St. Dominic, in the tradition of Augustine’s ‘Let God be loved above all things,’ wished his followers to speak always to God or of God. He gave the regular life, that is, the monastic liturgical life, a strong impulse towards preaching, but as an outcome of study and contemplation. …We study and live by a discipline that favors monastic observance. (Basic Constitutions)

St. Dominic’s all-embracing heart was vibrant, disciplined and joyous. He spent years combating heresy, living as an apostle, traveling on foot and preaching truth. The great need of souls cried out for apostolic preachers and teachers with trained minds who at the same time would keep close to their Crucified Lord in prayer. This dual activity became the motto of the Order of Preachers, and thus, of our Congregation of St. Cecilia, “to contemplate and to give to others the fruits of our contemplation.”

The cloister. The refectory. Silence. The Divine Office. Each of these places and practices has its origin in the monastic life. They are elements essential to those whose religious communities are based in the monastic tradition. From this contemplative foundation, the St. Cecilia Dominican takes what is pondered in prayer out to the world in service of our brothers and sisters. For those called to Dominican life, these monastic elements are necessary for the formation of the religious and for her continued growth in God’s grace.

Eight hundred years later, in a culture vastly different from that of St. Dominic, monasticism forms the Dominican Sister of St. Cecilia and provides her with the setting within which to nurture the life of holiness. We invite you to view the gallery to learn more about some of our monastic practices.