Tag Archives: Dolores Hart

The Ear of the Heart: An Actress’ Journey From Hollywood to Holy Vows: Dolores Hart gives personal insight

Mother Dolores with John Paul.jpg

You know from a previous post here that Mother Dolores Hart, OSB, nun of the Abbey of Regina Laudis (Bethlehem, CT) published her autobiography, The Ear of the Heart: An Actress’ Journey From Hollywood to Holy Vows (Ignatius Press, 2013). The book is co-authored with lifelong friend Richard DeNeut. There was a book signing this past Sunday.

After a career in acting, Mother Dolores entered Benedictine life Regina Laudis Abbey in 1963. The abbey was founded in 1947.

Joseph Pronechen of the National Catholic Register interviewed Mother Dolores at the Abbey. One of the things worth hearing from Hart is:

The one thing is the Gregorian chant, and what a gift it is to be able to sing and to pray at the same time. I think that I would hate to see people lose that part of the Tradition of the Church, because the chant goes back over a thousand years.

Mother Dolores has been featured on the Communio blog in the past. See a post here and here.

The Ear of the Heart by Mother Dolores Hart

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Nuns… pray for vocations

Sr Lauren Funk and Sr Mary Dominic Linden Monastery.tifI was reminded earlier today of a need to pray for vocations to the contemplative life. A former colleague of mine recently entered Dominican life as a cloistered nun at Saint Dominic’s Monastery in Linden, VA. It is a traditional monastery of nuns, a very young of women who make a sacrifice to pray for us and the needs of the world. The postulant, Sister Lauren (left) is seen with a veteran nun, Sister Mary Dominic.

Pray for vocations.
As an aside, the Huffington Post had this special article with pictures of those who “thought” they had a vocation. One actually did pursue a vocation as a Benedictine nun at Regina Laudis Abbey (Bethlehem, CT), Mother Dolores Hart.

Nun hits Hollywood, again: Mother Dolores Hart turns heads

Mother Dolores Wendy Carlson.jpgBenedictine nuns typically don’t go to the Oscars. For that matter, high profile actresses don’t consecrate themselves as Benedictine nuns. Dolores Hart did both. 

Dressed in the traditional Benedictine habit of the Abbey of Regina Laudis of Bethlehem, Connecticut, Mother Dolores Hart was being considered for a short film Oscar for “God Is The Bigger Elvis.” 
The film debuts on April 5 on HBO.
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Mother Dolores Hart speaks about her life and Faith

On Saturday I drove up to the Abbey of Regina Laudis situated in Bethlehem, Connecticut, to purchase cheese and note cards made by the Benedictine nuns there. Cheese is a homemade product of the nuns of this monastery made from milk of 5 dairy cows. But in addition to cheese and note cards I picked up a beautiful DVD interviewing Mother Dolores Hart, OSB. In 2000, Chantal Westerman interviewed Mother Dolores for an hour long presentation called “Conversations with Remarkable People: Mother Dolores Hart.”

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From this conversation I learned a few things and a new perspective among which Mother Dolores was not only an actress but also a carpenter who made chairs and tables but also coffins for the nuns in her earlier life at the abbey and she took the time to welcome guests. Patricia Neal was of particular interest. (A convert to Catholic before her death, Neal died in August 2010 and is buried at Regina Laudis Abbey.) Of particular interest to me was not Hart’s work in Hollywood but her concrete witness of Christian faith. Ms Westerman asked Mother how she understood faith and the phrase “I am spiritual but not religious.” Mother answered (my notes):
Faith is remembering the exquisite gifts of God given us in particulars of space and time and people; faith is having the guts to say ‘yes’ when you have no idea what the ‘yes’ means; the ‘yes’ is given in response to a mystery.
With regard to the spiritual/religious distinction often made: the two are complementary and have a convergence.

Indeed! There is no separation between spiritual and religious. The soul needs integration of each to make any real sense.

If you can get a copy of the DVD from the Abbey, do so. I recommend it. And stay for Vespers (the Church’s evening prayer) daily beautifully sung by the 40 nuns.
You may be interested in other blog posts on Regins Laudis and Mother Dolores Hart found here.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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