These joyful verses are taken from the First Vespers of the Feast of our Holy Father St. Dominic. This was the first time in the history of St. Thomas Aquinas College that the girls of grades seven to grade twelve were invited to celebrate St. Dominic’s Day with the Sisters. Students and Sisters were very excited!
We began the St. Dominic Day festivities by filling the newly remodelled college chapel with our joyful singing of First Vespers, followed by praying the rosary - the special prayer and weapon given to St. Dominic by Our Lady. Now it was on to games, dancing, and prizes!
After First Vespers, the Sisters and girls wasted no time in heading to the indoor gym where pizzas and desserts (in the hundredfold) were awaiting. After this hearty meal, Mother Mary Rose assumed the role of MC and organised the girls and Sisters into 10 teams. We started with a ‘meet and greet’ barn dance with Sister Mary Anna providing lovely music with her violin. After burning some of the calories from dinner, we formed a large circle to play the ‘chocolate game’. In this game, the person who rolls a six on the die, rushes into the middle of the circle, dresses up in a wig, glasses and a rather odd nose(!). They then endeavour to cut a piece of chocolate with a knife and fork (no fingers allowed!) and carefully carry it to their team’s bowl. In the meantime, the die is being passed around the circle until someone else rolls a six. Not much chocolate found its way to the bowls but good laughs were enjoyed by all, especially to see the Sisters wearing the ridiculous glasses and nose! This game was possibly the highlight of the night, with a balloon game and a three-legged race following. Father Fortin came to watch the fun and even joined in the last game of the night: a very intense version of ‘musical chairs’. The points of each team were totalled and chocolate prizes given, even to the last runner up! Exhausted but quite satisfied with their first experience of St Dominic’s Day festivities, the girls posed for a large group photo before heading home to recuperate for the netball game the next day!
Last year, the first Sisters vs. students netball game was played at Saint Thomas Aquinas College on St. Dominic’s Day, in accordance with an ‘old’ Dominican tradition. The result of this first match was a draw. This year each side was determined to win! Played in the multi-purpose hall, the game was intense. So was the noise. The whole Girls' School came along to cheer on the students while most of the primary school turned up to cheer on the Sisters. The scores ran fairly even for the first two quarters and then the Sisters began to pull ahead. I must state here and now that we had a most fantastic goal shooter!
The teams were pretty even, I believe, judging by the way the ball had a tendency to change sides all the time, meaning you had to do a quick about turn on the slippery court to keep up – but once we got the ball to the circle, it was an almost certain goal! Sister Mary of Compassion, unfazed by tall, energetic and experienced GK’s and GD’s, popped that ball in from anywhere in the circle! She was the player of the day! The last quarter was very intense, each side being determined to make it count. The final score was 22-16 to the Sisters! But the girls got the sweets and chocolates. It was a very good game and was enjoyed by everyone, players and onlookers alike.
And last but not least, we had the great pleasure of welcoming two new members to our Dominican family. The small Tertiary ceremony commenced with the singing of II Vespers and the recitation of the Holy Rosary; whereupon the Postulants carrying lighted candles proceeded to the Communion rail and humbly asked to be accepted into the Order. They were then girded with the cord of St. Thomas, received the scapular of the 3rd order and the blessing of Holy Mother Church. The new Novices were then bestowed with their new names as children of St. Dominic and the ceremony fittingly concluded with the singing of the Te Deum.
Afterward a small supper and good chat was had by all and thus another St. Dominic’s day has come and gone. May our heavenly Patron and Holy Father St. Dominic grant us all many graces through the coming year.
Te Deum Laudamus, Te Dominium Confitemur!