A Brief History of St. Dominic’s Monastery in Virginia

A brief history of the new Saint Dominic’s Monastery, Linden, Virginia:
The first monastery of Dominican nuns in the U.S. was founded at Newark, NJ, in 1880. Our own Saint Dominic’s Monastery traces its beginnings to the foundation in Union City, NJ, where, in 1906, a small group of nuns was sent to the town of Baker City, OR. The pastoral needs of the Bishop there were such that he soon requested these pioneers to take up nursing or teaching and to leave behind their cloistered contemplative life, so in 1909, they settled in La Crosse, WI which became the second site of St. Dominic’s Monastery. Changing patterns of Church life in the 1970’s left the nuns without proper chaplain services and other conditions essential to monastic life and so the decision was made in 1984 to move temporarily to Washington, DC where they would be in close proximity to their Dominican Friars at the House of Studies. This “temporary” dwelling was home to the nuns for 22 years. On June 24, 2008, the community moved into their new, permanent monastery in Linden, VA, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains and an hour’s drive from DC.
The nuns of Saint Dominic’s Monastery continue a tradition of contemplative life as developed by Saint Dominic himself in the early thirteenth century. What especially distinguishes Dominican contemplative nuns from other enclosed communities is the special attachment to the mysteries of Christ and of His life which the nuns cherish, especially through their praying of the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the primacy of the liturgy, and their tradition of theological study.