Saturday, May 11, 2013

110 Years of Profession of Irish Dominican Nuns in Fatima, Portugal

Sr Diane OP from Enniscorthy and Sr Angela OP from Cabra, Dublin
 
A pilgrimage to Fatima in Portugal has provided me with the opportunity to visit the Dominican nuns at Pius XII monastery located in the town. The monastery is relatively new having opened in Marian Year in 1954 and the international community of nuns has had a strong Irish influence over the years.
 
Today I met with two amazing sisters who between them have lived 110 years of professed religious life in that monastery. Sr Diane, originally from Enniscorthy in County Wexford joined the new community prior to its official foundation and has been in Fatima for 60 years. She recounted today the story of how she came to be a Dominican nun having earlier tried her vocation as a Loreto sister, then subsequently as an office worker. A feisty woman, she has held many posts of responsibility in the cloistered community. The dynamic Sr Angela from Cabra in the northside of Dublin who maintains her strong Dublin accent remined me that on Monday (May 13th) she will be celebrating her 50th anniversary of entering the Order. Joy and happiness of living the contemplative life marked the tone of our conversation. Despite many struggles, the community now has a novice and has enquiries about their way of life. They maintain great hope that the nuns will be able to continue to serve the many pilgrims who come to our Lady's shrine at Fatima. Their twofold mission of prayer and spreading devotion to Our Lady of Fatima is as necessary today as it was when the monastery was founded.
 
I felt proud of these two extraordinary Irish women who live the Dominican charism in quiet contemplation and who continue to give an example to the world of the gift of the vocation of the Domincan nuns. Long may they continue to flourish.
 
For more information on the life and mission of the nuns, please visit their website: http://www.fatima-dominicans.com/
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