What makes for our misison as nuns of the Order of Preachers? We do not go out and preach, but spiritually support the other members of the Order with our prayers and sacrifices. A monastery of nuns is a place where one is freed from trivialities and worldly concerns in order to devote oneself entirely to God. This freedom is a communal experience—the whole monastery is ordered in such a way that, through the mutual acceptance of an approved way of life, each sister is supported and encouraged in her own vocation to prayer and penance.
Our monastery is set upon a small hill off of busy Riverdale Street. Our presence here silently proclaims our faith in God and our desire to belong wholly to him.
We follow the Rule of Saint Augustine, with its emphasis on humility and charity. “Thus, let the abiding virtue of charity prevail in all things that minister to the fleeting necessities of life.”
As contemplative nuns we make solemn vows and follow Papal enclosure. Our religious habit is an outward sign of our total consecration to God. Even more important is the interior giving of self to God, day in and day out. In a mysterious way, because we are consecrated to God, our hidden life goes out to save souls.
The solemn chanting of the Divine Liturgy is at the heart of our day. Our Eucharistic adoration and Rosaries flow out of this wellspring of grace, while study and lectio divina are a fruitful preparation for it. We strive to make the Liturgy as beautiful as we can, all for the glory of God.
From our early years there has been a strong emphasis on the common life and of charity for each other. Living so closely together for so many years is no easy thing! Yet in coming to know each other, and to care deeply for each other, we give a concrete witness to the joy which comes from living for others and not for oneself.
Yes, Dominicans are not known to be particularly gloomy people! We have freely chosen to embrace this way of life, in response to God’s call, and leaning upon his grace. And, in the end, this brings joy!