Tag Archives: Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist

Dominican Sisters of Mary in Texas – Expansion Plans

The Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist are hoping to build a new religious house outside of Austin, Texas.  Eight sisters arrived in Texas in 2009 and are now teaching in two elementary schools and a high school.

In 2011, they purchased almost 61 acres of land, ideally located for the community to serve schools throughout Central Texas. By 2013, they completed the construction of a temporary mission convent on the site, allowing the Texas Sisters to live in community and work on-site to oversee the larger Religious House project. The sisters are currently in three cities: Buda, Austin and Georgetown, home of their future Religious House.

Sister Elizabeth Ann O’Reilly, OP, said that whenever God opens a door, “He definitely lets you know.”

“In Texas it happened so fast it seemed He was shoving us through,” she said. While they have missions in six other states, Texas will have the second priory for the education and formation of new sisters.

As foreseen in our managed growth plan, the Motherhouse in Ann Arbor is now at capacity, and it is necessary for our community to add a facility in another location in order to fully provide for the spiritual and temporal needs of our Sisters. We are moving forward with plans to build the first phase of a Priory in Texas which will house, form and educate up to 50 Sisters ready to live our Dominican vocation of preaching and teaching the Gospel of Christ across our nation.

To fund our growth, particularly the first phase of our Texas Priory, we are asking old friends and new to join us in supporting the young women who are responding with an all-embracing “yes” in service to the Church. Those who support our mission will be sharing in an effort than can only be measured by the many lives that will be changed through our work in Catholic education for years to come. We invite you to prayerfully consider helping us in this faith-filled effort for the Church in the United States by becoming a member of the Circle of Faith.

If you would like to make an donation to support this important apostolate of teaching and evangelization, please visit their website. Or consider one of their upcoming Vocational Discernment Retreats (February, April and November).

Setting the World Ablaze: Preaching in the 21st Century

Saint Dominic and a dog with a lighted torch
Saint Dominic depicted beside a dog with a lighted torch

Pregnant and on pilgrimage to the Abbey at Silos, Juanna of Aza dreamed of a dog springing forth from her womb with a torch in his mouth that seemed to set the world ablaze. The child whom Juanna carried at the time of her pilgrimage was St. Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers. The dream came be understood as St. Dominic and his order setting the world ablaze with the love of Christ, as the Order of Preachers was “established, from the beginning, for preaching and the salvation of souls.”

Dominicans continue to preach but the means in which they do so has changed dramatically, allowing them to reach a global audience by utilizing the latest technology. Dominicans are responding to Inter Mirifica which says, “media, if properly utilized, can be of great service to mankind, since they greatly contribute to men’s entertainment and instruction as well as to the spread and support of the Kingdom of God.” They have taken this as a charge to utilize technology in a way that aids people on their journey to find the Lord.

One Dominican affiliate of the IRL which is leading the way in the utilization of modern media is the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. Since appearing on Oprah, the Ann Arbor Dominicans have begun a new endeavor in an attempt to catechize through global network television by teaming up with EWTN. Their current show, Catechesis: Communion with Jesus Christ, aims to provide a basis for catechetical instruction. By appearing on television, the sisters are able to preach the truths of the Catholic Faith to an international audience.

The Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph are also following in the footsteps of their founder and seek new ways to preach the Gospel. One ministry which the Eastern Province has undertaken seeks to evangelize the culture through first-class productions of film and media. Blackfriars Media explores the drama and mystery of God and man in productions such as Empire of the Cross, a documentary which examines the artistic and architectural features of the famed Basilica of Saint Clement in Rome. The friars have produced many works and recently released an app for better accessibility which allows their message to reach an even larger audience.

The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist and the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph are preaching the Gospel in ways that reach millions of people starving for Truth. By utilizing innovative technology, the Dominicans are proclaiming the joy of the Gospel and setting the world ablaze with love of Christ today.

Catholic Nuns Top Billboard Charts Again!

ephesusFor the second year in a row, the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, topped Billboard’s list of best-selling traditional classical albums of 2014. Actucally, their two albums, Lent at Ephesus and Angels and Saints at Ephesus were the first- and second-best selling traditional classical albums of 2014.

Mater Eucharistiae by the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, in Ann Arbor, came in 11th. This album features 15 selections of Sacred Music, all dedicated to Jesus through Mary.

This certainly shows that true beauty never goes out of style. Click below to listen to a sample of the song Duo Seraphim from Angels and Saints at Ephesus.

