Sister Marie Dominic of the Incarnate Word
I grew up in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, in a very loving, evangelical Protestant home. My parents passed on to us many wonderful things – the most important of which is the Christian faith, a love for Jesus and His Word. When I was in my mid-twenties, I took stock of my life and realized I was not where I wanted to be in my relationship with God. So I started to pray, “Lord, show me who it is you want me to be…show me where it is you want me to be…and show me your church.” I realized I needed a faith community in which to grow and be in fellowship with Him. He answered that prayer by leading me, in a rather unexpected way, to the Catholic Church. I entered into full communion with the Catholic Church at Easter Vigil of 2008 at Holy Family Cathedral in Anchorage, Alaska.
After graduation, I ran across a vocation prayer and began to pray it, hoping God would lead me to that perfect career position. It didn’t take long for me to feel a tap on my shoulder and an urge in my heart to consider something radically different. Holy Family Cathedral is run by the Dominican friars of the Western Province, and I was deeply drawn to their life of study, prayer, community and preaching. Eventually, I found myself discerning with the cloistered Dominican nuns of Corpus Christi Monastery in Menlo Park, California. And as soon as I walked in the door during my first visit, I felt this immense sense of peace and joy, as if I’d come home; and it was an unexpected answer to the vocation prayer I’d adopted the year before.
These are just two examples of how God has impressed upon me the importance and power of prayer. Time and again, I have experienced the movement of God’s grace and love in my life and I long to be a channel of that grace and love for others. The Dominican order was founded for the purpose of contemplating Truth and preaching the Gospel so that souls would be saved for eternity.
The cloistered nuns were founded by St. Dominic as a foundation for that work. They are at the heart of the Dominican Order, living a life of prayer, penance, and solitude, praying for their brothers and sisters, their preaching work, and for the salvation of souls. My heart’s desire is to give myself completely to Jesus, sitting at His feet as Mary Magdalene did, contemplating His Word and praying for others, that they too might experience God’s saving grace and accept His invitation to spend eternity with Him.
After four years of waiting, praying and working, I was finally able to enter Corpus Christi Monastery as a postulant on the Solemnity of All Saints in 2014. I was delayed in large part because of my student loans. I am so grateful for The Labouré Society and the many men and women, religious, priests and laity who support vocations like mine with their time, talent and treasure. After working as an aspirant with The Labouré Society for two years, I was able to enter many years before when I would have otherwise on my own (if at all). Through this experience, I gained many wonderful friends, learned a lot, and came to understand even more deeply the reality of being part of the body of Christ and how God can turn anything to good for those who trust Him.
No matter what hurdles or challenges we face, no matter where our path in life may lead, Jesus is with us, we simply need to turn to Him in prayer and trust, and hear His words to us, “Do not be afraid! For I am with you and love you more deeply than you can ever fathom. Be at peace and rest in Me.”