Quodlibet 18 – Dominican Women

Quodlibet 18 – Dominican Women

How Dominican are Dominican women, a Godzdogz reader asks.

Sr Winnie McGarry OP, secretary of Blackfriars Hall and Studium, responds with a reflection on her experience of Dominican life and ministry.

There are several branches in the Dominican Order, all adhering to the same major goal of preaching, all living in the spirit and charism of Saint Dominic. We Dominican Sisters live the apostolic life which is supported by the four pillars of Dominican life: prayer, study, community life, and ministry. Saint Dominic called this pattern of life the ‘holy preaching’. Our preaching finds expression in diverse ministries. In my case I taught in a school for a few years before becoming a Diocesan Youth Officer, then University Chaplain. I spent several years on the missions prior to returning to Oxford to join the administrative team in Blackfriars. In my various ministries I have taught, preached homilies, been a retreat-giving team member, been an active listener. On the missions I started and edited a small theological magazine, set up a clinic for those deprived proper access to medical care, and worked on the local Catholic newspaper. Contemplari et contemplata aliis tradere, ‘to contemplate and to give to others the fruits of contemplation’: what we contemplate, as Dominicans, is Truth, and it is that Truth which we have encountered in contemplation that we hand on to others through our preaching, teaching, and other ministry. I have tried, however feebly, to do that. The rest I leave to God.

In the photograph (l. to r.) Sr Monica, former prioress of the Sisters’ community in Oxford, who died earlier this year (may eternal light shine on her) and Sr Laurentia, a member of the community in Glasgow.

To learn more about the Nuns and Sisters of the Order visit the websites of the Nuns at Siena Convent, Drogheda, and of the Sisters with headquarters in England at Stone, Bushey, Crawley, and Lymington.

The Godzdogz team consists of student brothers studying at Blackfriars Studium in Oxford.