Tag Archives: Marbury

Preaching and the Rosary: Dominican Jubilee Activities

OPjubileeop-logo-whiteThe Dominicans around the world are celebrating a “double” Jubilee for not only is it the Jubilee Year of Mercy, it is also the 800th anniversary of the issuing of the Bulls promulgated by Pope Honorius III, confirming the foundation of the Order, in 1216 and 1217. The celebration began on November 7, 2015 (Feast of All Saints of the Order) and will end on January 21, 2017 (the date of the Bull Gratiarum omnium largitori of Pope Honorius III).

The theme of the Jubilee Year is fittingly enough “Sent to preach the Gospel.” On the Jubilee website, there is a beautiful summation of the one identifying sign of Dominican life:

“…a type of genetic code if you will, for the members of the Order and the Dominican family; that is the preaching for the salvation of humanity (Fundamental Constitution V), the ministry of the Word (officium verbi), the mission of evangelization…. The nuns, specifically dedicated to prayer, participate in the ministry of preaching, listening to the Word, celebrating it and proclaiming the Gospel through the example of their lives. Equally, the co-operator brothers join in the preaching through their faithful living out of their Profession in the Order.”

The Order has included the cloistered nuns in the celebrations by arranging an international Rosary Pilgrimage during the Jubilee year. This pilgrimage is hosted in turn by each of the monasteries of Dominican nuns around the world.  In support of this activitiy, they also published a beautiful set of Rosary Meditations from the writings of Dominican Saints.

OP rosary-meditationsThe Dominicans Nuns in Marbury, Alabama, have arranged these into a booklet with sacred art by Dominican artists–Preachers both with words and with images. You can download the PDF or send the sisters a donation for a printed copy (check on availability first). Their assigned days for participating in the Rosary Pilgrimage will be in October.

Pope Francis has also granted the possibility of receiving a plenary indulgence to the faithful who go to a Dominican celebration and/or church. Saying the following prayer in addition to the usual requirements is all that is required to receive the benefits of this Jubilee Year.

God, Father of mercy,
who called your servant Dominic de Guzman
to set out in faith
as an itinerant pilgrim and a preacher of grace,
as we celebrate the Jubilee of the Order
we ask you to pour again into us
the Spirit of the Risen Christ,
that we might faithfully and joyfully proclaim
the Gospel of peace,
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

5 Myths About Cloistered Life

marbury3The Dominican nuns of St. Jude Monastery in Marbury, Alabama, have a little brochure describing the 5 myths about cloistered life.

Myth #1: They pray all day

Their whole life is harmoniously ordered to preserve remembrance of God throughout the day. They chant the 7 hours of the Divine Office daily and have times for Adoration, meditation and the rosary. But they also clean, cook, nurse, study, recreate and more. They rise early and go to bed late and their hearts are free for God alone.

Myth #2: Talented. Go elsewhere?

Of course, all of the talents a women brings to the cloister are put to good use (teacher, musician, artist, writer, nurse) but the greatest gift a woman gives to God is the gift of herself, so that it may bear fruit a hundredfold for the life of His Mystical Body. Contemplatives are Christ’s chosen spouses, imaging in a radical way the exclusive union of the Church as Bride with her Lord.

Myth #3: The Cloister is for Introverts

The cloistered life involves solitude of heart which leads to deeper union with God. It also involves intense community, for you live in the enclosure with your sisters 24/7, 365 days a year. They pray, work and recreate together, striving to grow in unity of heart and mind rooted in love of God. . The cloistered life is for both introverts and extroverts—both have strengths and challenges which are transformed by grace; both serve God.

Myth #4: Cloistered Nuns Never Talk

The question is not, “Do I like to talk?” Rather it is, “Am I able to keep silence?” Silence is an ancient monastic observance which directs a nun’s thoughts and affections towards God rather than in unnecessary and distracting chatter. During work hours, however, the sisters speak when necessary and talk during meetings, classes and recreation.

Myth #5: Unfit for the Active Life? Try the Cloister.

Actually, the cloistered Dominican life is just as demanding though not as distracting as that of a student, mother or active religious. Normal good health is essential to enter upon their life of total dedication, complete self-giving to Jesus through Mary for the salvation of souls, lived through the monastic life of the community.

Contact the Dominican nuns for the brochure or if you are interested in knowing more about their life.


The Heart of the Dominican Apostolate

sr opThe Dominican Nuns in Marbury, Alabama, have just released a video in which Sister Mary Jordan, O.P. describes her vocation journey to the cloistered convent. The video was filmed through the grill by Fr. Benedict Croell, O.P., Vocation Director for the St. Joseph Province, who first met Sister when she was in a high school youth group in a Dominican parish in Cincinnati.

What makes the story interesting is that Sister loved teaching yet she fell in love with the monastic life through reading the book A Right to Be Merry by Mother Mary Francis, PCC. Why would God put this love of teaching into her heart of she could not “use” it in a cloistered convent? Watch the video to find out about her understanding and embracing of spiritual motherhood!

Sister took the name “Mary Jordan” in honor of Bl. Jordan of Saxony, the second Minister General of the Dominican Order. It is probably not well known that St. Dominic founded the women’s branch of the Order before the men’s branch, demonstrating how much the preaching of the Dominicans is and was dependent upon the prayers of the nuns. A shining example of the complimentary relationship between the friars and the nuns is seen in the correspondence between Bl. Jordan and Bl. Diana, who professed her vow of virginity at the hands of St. Dominic himself!

sr op2Sister Mary Jordan discovered that her prayerful way of life was in no way incompatible with her desire to teach. For what is teaching but imparting true knowledge to the world? The nuns are the heart of the Dominican preaching apostolate and their prayers, penances, sacrifices, joy and total availability to God are inexhaustible sources of fruitfulness for the Dominican friars, active sisters and third order members. A Dominican friar told the nuns that their presence was a deciding factor in his decision to become a Dominican.

One of the mottoes of the Dominicans is to “give to others the fruits of contemplation.” The silent contemplation of the Nuns bears fruit as their lives become more conformed to Christ, who gave Himself completely for the salvation of souls.

Click here to go to website and watch the video.

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.

A Vision & a Dominican Community in the Heart of the South

A beautiful description of the life of a cloistered community of nuns, actually one of the newest IRL Affiliate Communities, can be found in the The Clanton Advertiser (2/27/12).

The Dominican Monastery of St. Jude in Marbury, Alabama, was founded in 1944 after Mother Mary of Jesus, a Dominican sister in Maryland, saw a vision of “a crowd of angry black people with clubs in hand engaged in a violent struggle.” She also saw St. Martin de Porres who “passed among them. The crowd quieted. The clubs were replaced with rosaries. Martin pointed to a monastery on a hill. There she saw Dominican sisters of all races praying with arms outstretched…She felt God was indicating his desire that there should be an interracial community where any young woman who wished to live the cloistered, contemplative life would be welcome.”

The 5 sisters and 1 novice have given their whole lives to God and his people.  May God bless all of the cloistered nuns who pray for us and our world.