Category Archives: Dominicans

Recognizing Christ’s Presence in healthcare in New York City

Sr Elaine and Card Wuerl.jpgAs I mentioned on Monday, we celebrated the feast of Saint Catherine of Siena at the New York City parish under her patronage with a solemn Mass offered by His Eminence, Donald Cardinal Wuerl, STD, archbishop of Washington. The Saint Catherine of Siena Award was bestowed on the Cardinal honoring him for his lifetime work for Catholic health care as was Sister Elaine Goodell, PBVM, for her 27 years as a Catholic chaplain at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital. It is noteworthy that Sister Elaine began her ministry as a hospital chaplain at the age of 60 following a sabbatical from teaching music. This liturgical and professional observance was the Sixth Annual ceremony established by the Dominican Friars Healthcare Ministry of New York.

With a million dollar gift to the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception (Dominican House of Studies) of Washington, DC, the Dominican Friars of Saint Catherine of Siena Priory (NYC) established the “Saint Catherine of Siena Chair of Catholic Health Care Ethics” with a bold plan for formation, education, and outreach for pastoral ministers, clergy and laity alike. The first holder of the Chair is Brother Ignatius Perkins, OP.
Two media outlets have the story: Ron Lajoie writing for Catholic New York and NET TV.

Father Kevin O’Rourke, OP RIP

korcol.jpgEarlier today Dominican Father Kevin O’Rourke, 84, died following being stricken by a stroke.

Father Kevin was a member of the Dominican Province of Saint Albert the Great and a well-known professor and author on healthcare ethics.
Most recently Father Kevin was a member of the Saint Pius V Priory in Chicago.
May God be merciful to Father Kevin.
Saints Dominic, Thomas Aquinas and Catherine of Siena, pray for us.

New Prior of St Catherine of Siena Priory NYC

Juan-Diego Brunetta.jpgSeveral days ago the Dominican Friars of Saint Catherine of Siena Priory (NYC) elected Father Juan-Diego Brunetta, OP, as their new religious superior (their Father Prior).

Tonight at Mass, the new Conventual Prior made the Profession of Faith and took the Oath of Fidelity as is assuming an ecclesial office of the Church. 
Until recently, Father Juan-Diego was the Director of the Catholic Information Service at the Knights of Columbus (New Haven, CT). He earned the Doctorate in Canon Law at the Catholic University of America.
May the Lord and His Blessed Mother bless Father Juan-Diego’s new ministry. Besides being the Father Prior of the Dominican Friars, he’ll also assist Father Jordan in parochial ministry at Saint Catherine of Siena Church and in the Dominican Friars Healthcare Ministry.

Building a tithe barn to last 600 years

tithing barn at the monastery.jpgThe Dominican nuns at Our Lady of Grace Monastery (North Guilford, CT) lost their barn this past winter with the constant snow fall. The old barn collapsed under the weight of lots of snow –it’s poor, old legs couldn’t bear the torment of heavy snow and ice. But the monastery needs a barn.

Since the nuns have no sustained interaction with the outside world due to being papally enclosed, the ever competent grounds keeper and building supervisor, Ryan, decided to build an old fashion tithe barn that’s expected to last 600 years. No nails will be used to keep the building together. And, all the wood was harvested from the monastery property and trimmed to need by Ryan and a local friend who’s graciously sharing his equipment and time.

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Blessing of St Jude Oil at the St Jude Shrine NYC

Epiclesis over Oil2.jpg

For centuries the Church has blessed olive oil as a sacramental for healing. Some will have oil blessed for lighting a lamp, bodily healing, and even some will use it in cooking. As a sacramental, oil is used in the same way we’d use Holy Water, Holy Salt, and holy images. The blessing given by the priest beseeches God through the intercession of Saint Jude to heal those who use the Oil protecting them from evil and giving the gift of good health of both mind and body. The Bible also speaks of the healing power of oil and its use also reminds us of our own consecration at the time of Baptism and again at Confirmation. This oil is blessed with the relic of St. Jude but is not to be confused with the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick.

Today, asking for Saint Jude’s intercession and using the relic of Saint Jude, Father Ken blessed Saint Jude Oil for the Dominican Shrine of Saint Jude. The Shrine is a ministry of the Church of Catherine of Siena –NYC.

If you would like to get Saint Jude Oil, write to the Shrine at 411 East 68th Street, New York, NY 10065. A $5.00 donation is requested to cover costs of mailing the Oil.

Blessing of Saint Jude Oil

Blessing of Oil.jpg

Priest: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

God’s creature, oil, I cast out the demon from you by God the Father + almighty, who made heaven and earth and sea, and all that they contain. Let the adversary’s power, the devil’s legions, and all Satan’s attacks and machinations be dispelled and driven afar from this creature, oil. Let it bring health in body and mind to all who use it, in the name of God + the Father almighty, and of our Lord Jesus + Christ, His Son, and of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, as well as in the love of the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who is coming to judge both the living and  the dead and the world by fire.


Oil in contact with St Jude relic.jpg

Priest: O Lord, heed my prayer.

All: And let my cry come unto you.

Priest: The Lord be with you.

All: And with your spirit.

Let us pray. Lord God almighty, before whom the hosts of angels stand in awe, and whose heavenly service we acknowledge; may it please you to regard favorably and to bless + and hallow + this creature, oil, which by your power has been pressed from the juice of olives. You have ordained it for anointing the sick, so that, when they are made well, they may give thanks to you, the living and true God. Grant, we pray, that those who will use this oil, which we are blessing + in your name, may be delivered from all suffering, all infirmity, and all wiles of the enemy.

Let it be a means of averting any kind of adversity from man, made in your image and redeemed by the precious blood of your Son, so that he may never again suffer the sting of the ancient serpent; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

It is sprinkled with holy water.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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