The first impression of most visitors to a monastery is that of silence and stillness. A silence that is charged with meaning. It is intense. Monastic silence is not so much the absence of speech and noise, but the presence of God and an atmosphere in which the struggle to find Him and be faithful to Him is palpable. To undertake the building of a monastery is to provide a God-centered space where cloistered men and women can enter within the mystery of God’s presence, bring that presence to bear on the world, and bring all of the world’s concerns to God.
Liturgy of the Hours
For Dominican Nuns the search for God is expressed in the rhythm of the monastic day guided by the norms of Papal Enclosure. The whole of our life is centered on the daily celebration of the Liturgy. All the elements of our cloistered life flow from the daily conventual Mass and lead us to celebrate again the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ the following day. The celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours, beginning with Matins at 3:30 A.M. and ending with Compline in the evening, takes precedence over the work and occupations of each day. It is returning to the chapel for community prayer every three hours when we are reminded that the center and focus of our lives is the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and His work for the salvation of souls.
Study & Reflection
Study is a unique and essential aspect of Dominican contemplative life. It is not primarily a gathering of information but reflective reading and the contemplation of truth that nourishes prayer and permeates our entire life. Study of sacred truth, especially in Scripture, is an integral part of our Dominican vocation and serves as an indispensable source of nourishment for unceasing prayer and transfiguration into Christ.
The confines of the cloister lead the nun to go deeper into the meaning of God's love and will, where our concern for the welfare of our brothers and sisters extends to a world far beyond the walls of the monastery.