Tag Archives: Dominican Sisters of St Cecilia

Religious life 2012: Profession of vows, entrances and ordinations

Heilengkreutz monks.jpgThe promise of the hundredfold of the Lord is evident in the lives we lead; how we live our Baptism ought to be evident and with those who have responded to the Lord’s call to follow Him more closely in the Christian life in which we live more intensely by through the consecrated life.

As Pope Benedict said, 
It is no less challenging to follow Christ today, It means learning to keep our gaze fixed on Jesus, growing close to him, listening to his word and encountering him in the sacraments; it means learning to conform our will to his. This requires a genuine school of formation for all those who would prepare themselves for the ministerial priesthood or the consecrated life under the guidance of the competent ecclesial authorities. The Lord does not fail to call people at every stage of life to share in his mission and to serve the church in the ordained ministry and in the consecrated life (48th World Day of Vocations, 2011).

Calling of St Matthew detail  Caravaggio.jpg

The key words for us ought to be “to follow,” “to keep our gaze,” “listening,” “conforming,” and “encountering.” The crux is, to whom do we belong? Of course, I would hope that we could easily say that we belong to Christ and to His Church. But we know that while we may honestly believe this fact, it is not so every day. We say one thing but we don’t always follow and keep our gaze on the Lord. May this be our prayer and our work today!
This is the third year that I have surveyed, in representative manner, some of the US monastic communities and religious orders who have had members profess simple and/or solemn vows, new members who received the habit or have receive ordination to the Order of Deacon or Priest. While the numbers may be sobering, the point is not about numbers as much as to recognize the many testimonies of grace, the rich living of the offer God has made to our sisters and brothers to love and serve Him in religious life. Corrections welcome.

Monastic life
  • St Vincent’s Archabbey: 4 profess simple vows; 4 profess solemn vows; 2 ordained deacons, 2 ordained priests
  • St John’s Abbey: 2 monks make a profession of solemn vows; 3 professed simple vows
  • St Benedict’s Abbey (Atchinson, KS): 1 monk solemn vows, 3 received as postulants, 1 postulant in Brazil
  • Belmont Abbey (Charlotte, NC): 1 novice entered; 2 monks profess solemn vows
  • St Martin’s Abbey: 1 entered as a novice

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Nashville Dominicans sisters lead in new vocations

As mentioned a number of days ago I posted a list of religious congregations attracting new recruits in 2010, now the Associate Press has picked up on the trend. I am glad they did.

The AP story can be read here.
Unremarkable, perhaps quite cliched, is the remark of Dr Catherine Mooney linking the vocations to Pope John Paul II. As much as it goes, the life and work of John Paul led many to to become a member of a thriving religious order. But do you think a theology professor would mention the work of the Blessed Trinity as a source of the call? Relying merely on a pope’s influence doesn’t go to far. Does it?
Thanks be to God for those who freely say ‘yes’ to the call of Christ to live the consecrated life. Saints Dominic and Catherine of Siena, pray for us.

New website for the Nashville Dominicans

Nashville OP.jpgThe Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia have a new, beautiful website. Visit them here.

Saint Martin de Porres

Blessed Pope John XXIII said of Saint Martin de Porres:


St Martin de Porres.jpgSaint Martin, always obedient and inspired by his divine teacher, dealt with his brothers and with that profound love which comes from pure faith and humility of spirit. He loved men and because he honestly looked on them as God’s children and as his own brothers and sisters. Such was his humility that he loved them even more than himself, and considered them to be better and more righteous than he was.

He did not blame others for their shortcomings. Certain that he deserved more severe punishment for his sins than others did, he would overlook their worst offenses. He was tireless in his efforts to reform the criminal, and he would sit up with the sick to bring them comfort. For the poor he would provide food, clothing and medicine. He did all he could to care for poor farmhands, blacks, and mulattoes who were looked down upon as slaves, the dregs of society in their time. Common people responded by calling him, “Martin the charitable.”

He excused the faults of others. He forgave the bitterest injuries, convinced that he deserved much severer punishments on account of his own sins. He tried with all his might to redeem the guilty; lovingly he comforted the sick; he provided food, clothing and medicine for the poor; he helped, as best he could, farm laborers and Negroes, as well as mulattoes, who were looked upon at that time as akin to slaves: thus he deserved to be called by the name the people gave him: ‘Martin of Charity.’


A good overview of Saint Martin’s life can be read here.


O God, the rewarder of the humble, you raised up the blessed confessor Martin to the kingdom of heaven. May his merits and prayers help us to imitate his humility on earth that we may be exalted with him in heaven.

A New Mission: Nashville goes down under

Dominican sisters based in Nashville start new mission in Australia

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CNS) — The 12 months spent by three U.S. Dominican sisters

Thumbnail image for Nashville Community.jpgin 
 Sydney, Australia, to help plan and organize World Youth Day has led to a new mission in Australia for the congregation. The three — Sisters Mary Madeline Todd, Mary Rachel Capets and Anna Wray — are members of the St. Cecilia Congregation in Nashville. They have returned home but two of them will go back to Sydney to help establish their community’s first permanent mission outside the United States. Cardinal George Pell and Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney, a fellow Dominican, “we’re eager to have our sisters working in Sydney,” said Sister Mary Madeline. “What we could offer and what they needed were complementary.” What the Dominicans offer and what is needed in southern Australia, Sister Mary Madeline said, is a “witness of religious life.” Although Australian society has become increasingly secular, “there is a great interest in religious life in Australia,” Sister Mary Madeline told the Tennessee Register, newspaper of the Nashville Diocese.


On another note, the Nashville Dominicans finally professed 11 sisters on July 25th. May God grant many years!


If you are interested in knowing more about the Nashville Dominicans, send an email to Sister Mary Emily at: vocation@op-tn.org

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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