“He who sings, prays twice” is a quote sometimes attributed to St. Augustine (whether of Hippo or Canterbury is not clear to me) but in any case, the sisters singing here are certainly raising their heavenly voices to God!


Teaching Eternal Values

The National Catholic Register has an article in its latest issue (2/9/14) about teaching Orders active in the Church today. I am happy to say that all of those cited are IRL Affiliate members and doing astonishingly well with vocations. Here are some highlights:


op edNashville Dominicans:

Their official name is the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia and they were founded in 1860, proving that you do not have to be an new order in order to be thriving. The Motherhouse is located in Tennessee, the state with the lowest percentage of Catholics in the U.S. There are 300 sisters teaching in 40 schools in the US, though there are also sisters in Australia, Canada and Scotland.The Dominicans’ motto is veritas (truth) with the mission to contemplate the truths of Christ and pass on the fruits of that contemplation to others.  The sisters equip students “to go out and transform the culture for Christ.”


ck2 edSchool Sisters of Christ the King

The School Sisters of Christ the King were founded in 1976 by Bishop Glennon Flavin, the 3rd president of the IRL. There are 32 sisters teaching 1500 students in the Diocese of Lincoln. Their goal is “to bring abut the reign of Christ through Catholic education.” Three former students have become sisters within the order! What a wonderful testimony to the holy example of the teaching sisters!


op2 edDominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist

These Dominican sisters were canonically established in 1997. Then there were 4 sisters—today there are 120 sisters whose average age is 29! The sisters teach in schools in 8 states across the country. Sr. Joseph Andrew said, “Ours is a holistic approach, touching mind, body and soul. We seek to put a Catholic culture in our schools.”


opraem edNorbertine Fathers of St. Michael’s Abbey

The Norbertines operate St. Michael’s Abbey Preparatory School, a boarding school for 67 students, in Silverado, California. It is consistently ranked among the top 50 Catholic high schools in the nation. There are also expansion plans to handle 100 students. Fr. Victor Szczurek, O.Praem., says that it was “monastic schools like our own that helped form Christendom in Europe and throughout the world.” Their daily program includes Mass and 40 minutes of Eucharistic adoration. By the end of their 4 years of studies, says Father, the students “are convinced of the vital importance of the Church’s sacraments.”






The Eucharist Defines Us

Sr. Joseph Andrew with Pope Francis

This week, the National Catholic Register interviewed Sister Joseph Andrew, OP, Vocation Director for the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. Founded in 1997, the sisters have grown from 4 to 120 members. The sisters teach in schools in 8 states and the demand for the teaching sisters is stronger than they can fulfill. They have also outgrown the Motherhouse in Ann Arbor, MI.

When asked the secret to their success, Sr. Joseph Andrew gave the following reasons:

  • They are daughters of the Church, striving to follow their founding charism.
  • The community is truly a joy-filled family, where love prevails.
  • They have a future. They are youthful.
  • They have a strong prayer life. As Dominicans, they pray first, then teach.
  • They wear a habit which attracts others. People are hungry for God.
  • They have a daily Holy Hour. The Eucharist defines who they are.
2014 Pro-Life March Chicago
2014 Pro-Life March Chicago

As Catholic Schools Week draws to a close, let us pray with the sisters who invoked St. Thomas Aquinas, the great Dominican theologian and Doctor of the Church:

O God, through the intercession of St. Thomas Aquinas, continue to bless their mission to bring a strong Catholic education and the witness of religious life to more children. Amen.

From Sea to Shining Sea


On August 28, 2013, the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, welcomed 19 (yes, nineteen!) young women as postulants. This follows on the heels of the announcement on July 31 that a Decree had been issued erecting their order as an Institute of Diocesan Right. Bishop Earl Boyea also approved their Constitutions. In 19 years, they have grown to 120 sisters!

When the story of the revival of religious life in America is written, one of the headliners will surely be the Dominican Sisters of Mary. Mother Assumpta Long, OP, was one of the women who was part of the IRL from the beginning and spoke out for the many sisters who increasingly felt voiceless as more “liberal” voices in religious life gained press attention. How grateful we are for her support and wisdom over the years.

Other items of interest gleaned from their latest newsletter includes the news that Sr. Mary Judith had the great joy on May 31st to attend her two (yes, 2) brothers’ diaconate ordinations. Rev. Br. Nathan Caswell, S.J.C., and Rev. Br. Joshua Caswell, S.J.C., were ordained for the Archdiocese of Chicago as members of the Canons Regular of Saint John Cantius. Also, Sr. Agnes Maria experienced one of the most memorable days of her life when her little brother, Ricardo Pineda Jr., was ordained a priest forever for the Congregation of the Fathers of Mercy.

