I recently rediscovered this promotional video profiling the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia and shared it with two of my daughters. The beauty of these women, and their authentic Christian joy, compels me to share this video with all of you.
The Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia stand in stark contrast to much of the popular and ecclesial culture of the past fifty years. While many orders of women religious have grown older and smaller, the Nashville Dominicans (as they are also called) have seen a boom in vocations and overall interest in recent years. As reported in Regina Magazine, the community has grown 46% in just the past 14 years, and with 300 sisters currently, are the largest they have ever been.
The reason for the continuing growth of the order is as simple as it is sincere. Contrary to a contemporary culture which is confused about gender roles and authentic femininity, the Nashville Dominicans offer a life of timeless truths and selfless service. The sisters explain their love for the Church and their purpose as follows:
- Love the Church and seek to serve her in fidelity
- Treasure our vows
- Foster a reverence for the priesthood and the Church’s Magisterium
- Share with enthusiasm the truth of the Gospel
- Witness to our consecration by the wearing of a distinctive habit
- Look to the Virgin Mary as our model and mother, seeking to imitate her humility and recognizing in her what is meant by true womanhood
As parents we have the God given responsibility to help our children discern their vocations. The happiness that we seek for our sons and daughters will only come from their ability to conform their lives to God’s will. For young women called to the religious life, true happiness can only be found with an obedient response to Our Lord.
I’ll conclude with the words of Sister Peter Marie O.P., vocations director for the Nashville Dominicans, who observes:
Many are hearing the call to give everything and are seeking an authentic religious life that is joyfully lived. They have discovered that true happiness is realized in doing the Lord’s will and have come to recognize the invitation of the Lord in the silence of their hearts…
If you have heard the Lord’s gentle invitation to religious life, it may have taken you by surprise. Fear is not an uncommon response to the first stirrings of a religious vocation…However, if one is called to the religious life then, with time and prayer, fear turns to conviction and we can begin the first steps to finding and accepting his will. This conviction brings a peace and joy that nothing else can match. A young woman open to the call to give her whole life to Christ will find that she can only surrender to this irresistible prompting that He has placed within her heart.