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American Dominican Sisters move to Scotland

By on Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, poses with the smiling Nashville Dominicans outside their motherhouse in Tennessee (CNS)

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, poses with the smiling Nashville Dominicans outside their motherhouse in Tennessee (CNS)

One of the most flourishing religious congregations in America is to establish itself in a medieval convent in northern Scotland.

Four Dominican Sisters of St Cecilia from Nashville, Tennessee, will be formally welcomed this weekend by the Diocese of Aberdeen during a celebratory Mass at Greyfriars Convent in Elgin. The four Sisters, popularly known as “Nashville Dominicans”, will reside at the convent in Elgin, formerly home to the Sisters of Mercy who left in 2010.

Writing in the magazine, Light of the North, the Sisters announced: “Sister Anna Christi, Sister Amelda Ann, Sister Nicholas Marie and Sister Christiana… will be available to assist in the formation of youth and adults in the Catholic faith; in sponsoring retreats and catechetical courses and offering pastoral assistance in local parishes.

“Catholic education and the Christian formation of children, young people and adults have remained the principal mission or apostolate of the Dominican sisters of St Cecilia. Although at 153 years we are relatively ‘young’ compared to centuries-old Scotland our congregation is linked to the 800-year history of the Dominican order as a whole.

“As of this August our community numbers almost 300 and we are privileged to send sisters out from Nashville to serve in 19 dioceses in the US and four in additional countries – Italy, Australia, Canada and, beginning this August, Scotland.”

Bishop Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen described the Sisters as a “great gift”. He said: “I am most grateful to their Mother Prioress, Sister Ann Marie Karlovic, and to her council for accepting our invitation. It is with great joy that I welcome the Dominican Sisters of the Congregation of St Cecilia from Nashville, US, into the Diocese of Aberdeen.”

The convent which the Dominican nuns are moving to was first erected for the “Observantine friars” of the Franciscan order by Bishop Innes in 1479.

For an extended version of this article see this week’s print edition of The Catholic Herald, out on Friday

  • Lisa Julia

    you can send me a message if you like…i think i am the Nashville Dominicans biggest fangirl lol!

  • Lisa Julia

    i know one is from Georgia, but i am not sure what States the other 3 are from.

  • Marie

    The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist were FOUNDED by 4 of the Nashville Dominicans – so their origin is in this very community. Both communities are flourishing and full of young vocations.

  • SalomeEllen

    Um, not exactly. Mother Assumpta came to Ann Arbor from the Sisters of Life in NYC.

  • Darran

    Nope Mother Assumpta used to be a former Superior General of Nashville Dominicans..all four sisters used to be members of Nashville Dominicans or Dominican Sisters of St Cecila

  • Darran

    There are religious congregations that is not in full habit or none at all but are 100% faithful to the Magisterium and their charism and mission especially evangelisation. They are growing and expanding as well.

    here are the initial lists and none LCWR:

    1. Apostles of Interior Life

    and they work as spiritual directors in a dynamic Texas A&M University which I greatly believe send more vocations to priesthood and religious life that all the Jesuit run colleges and universities combined.

    2. Servants of God’s Love

    they do wonderful ministry and receiving quite a lot of vocations lately.

    consider them as a great friend and neighbor of Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist aka Ann Arbor Dominicans.

    3. Missionaries of God’s Love Sisters

    This Aussie Sisters receives quite a number of vocation that they purchase a big house recently for their novitiate

    4. Sisters of the Society Devoted to the Sacred Heart

    Recently Archbishop Gomez receives 6 sisters for their temporary vows.

    5. Community of our Lady of Walsingham

    England’s own. Not in full habit but plenty of enquiries and prospect of growth is quite positive.

    Check out each sisters facebook page also please don’t forget them in your prayers. if you can lend them support feel free to contact them. most of them are young or just recently founded. spread them in your communities

  • Jen

    Thanks Maria, I have met 4 of the Slaves of the IHM. They are a wonderful order! I also love their Housetops magazine! I will look into the other group, too! Thanks so much! God Bless you! Jen

  • maryjimmc

    Take along your long underwear, Sisters! It gets very cold in Scotland!

