The Cathoic News Service (CNS) reports that the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, are expanding to California. As one of the fastest-growing religious orders in the country, it has outgrown its motherhouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Twenty-two women entered the religious order in August, and there have been between 10 and 20 new vocations each year for the past five years. The sisters can’t build fast enough:
“We’re not turning anyone away. We’ll sleep on the floor. We’ll live in kitchenettes, closets and landings. We have in the past,” Sister Thomas Augustine said.
According to the CNS article, the sisters will build two new houses of formation — one in California and the other in Texas. This is in addition to the new House of Studies being built near the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.
The sisters — now affectionately called “Oprah’s nuns” due to two appearances they made on the Oprah Winfrey show last year — celebrated their 14th anniversary on February 9. It was in 1997 that four sisters from the Nashville Dominicans founded the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, and now 31 of 110 sisters have made final vows, with the remaining religious in various stages of formation and discernment:
The religious’ primary apostolate is teaching. Sisters are sent out in small groups. They are teaching and administering Catholic schools in California, Texas, Arizona, South Carolina, and Michigan. A new mission will open next year in Columbus, Ohio, Sister Thomas Augustine said. Fifteen sisters are obtaining their teaching credentials this year and will go out to teach next year.
You can read more about the sisters’ plans for expansion at their website.