Tag Archives: Dominican Monastery of St. Jude

First Profession in Marbury: A “Twin” Celebration

Sister-Mary-Thomas-OP-and-twin-brother-Dominic-RankinWhat makes this picture unique? Well, it so happens that the two happy people pictured in it are Sr. Mary Thomas of the Holy Name of Jesus, OP, and her twin brother, a seminarian at the Pontifical North American College. I have featured twin vocation stories before but never a twin brother and sister!

Sr. Mary Thomas made her First Profession on November 22nd at the Dominican Monastery of St. Jude in Marbury, Alabama. Her brother was given permission to fly-in from Rome, Italy, for the occasion. Also in attendance were her Mother and Father and younger brother. What generosity on behalf of their parents to present two children to the Lord as a religious and priest.

The Feast Day on the 22nd celebrated the life of St. Cecilia. As Mother Mary Joseph said, the readings and chants for St. Cecilia could have been chosen just for a Profession ceremony.  “Audi filia, et vide, et inclina aurem tuam: quia concupivit rex speciem tuam: Hearken, O daughter, and see; turn thine ear: for the King desires thy beauty.”

It was also an extra-special occasion because the Mass was a Dominican Rite Missa Cantata (Sung High Mass) celebrated by Fr. Dominic Marie Langevin, O.P. Before Vatican II, the Dominicans celebrated almost exclusively their own ritual of Mass and the Divine Office. Sister’s brothers grew up serving in an FSSP parish, so they quickly picked up the slightly different rubrics for serving the Dominican Rite.

In this Year for Consecrated Life, may many blessings descend upon the Dominican nuns in Marbury. May all families be open to and welcome with joy their children’s call to religious life.

A Daughter of St. Dominic and the Church

Christendom College has seen an extraordinary number of young women enter religious life. One beautiful story is that of  Sr. Mary Jordan, O.P. (Ida Friemoth, ’05), now a member of the Dominican Monastery of St. Jude in Marbury, Alabama, who made her Solemn Profession as a cloistered Dominican nun in August of 2012.

She chose to attend Christendom College because she desired to learn Truth, especially the truths of Thomistic philosophy and theology. The great Dominican, St. Thomas Aquinas, and his teachings were “an incomparable preparation for our doctrinal study as Dominican nuns, and even more so for understanding and living the virtuous life.”

For Sr. Mary Jordan, her time at Christendom was her first exposure to the Latin Mass and Gregorian Chant. When she visited the Monastery of St. Jude for the first time and heard the Divine Office sung in the traditional Dominican chant, her heart soared; “God was using the liturgical formation I received at Christendom to point out to me where He wished me to be His.”

At Christendom, she learned that the highest use of anything is to dedicate it to God. Now her whole life is dedicated to Him and as such, concerned and praying for the whole world. Every day the nuns at the monastery take turns keeping an Hour of Guard, praying the Rosary before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament as Our Lady’s Guard of Honor. Someone is always there, in the chapel; interceding for the world.

Sr. Mary Jordan said, “I have discovered in the monastery the truth of what Peter Kreeft once said: that perhaps the most powerful warriors in the fight between the Culture of Life and the Culture of Death are the contemplatives spending hours a day in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.”

For more information about the Dominican Monastery in Marbury whose common life includes the solemn celebration of the Liturgy, Eucharistic Adoration and Perpetual Rosary, Marian Consecration, and fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church, visit their website.

The Vestition of Sister Nicole, O.P.

On November 21, the feast of the Presentation of Our Lady, the Dominican Nuns at the Dominican Monastery of St. Jude in Marbury, Alabama, celebrated the vestition (clothing in the habit) of their postulant, Sister Nicole. In a simple ceremony, Sister Nicole received the habit and her religious name: Sister Mary Thomas of the Holy Name of Jesus, O.P.

During the ceremony, Prioress Mother Mary Joseph, O.P., spoke of the symbolism of the Dominican habit. The white represents purity of heart with which the nuns love Christ above all else; the black represents penance that guards this purity. The scapular was given by Our Lady to the Order as a mark of her protection. Finally, the rosary is hung from the belt as the nuns’ powerful weapon of prayer for the salvation of souls.

It is this dual mission of contemplative availability to God and apostolic zeal for souls which drew Sister Mary Thomas to the cloistered Dominican vocation. During her two years as a novice, she will strive to fulfill the words of the concluding prayer: “May you apply yourself assiduously to following our Holy Father St. Dominic so that you may be ready for the day of your espousals to Jesus Christ.”

The Dominican Monastery of St. Jude is an IRL Affiliate community. Their primary mission is to pray for the salvation of souls and for the preaching mission of Dominican friars. Their daily life centers on the Liturgy, sung in English and in their traditional Dominican Latin chant, as well as Eucharistic Adoration and Perpetual Rosary, study and work. To learn more, visit the nuns’ website at www.stjudemonastery.org.


Consecrated Unto Eternal Life

In 1944, the Dominican Monastery of St. Jude in Marbury, Alabama, was founded to provide a place where those who aspired to the contemplative life could enter regardless of race. On August 18, 2012, the nuns had the joy of witnessing the solemn profession of Sr. Mary Jordan of the Holy Family, OP, who is now totally consecrated to God until death.

Sr. Mary Jordan is originally from Loveland, Ohio,  and graduated from her family’s home school (wow!). She got her first taste of Dominican life by the witness of the Dominican Friars at her home parish. Shortly after her graduation from college, she met the Dominican nuns in Marbury and was impressed by the peace and joy of the Sisters along with their monastic life, Latin chant, Marian consecration and devotion to Jesus, present in the Eucharist.

Rev. Walter Wagner, OP, who preached the homily during the Mass, gave a beautiful description of the meaning and symbolism of the contemplative life: “Nuns have befriended the solitary nature of the soul. Every person is essentially alone, and God wants to meet us in the solitude of our interior life where we are alone with Him. Nuns know this, embrace it, and are overflowing with joy. Their life is a promise to us—they have gone ahead of us in anticipation of Heaven.”

The Dominicans Nuns in Marbury became an IRL Affiliate Community in 2010. They currently number 8 nuns including one postulant and one novice. The Dominican nuns were founded by St. Dominic in 1206 to support the holy preaching of the friars by a life of prayer and penance.  In other words, they have totally given themselves to Jesus Christ for the salvation of souls.

“Many elements attracted me to the monastery,” said Sister Mary Jordan, “but there is one reason why I can make vows today ‘until death’: I am convinced that Jesus wants me to belong completely to Him, to seek Him constantly in purity of heart, and to give my life in union with Him for the salvation of souls.” With Sr. Mary Jordan to share in her joy were her family, friends, Dominican Friars, Nashville Dominicans and Sister Servants of the Eternal Word.
To see pictures of the Solemn Profession, click here.