Monday, April 26, 2010

Not Nuts -- Nuns!

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's where to send donations.  Hint, hint. 


  1. "Not only have these Dominicans not kicked the habit" -- LOL. Great post, Anita! Chesterton's book on Thomas Aquinas comes to mind, and the great medieval Latin pun, "Domini Canes," the "Hounds of God." Thank you!

  2. Thanks, I don't think I knew about this particular community...going to explore...

  3. I've known these Nuns since 1978 when they were here in our Diocese of La Crosse. I cried when they left in of my best friends is a member there, she's been prioress for many times and has been a real support and strength for me in my own journey.
    Yep. These Nuns are the "real deal". I was able to visit with them when they were living in a MA monastery before they were able to move into their VA monastery; they are not only fervent and holy, but funny, compassionate, and really human.
    Thanks for the post on them. They deserve all the help they can get!

  4. Bob: re Domine canes: in fact, a symbol of St. Dominic is a black and white dog running with a torch in its mouth. This is based on a vision his mother had of him before he was born.

    Adoro: definitely worth a look. And it's harder to beat Dominicans for cool.

    Father: I'm sorry you had to lose them when they moved out of your diocese, but I'm very glad they are where they are, because they live close to somebody I love. That's what drew my attention to them.

  5. Anita: They are where they are meant to be.
    We are attempting, in our own way, to continue their life of adoration, thanksgiving, self-giving to God in our Institute of Saint Joseph...they were a BIG part of our foundation.
    You are on my blog list:

  6. I'm sorry: that should be

  7. Thank you, Father! I have now enlisted Sacra Domus Nazarena on my roster of Allies for Victory.

  8. This post reminds me of hidden saints, those we don't know of, about which we will learn about in Heaven (that is, if I make it).... which you also mentioned in a post a few months ago.

  9. Indeed, TH2, I hope we all make it. I think we'll be in for some big surprises.

  10. The monastic cloistered nuns of the Second Order seem to have retained their charism, unlike so many of the sisters of the Third Order congregations.