How We Live the Four Dominican Pillars
We sanctify each day by reciting the Liturgy of the Hours in union with the Church. We pray the Office of Readings, Morning Prayer, Daytime Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer. We nourish ourselves with the gift of the Eucharist as we daily participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We also adore the Lord hidden in the Blessed Sacrament every day in Holy Hour.
The Holy Eucharist is the center of our communal and personal lives. For us, each day’s participation in the celebration of the Eucharist is a result of a new happiness!
We begin and end our day under the mantle of our highest patroness, Mother Mary, as we sing the hymns “Inviolata” and “Hail O Star of Ocean” in her honor. We are faithful to the gift of the Rosary which Our Lady gave to St. Dominic, and we recite one part of the mysteries together daily. Apart from praying together, the Sisters also nourish their relationship with Christ in private and personal prayer.
Dominican Spirituality can be summed up by a famous quote from St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologiae: “contemplari et contemplata aliis tradere”, which means, to contemplate and to hand on to others the fruits of contemplation. Of course, contemplation typically happens during prayer, but for Dominicans, study is also a type of prayer where we seek Truth, Veritas, who is Jesus Christ Himself. We seek the Lord in our study of Scripture for as St. Jerome says, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” We also seek Truth in Theology as we meditate and yearn to know more about our Spouse. For Dominicans, study is a means of sanctifying our hearts and our minds in order for God to dwell more profoundly in us.
As St. Paul urges, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2). Study helps us follow the command of St. Paul, to refuse conformity to the world by the renewal of our minds.
“A sister called to mirror the three great features of Jesus Christ – poverty, chastity, and obedience- should also model the fourth one…, namely, fraternal love.” – Mother Kolumba Białecka
Love for God impels the Sisters to unity. We pray together, eat together, and recreate together. Together we grow in our love for God. This fraternal life strengthens our bond of love, and witnesses to the world the encompassing love of Christ. Through our unity, we also become better apostles to the world as we strive to fulfill our mission of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Though Sisters may be called to different responsibilities in our varying apostolates, we strive to have one mind and one heart in making God better known and witnessing God’s Presence wherever we may work.
We also continually keep the deceased Sisters in our thoughts and prayers, for death does not sever the bonds of community.
In the Primitive Constitutions of the Dominican Order, it states that the order was instituted “for preaching and the salvation of souls” (Prologue). We remain faithful to these ends through education, evangelization, and by bringing aid to the suffering.