It wasn’t until just a few years ago that my eyes would light up when one would say, “Dominican Sister.” That was until we met a pretty amazing one, Sr. Anna-Laura. Name ring a bell? She’s part of the Nashville Dominicans, located in Tennessee. We met her and many other young (average age is 28!), vibrant, holy-filled women, while living in Indiana.
After I met them, I joked with Scott that it was a good thing I met him before meeting the sisters!
To be quite frank – I thought only old women became nuns. I’d really only seen “Sister Act” with Whoopi Goldberg and nearly laughed myself out of Mass one day when we started singing one of the songs from the movie. It sounds slightly different at a Sunday morning Mass. Oh, Hollywood, why did I believe you?
Timeout while I give you some quick catechesis…a nun is a cloistered woman who lives in a monastery and devotes most of her day to prayer. Nuns are rarely seen. A sister, however, lives in community (at the motherhouse) with other sisters and participates in active ministry, i.e. serving the poor (think Mother Teresa), teaching (Dominicans), working in hospitals/healthcare (Daughters of Charity for Seton hospitals).
The Dominican sisters have this aura about them that just makes you want to be holier. I love being in their presence. And, I particularly love for my children to be in their presence. The Diocese of Austin is blessed and honored to have another order of Dominican Sisters join us here in Austin, the Ann Arbor Dominicans (or Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist to be proper).
ALG with buddy Madelon Rose and Sr. Mary Cecilia
They were founded in 1997 with just four sisters and as of this month have 99 sisters. That’s pretty amazing growth considering the statistics that tell us religious life is fading away. Spend 15 minutes with these young sisters and you will KNOW that it is a vibrant, growing, faith-filled community. Four of them live just down the street from us: Sr. Elizabeth Ann, Sr. Maria Gemma, Sr. Mary Cecilia and Sr. Thomas Aquinas. Sr. TA is teaching at Will/John Paul’s school and the boys make sure to give me the “sister sighting” report each afternoon at carline.
It is a JOY to have them here. Last weekend our parish invited them to attend a Welcome Shower so we could give them a proper Texas howdy. It was lovely.
Our fervant prayer is that their order may flourish here in the capital city and that come 10 years from now, we’ll have 100 Dominican sisters living in Austin!