We are grateful to our generous benefactors who made the erection of our enclosure fence possible. Enclosure has been one of the pillars of the contemplative life, even from its very beginning. The enclosure is the space used exclusively by the nuns, both inside and outside of the monastery.
That a young woman, so full of promise, would willingly enclose herself behind walls and fences and grilles is for the modern mind a strange phenomenon. It is a scandal for some and a folly for many. The contemplative nun has been, in some way, seduced by the One who is beyond all else. God has set His heart upon her, loved her and chosen her, and in response she longs to belong to Him with her whole being. Does not God have a right to set apart some of His creatures solely for His praise and glory? Does not the God of all creation deserve this whole-hearted attention to Him alone? But to be free for God alone means there must be a separation from the world. In the early days of monastic life, they retired to the desert. Later, this withdrawal from the world took the form of a monastic desert created by the enclosure of the monastery.
The enclosure is God's space and is consecrated to Him. It is a place filled with the Holy One, where He is present in a special way. It is the place where one encounters God. This is why a young woman enters a monastery: to live with God in the desert of the cloister and to find Him in that place of solitude. This limitation of space and contacts with the outside leads to an opening of space within the heart of the nun. Rather than restricting her, the enclosure broadens her heart to embrace with compassion the suffering and needs of the entire world.
St. Dominic's Monastery recently installed a combination of split rail and barbed wire fencing, bordering them with evergreen trees and flowering shrubs. This indicates the enclosure boundary and will also provide some privacy for the Sisters.
Our prayers are with you and your family.
Saint Dominic's Monastery, a religious 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. 2007 ® O.P. Contact Us