Dominican Cloistered Nuns Announce Capital Campaign for Needed Monastery Expansion

artist banner cutThe Dominican Nuns of the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary, Summit, New Jersey have launched a $4 million capital campaign called “Making the Light Shine Brighter.” The first official kick-off event of the campaign will be held at St. Teresa of Avila Church’s Memorial Hall, Summit, on Sunday, May 18th. Rev. Brian G. Plate, pastor of St. Teresa’s and honorary chair of the Centennial Committee, will share the nuns’ dreams of building a small wing onto their monastic structure. The purpose of the Campaign is to respond to the desire of the Church and the Dominican Order that those dedicated to the contemplative life should share their life of prayer, as well as to meet the needs of the growing community of nuns by a 5,500 square foot addition to the monastery.

The nuns built their monastery in 1939 but due to the Great Depression were never able to complete their monastery.

“Our facilities for welcoming the many people who come to our monastery to seek Christ and to share our life are severely inadequate,” said Sr. Judith Miryam, OP, Director of Advancement. “In the past 10 years we have experienced a constant increase in the numbers of people who come to our monastery. Often we have to turn people away because of lack of space. The new wing will enable us to provide people with the ability to experience our life of prayer, listen to the Word of God and be touched by the maternal intercession of the Mother of God.”

The new wing will include guest rooms, dining room, parlors and a gift shop which will feature their handmade Seignadou Soaps, Cloister Candles and crafted wood items from St. Joseph’s Woodshop as well as religious articles and books.

The lower level of the proposed wing will be for the nuns’ needs and include workrooms, offices and an exercise/therapy room. Due to the increasing number of vocations, rooms currently used as workrooms and offices are needed for monastic cells (bedrooms) for the new sisters in the community.

The new wing will be fully handicap-accessible. The chapel vestibule will be renovated to provide handicap accessibility to the chapel.

The driveway will be reconfigured for easier access with increased parking.

“From the very beginning of our foundation in 1919 we have been dependent on the Providence of God and He has never failed to provide for our needs through so many wonderful benefactors,” said Sr. Mary Catharine, OP, Vocation Directress. “Trusting in God’s constant care for us we are confident that He will open the hearts of many people to help us with this building project. We are looking for generous people who believe in the future of religious life and the importance of monasteries as vital places from which the Light of Christ shines upon our world in a special way.”

The nuns will be celebrating the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Order of Preachers by St. Dominic in 2016 and the 100th anniversary of the founding of their monastery in Summit in 2019. They hope to finish the new wing in time for their centennial celebration.

The Dominican Nuns have the privilege of Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and their monastery is open to the public from 6 AM to 7 PM daily. All are welcome to participate in the nuns’ life of prayer and experience the love and peace of Christ that can be found by spending time in prayer in their chapel. Daily Mass is at 7:15 AM and Sunday Mass is at 7:30 AM. The nuns’ schedule of prayer can be found on their website: www.summitdominicans.org.

For more information about the Dominican Nuns’ Capital Campaign go the Nuns’ website at www.summitdominicans.org or please contact Sr. Judith Miryam, OP, Director of Advancement at nuns100@summitdominicans.org .