The second order of the Order of Preachers, the nuns (moniales), founded by Saint Dominic ten years before he founded the friars, is a distinct and beautiful vocation in the Church. The Dominican nuns are papally enclosed –meaning their interaction with the world is rather hidden and penitential requiring the permission of the local bishop for extended stays outside the monastery. The life of the Dominican nun is also mendicant meaning they also beg for the support of the monastery.
“When a cloistered nun consecrates her entire life to the Lord, a transformation happens beyond our understanding.” — Pope Francis, Address to the cloistered Poor Clare Nuns of Assisi, 4 October 2013
In the USA there are several monasteries of Dominican nuns worth noting:
Our Lady of Grace Monastery (North Guilford, CT)
Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary (Summit, NJ)
Saint Dominic Monastery (Linden, VA)
Monastery of the Mother of God (West Springfield, MA)
Monastery of St Jude (Marbury, AL)
Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary (Buffalo, NY)
Friends at Regina magazine published this story about the Dominican nuns in Summit. Give it a read. It is a conversation about the monastic life according to the Dominican charism. One of the interesting things is that the Summit nuns retain the vocation of the extern sister which is a great grace (you’ll have to read about it).