Another innovation that I wish had been in place at my Catholic College was inaugurated last year at The Catholic University of America and expanded this year. Called the Religious-in-Residence program, it is a program carried out in conjunction with Campus Ministry where the Dominican sisters minister to young women in the residence halls while pursuing graduate studies.

Mother Assumpta, Sr. Joseph Andrew with Texas sisters
Mother Assumpta & Sr. Joseph Andrew with the Texas sisters

We are also blessed in the Chicago area to have four sisters teaching at two Catholic schools. Sr. Mary Judith and Sr. Teresa Paul teach at St. Benedict the African School in Englewood. It is an all African American school in a very challenging neighborhood. Sr. Mary Magdalene and Sr. Louis Marie teach at St. Ignatius College Prep which notes among its alumni some famous politicians (boy do we need good Catholic politicians), the comedian Bob Newhart and my pastor.

Finally, on September 21, two bishops celebrated the Rite of Blessing for the new OP convent in Georgetown, Texas. It is the first permanent residence for the sisters outside of their home base of Michigan.

Mother Assumpta said: I send a strong commitment to you and everyone in Texas that we are here to stay. I can now say unequivocally: we have sunk our roots in the rich Texas soil!

May God bless them from sea to shining sea! Did I mention they are also in California, Florida, Arizona and Ohio? And Rome?

Cultivating Virtues for a Life of Holiness

courtesyWhat constitutes a virtuous life? Upon whose foundation should it be built? The world has many answers but the Church has one − Jesus Christ.

Standing on this foundation are many illustrious saints, none more vital for today than Saint Dominic. With the charism of preaching and teaching, the Dominicans have a lot to offer to the world today. So it is a great gift to those who hunger for the Truth to see that the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, have announced the release of a new Christian curriculum based on the teachings of the great Dominican, St. Thomas Aquinas.

Called Disciple of Christ – Education in Virtue™, this curriculum provides an easy-to-understand and systematic structure for students to learn about the virtues and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Its purpose is to instruct students on the virtues they need to cultivate in order to live holy lives as disciples of Jesus Christ.

The Theological Virtues (Faith, Hope, Charity), the Cardinal Virtues (Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Temperance) and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Understanding, Knowledge, Wisdom, Fear of the Lord, Counsel, Piety, Fortitude) are presented in an integrated way in a language that children can understand and even adults can learn from.

The resources available include an educator’s guide, so they can fully understand the importance of living a Christian life of virtue, and a Virtue Chart Pack which describes, among other things, the meaning of each virtue, its opposing trait and ways to cultivate the virtue. Suggestions for different age groups are included.

You can also order cards that give real life examples of the virtues, such as “courtesy” as an expression of Justice. Holy cards with an image of a particular saint can be distributed as a reminder of a particular virtue to be cultivated. There are many resources for administrators, educators, families and individuals to compliment the instruction in the classroom or in the home.

The sisters wish to convey the truth that Christian discipleship is the way towards fruitfulness and joy. It was developed “in response to the call for a New Evangelization, firmly conveying the reality that happiness is found in a life of holiness.” It is the Universal Call to Holiness as called for by Lumen Gentium. This new resource gives parents and educators a tool for building holy Catholics for today and for the future.

The Fruit of Silence

The latest issue (6/17/12) of Our Sunday Visitor cites a study whose findings indicate that nearly a quarter of millennial Catholics will leave the Church by age 24. The study also states that a majority of them believe in abortion rights and same-sex “marriage.”

In the midst of these gloomy findings, however, are the stories of 6 young, committed Catholics evangelists, each doing it in his or her own way. I highlight here the story of one of them: Sr. Evangeline Suprenant, OP, from the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist, because she is the daughter of one of our Advisory Board members, Leon Suprenant.  Sr. Evangeline (now age 24) entered religious life immediately after high school. Why wait, she said, when the call was so clear?

Here is her beautiful advice to young women discerning a vocation. “I recommend cultivating a spirit of silence. Go to daily Mass as often as possible and sit in the presence of the Eucharist. Get to know Christ. Develop a friendship with him. Also make sure you know your Faith, who you are, and the truth about the world around you. In the end, it comes down to what Blessed John Paul II said: ‘Be not afraid.’ When you’re looking in a perfectly open way, with no fear, to fall in love with God and enter whatever vocation he calls you to, he’ll lead you to it. He’s already placed the call on your heart. You just have to listen for it. It really is that simple.”