  • dad of dsmme daughter

    Re: Mother Mary Assumpta Long. After serving 12 years as Prioress General of the Nashville Dominicans, she was invited by Cardinal O’Connor to advise the new Sisters of Life (now thriving young order) he was establishing. After completing that task, she and 3 other Nashville sisters responded to Pope John Paul’s general encouragement to be bold by establishing a new community with the cardinal’s support (the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist). Meanwhile her blood sister (also a Nashville Dominican) founded the Servants of th Eternal Word. These 4 communities are all joyful at this explosion of growth among them, and certainly Mother Assumpta is an amazing woman who has had a big role in all 4 of them.

  • thecommentator

    “I greatly believe send more vocations to priesthood and religious life that all the Jesuit run colleges and universities combined.” –> LOOOOOOOOOOL. I totally agree!

  • Darran

    who has at leasts 100 massgoers on weekedays on secular univeristy?
    only Texas A& M University can

  • Darran

    and a vibrant and faithful parish, here is another proof:

  • dad of dsmme daughter

    Mother Assumpta Long explains her time in Nashville, then helping the Sisters of Life, then starting the Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist.

  • JR, Sydney

    “Angry hateful old orders …seem to be dying out”? Neither angry not hateful and interestingly not all that old; most of the US orders were only funded in the last 100 or so years. The Dominicans are an ancient order and it just happens that the Nashville subspecies has enormous appeal right now. I note that the majority of the young religious come from trad families and the Order is happy to accept them as very young women. It will be interesting to see how they go 20-30 years hence. There are a few if them here in Sydney ( invited by ++George Sydneiensis a few years back ) and they are into talking to the young about religious life but there haven’t been many local takers. They are however going to the robust apostolic orders such as the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart , the Sisters of Mercy and the Sisters of the Good Samaritan. Interestingly there is a not dissimilar community of trad Dominicans in a little town called Ganmain in southern NSW and they appear to be struggling to keep going. There is a great deal of talk bandied about in “orthodox” circles about “fidelity to the magisterium” as a badge of ( trad) orthodoxy. Such a lot of talk. In my very well-catechised Triddie childhood there was none of this talk about the magisterium; I’d have taken it for a misspelling of megatherium.

    As for all the venom spewed at Mike the Lionheart; perhaps some of you need to get your irony meters serviced….

  • MissLeopard83

    Darran is correct. Mother Assumpta heard the call to form a new religious community while she was helping the Sisters of Life with their formation. She was never a member of the SoL though. After her time was spent with the SoL, she started working to found the DSMME.

  • JR, Sydney

    Makes me wonder why the heck the goos Cardinal felt a new order had to be founded. Could not these girls have been absorbed i to a pre-existing ‘faithful to the magisterium “and suitably habited congregation? I fail to see what the SV charism is all about. Nice gels but all a bit airy-fairy…I have heard about someone in Sydney who is joining the Order ; I don’t see what the big deal is apart from pushing the premarital chastityand pro-birth lines ( aren’t all Good Little Catholics into this anyway?)

  • JR, Sydney

    And what is the problem with that?

  • Denis

    If you believe Catholicism to have a uniquely important message then it is very important.

  • JR, Sydney

    One doesn’t need habited religious dwelling in a Victorian convent to spread an “uniquely important message”

  • Denis

    Agreed, but it certainly won’t be spread from mosques or temples, or for that matter from a former convent sold off for apartments for the wealthy.

  • JR, Sydney

    How do you know? The Almighty works in strange ways

  • Denis

    Yes with the Almighty all things are possible.

  • Denis

    Do you mean the prison near Manchester?

  • JR, Sydney

    mpants2 I’ m in the Antipodes so your reference is arcane