Meet the cloistered Dominican Nuns of St. Dominic's Monastery, Linden, Virginia, not far from Front Royal. These nuns get up at oh-three-hundred -- yes, you read it right: 3:00 a.m. -- and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if this was them processing into the chapel for Matins at oh-three-thirty. It takes a real prayer warrior to get up at an hour when the rest of the world is sleeping, partying, or out getting a DUI after all the bars have closed.
And clearly, these nuns have not lost sight of what the religious life is all about. There does not appear to be any of the nut-stuff at St. Dominic's that has infested other congregations, to their great cost. Not only have these Dominicans not kicked the habit; they lead a disciplined life of prayer and work, in that order, keeping a daily schedule that most of us in the world could not keep for three days together if our lives depended on it. Yet which of these women would care to trade in that schedule for anything the world has to offer? This community may not be numerous, but it is obviously fairly young, and not without postulants and aspirants. I doubt these nuns are among those kicking up a fuss about the apostolic visitation of women religious communities in the United States.
Although this particular community of Dominican nuns traces its roots back over 100 years, they have only lived at the present monastery of St. Dominic's since 2008. And the monastery is still unfinished: among other things, they still need to build an enclosure fence, and to establish a cemetery. They are also working on a permanent chapel, a permanent library, and guest rooms for visitors.
So if you've got some filthy lucre, and you'd like to help support these roaring lionesses of two-fisted cool...here's where to send donations. Hint, hint.