Disciples of the Divine Master
Irish Delegation (PDDM)
“By this love you have for one another, everyone will know that you are my disciples” (Jn 13, 35)

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Liturgical Centre
Athlone- Dublin

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“Arts, by their very nature, are oriented toward the infinite beauty of God which they attempt in some way to portray by the work of human hands”
(Sacrosanctum concillium 22)

 The recent opening of the Divine Master Centre on the 15th of August 2009, a multi-functional complex which offers hospitality for priests and other guests, liturgical ministry and formation, as well as the possibility of liturgical participation in the Prayer of the Church, reminds us once more of the importance of liturgy as a means of evangelisation.

The new Centre is administered by the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master (PDDM) who came to Ireland in 1965. With the winds of change in the air after Vatican II, it was an adapt moment for the sisters to begin their liturgical ministry at the service of the Church in Ireland. The Congregation, founded specifically to promote dignity and beauty in the liturgy continues the vision of its Founder Blessed James Alberione, who in appreciation of the great Benedictine centres of liturgy throughout Europe, saw a need for centres of diffusion to provide all that is required for the worthy celebration of the liturgy. “All that the Church teaches can also be said with works, with facts, through painting, with sculpture, with the construction of churches and with all that which is directly liturgy. Your apostolate is vast. When a painting represents a dogma, then it is clear that it is a sermon in itself!”  (Bl. J. Alberione)

These centres of diffusion, more commonly known as Liturgical Centres, continue today to be a link for the sisters with the public, an information point on liturgical matters for the laity, as well as a welcoming and renowned retail venue of liturgical goods for the clergy and parishes in an atmosphere of liturgical aestheticism. All this is complimented by the Chapel of Adoration adjacent to the Centre which invites people to pray before the Blessed Sacrament. The faithful are drawn into the world of Christ not only by their faith or by strict symbols but also by the beauty of the church, its sacred atmosphere, the splendour of its furnishings, the rhythm of the liturgical texts and by the sublimity of its sacred music. This is something which the sisters strive to promote through their ministry.

Initially, the sisters supported themselves by making and supplying vestments to the Catholic Church through Veritas Company which was owned by the Bishops of Ireland and operated by the laity. In 1969, with the inauguration of their own Liturgical Centre in Athlone, and subsequently with the second Liturgical Centre and community opening in Blackrock, Dublin in 1992, the sisters began diffusing religious and liturgical goods, especially those handmade by the sisters, in a particular way, altar linens, vestments, liturgical banners and artwork.

In more recent years, the sisters have been involved in designing and furnishing chapels in nursing homes, hospitals and schools. They render liturgical service in terms of formation, catechesis, biblical-liturgical animation and publications in view of contributing to the growth of the liturgical life of the people of God. Currently, they continue to carry out work in the areas of statue restoration as well as vestment and altar linen making and repair. This is in addition to preparing commissioned works of arts including traditional paintings and banners. Embroidery, painting, sculpture, carving, gilding, lace-making, needlework, sewing are all crafts used by the sisters. In other parts of the world, the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master work in the field of architecture , church and chapel restoration, music, metal-work, stained glass, ceramic, alabaster, stone work, mosaicery and iconography.

All this is in fidelity to the mandate of the Church: “Things set apart for use in divine worship should be worthy, becoming, and beautiful, signs and symbols of things supernatural” (SC 22).

Liturgical Centres are located at 8 Castle Street, Athlone and White’s Cross, Blackrock, Co.Dublin

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