Our Lady of Grace Monastery observes 62 years of monastic life in North Guilford

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Today is the 62nd anniversary of the monastic foundation of Our Lady of Grace Monastery in North Guilford, Connecticut. Faithfilled nuns made the journey from a Dominican nun's monastery in Summit, New Jersey to a suburb of New Haven in 1947 to spend their lives for the Gospel and the Church.

nun at adoration.jpgNearly 40 nuns of the Order Preachers live in a papal enclosure offering sacrifices and prayers for our salvation; they study and work for the up-building of the Kingdom of God. The nuns follow the charism of Saint Dominic as it is lived today within the Dominican Order which says that "there is indeed a diversity of gifts, but one and the same Spirit, one charity, one mercy. The friars, sisters and laity of the Dominican Order are to preach the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ throughout the world; the nuns are to seek, ponder and call upon him in solitude so that the Word proceeding from the mouth of God may not return to him empty, but may accomplish those things for which it was sent." (From the Fundamental Constitutions of the Nuns)

I am grateful for the presence of the monastery because it has offered me a place to pray, that is, to enjoy the friendship of Jesus and His Mother, Mary. Nuns have perpetual adoration before the Blessed Sacrament open their chapel to countless visitors who want to do the same; there is a possibility of making other spiritual exercises like the Stations of the Cross. The nuns support themselves entirely on the donations they receive and the income from a modest bookstore.

The context of Our Lady of Grace Monastery is in the Archdiocese of Hartford, 15 miles from New Haven and priests from the Dominican Priory of Saint Mary's, New Haven.

OP cross.jpgThe value of prayer and sacrifice was learned early in my life through the nuns of this monastery. Now with the Lord, Sisters Mary Dominic and Veronica used to sit with me talk about life and God. Over the years I made a regular pilgrimage (really a short trip from my parents' home 12 miles away) to the monastery because it was interesting, even mysterious. How many places do you that beckon you to know Christ? As a teenager I would ride my bicycle to the North Guilford monastery to serve the Sunday Mass celebrated by Father Luke and then ride all the way home again. I count on the witness of these nuns because I trust it. Our Lady of Grace Monastery is not sentimental; it's not fake, it's not transient; the lives of the witnesses are rooted in Jesus Christ. Would that all of us could say the same. Would that the witness of these nuns could rub off more so that we could give be the face of Christ in the world.

Our Lady of Grace Monastery
11 Race Hill Road
North Guilford, CT 06437-1099

(203) 457-0599


Good Morning,
I have in front of me a framed document reading:
In our Cloister Adoration Chapel unceasing prayers are offered for Patricia Swoyer enrolled in our Perpetual Mass and Adoration Society. 85 Special Masses are offered weekly for the members and they share perpetually in all the Masses Holy communions,Divine Office, Perpetual Adoration Perpetual Rosary and in the entire consecrated life of prayer and penance of the Dominican Nuns of the Monastery of Our Lady of Grace North Guilford,Connecticut Enrolled by Helen B. Patterson. This was received around 1954 from my Grandmother to me. I would like to enrolled some people into same. Is this still possible?
Thanks for your time.

Dear Patty,

Thanks for reading the Communio blog. I believe the Dominican Nuns of Our Lady of Grace Monastery (North Guilford, CT) still enroll people in some of sort prayer society. Whether it is called the Perpetual Mass and Adoration Society today, I am uncertain. BUT I would write or call the nuns and ask. The contact info for the monastery:

Our Lady of Grace Monastery
11 Race Hill Road
North Guilford, CT 06437-1099

(203) 457-0599

Let me know how you make out.

Advent Blessings,


I was a member of the St.Francis of New Haven,boy scouts in the mid 60s.The monastery,generously allowed the building and use of a cabin on adjacent property,for use of the scouts.I understand the cabin burned down.can anyone fill me in re the date,circumstance and othe rinfo re this tragedy.also the whereabouts of the scoutmaster,raymond cronogue,who worked as a maintence man for the church..as a side note,I and other scouts served as altar boys for many years...any info would be greatly appreciated God Bless..rvm92@comcast.net

Dear Bob,

Thanks for the note. I am afraid I am not much help in answering your questions. The current Prioress of the monastery, Sr. Clare, may be able to help you in terms of the history of the cabin. Write to her. If she doesn't know the details, I am sure one of the nuns may. If by chance Sr. Clare is unable to assist, the caretaker of the monastery, Ryan Hough, a young but knowledgeable man may know something about the fire which burned the cabin. You can also write to him in care of the monastery.

I know there was a fire at the monastery in the 1950s that killed a few of the nuns (the names are memorialized in the Fatima shrine outside the entrance of the monastery) but I wonder if this is the same fire to which you are referencing.

As for the Scoutmaster, the only thing I can say is to inquire with the CT Boy Scouts council or one of the local troops. Since you say Raymond worked for St Francis Church might the pastor, Father Daniel, know about him?

When I was home last week I stopped by the monastery to pray my rosary. A peaceful place to meet God.



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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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This page contains a single entry by Paul Zalonski published on January 21, 2009 1:00 PM.

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