponsored walk, co-ordinated by John McArdle was held in September, and a Christmas Bazaar organised by Marie O’Reilly and her team, raised funds for the upkeep of the Centre.  Marie’s team also made and sold St Brigid’s Crosses and St Patrick’s Day Badges.  These fundraising activities are also important community building activities for the life of the Centre.

 

 

 

Fr Brendan Clifford presided at our annual anniversary Mass for Fr Michel on the last Thursday in January.  Our annual Lectio retreat at the beginning of the Summer was given this year by Deacon Philip Carder of the Armagh Diocese.

We were also blessed this year to have the company of  Sr Martina Phelan OP who spent time with us here in Lectio Centre as part of her sabbatical year.

We are grateful for all the support and participation which is in keeping with Vatican 11’s vision of collaboration and co-responsibility for the ministry of the church.

And together let us continue to experience the Word of God Alive and Active Today!.

Enjoy your Summer break.

 

 

 

We include this letter written by:                                                                                                                                        Our Chairperson Anne Smyth sent to the Catholic News Trinidad as it provides some interesting background information to the origins and inspiration for the growth and development of the Lectio Centre.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newry says “thank You” for the work and inspiration of Fr Michel De Verteuil.

The new Dominican Lectio Divina Centre in St Catherine’s, Newry Co Down, Ireland, stands as an active and humble witness to the life’s work and teaching of Fr. Michel de Verteuil in the promotion of Lectio Divina.  Fr. Michel’s presentation of this ancient practice with its particular emphasis on “incarnation” is at the heart of our ministry here in the Dominican Lectio Centre in Newry.

In the early nineties I had the great privilege of attending, with my friend Sr Terese, some of Fr Michel’s Lectio lectures here in Ireland and this marked the beginning of my Lectio journey.  It was also around that time that  Fr. Joe Ralph, OP was posted to the Irish Dominican

province in Trinidad and Tobago. Fr. Michel became                   Fr. Joe’s mentor, friend and guide. Fr. Michel’s passion for this way of reading, praying, and reflecting on scripture so inspired Fr. Joe that on returning to Ireland he began to sow the seeds of this teaching by setting up Lectio Divina communities.  This is how those precious green shoots from Fr. Michel’s work were transplanted to the soil of Newry and continue to flourish and develop here.

The feast of St Dominic, August 8th, 2016 marked the 800th Jubilee of the founding of the Dominican Order of Preachers.   In the presence of the Bishop of Dromore,                Dr John McAreavey, the Provincial of the Irish Dominicans, Fr Gregory Carroll O.P, distinguished guests and a large congregation present in St.  Catherine’s Church, we celebrated the dedication and opening of the much awaited new Lectio Divina Centre. It was a most memorable and joyous occasion for all of us at which                  Fr Michel was fondly remembered.

Today, three years later, with Fr. Joe as Director, there are now 14 communities meeting in the Centre following the principles and method of Lectio Divina as presented by Fr Michel.  The Centre writes and produces booklets for each session, containing Scripture texts, Historical situations and Guidelines for Meditation.  Formation of our “Lectio Guides”, who lead the communities, is an integral part of the work of the Centre.  Our Lectio Website has been an invaluable resource for many on the Lectio Journey: lectio.newrydominican.com.

The Centre also offers Day Retreats “Journeying with the Word of God” spread throughout the year.  Recently the centre has offered a number of school retreats to secondary school children, and seeks to offer ongoing support and nourishment to Religious education teachers in both primary and secondary schools.

The Lectio Outreach Programme also seeks to support other Parishes to establish communities around the word in their own environs and this has become an important part of the mission of the Centre.

On the last Thursday of January each year, the Dominican Lectio Communities come together for the Anniversary Mass of Thanksgiving for the life and work of Fr. Michel.               It was celebrated this year by Fr Brendan Clifford O.P,                    a close friend of Michel, and friend of the Lectio Centre.

The ongoing work of the Lectio Divina movement in the Dominican Lectio Centre is a cause of thanksgiving and great joy as we continue to face the challenges of growth and expansion and finding new and creative ways of facilitating this encounter with the Word.  We continue to draw inspiration from our Holy father Pope Francis,                 “May the Word of God become the heart of every ecclesial activity, the beating heart, which vitalizes the limbs of the Body.” (Address to Catholic Biblical Conference,                            April 2019.)  And of course the prophetic words of his predecessor Pope Benedict, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Dei Verbum, give us hope and encouragement, “I would like to recall and recommend the ancient tradition of Lectio Divina: the diligent reading of scripture accompanied by prayer brings about that intimate dialogue in which the person hears God who is speaking, and in praying, responds to him with trusting openness of heart.  If it is effectively promoted, this practice will bring to the church; – I am convinced of it – a new Spiritual Springtime.” And how much our Church needs that at this time!!

 

But to leave the final word to our brother Michel:                        “When I meet and read about the many men and women who are engaged in the pastoral biblical apostolate, I feel confident that the will of the Vatican Council expressed in “Dei Verbum” will prevail and that bible reading will indeed become the soul of theology and the inspiration of the whole of Christian living. I am happy to have been, in a small way, part of this historical movement.”

Thank you Michel!

Anne Smyth                                                                                                                                                                       Chairperson of Board of Management                                                                                                                              Dominican Lectio Centre                                                                                                                                  Newry.                                                                                                                                                                                      N.Ireland.