Community hopes to move into new monastery in Macoupin County by January
GIRARD — It was a sun splashed afternoon, a perfect and hopeful sign for the Dominican nuns of the Monastery of Mary the Queen. The community welcomed Bishop Thomas John Paprocki to the site of what will become their new monastery in Girard in Macoupin County to bless the property and project back in March. It has taken more than six years of praying, waiting, and trusting for the Dominican nuns to get to this joyful day. Once the monastery is complete, which is hoped to be by the end of this year, it will be the only Dominican monastery in Illinois.
Currently living as guests of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield at their motherhouse on Monroe Street in Springfield, the Dominican nuns have 15 sisters whose lives are structured around a rhythm of prayer, both liturgical and personal.
“We have been most grateful to the Dominican Sisters of Springfield for their hospitality,” said Sister Anna Marie Pierre, OP, the prioress of their community. “Their welcome and generosity to us have been a blessing beyond measure. Still, we long to be in our own monastic setting so that we can celebrate once again the fullness of the Liturgy which is at the heart of our monastic life and reestablish so many of our monastic customs that necessarily had to be discontinued in our present setting. We look forward to the peace and contemplative surroundings that await us and just the fact that our hopes and dreams have finally been realized.”
Construction on the new monastery begins this spring with the sisters hoping to be settled in by January 2022. While their new monastery will not offer directed retreats, guests will be invited to stay on the property. “It has been our intention from the beginning to provide a contemplative space for any who may be wanting to ‘come away and rest awhile’ in God amid the hustle and bustle of modern life,” Sister Anna Marie said. “Our property lends itself to quiet reflection in nature and our chapel will be open for quiet prayer and the Liturgy of the Hours throughout the day.”
The property sits on 36 acres in a natural setting including woodlands and a lake and all the wildlife that goes with it.
“The beauty and peace are outstanding,” Sister Anna Marie said. “There are paths through the woods, and we hope, in time, to set up outside shrines to aid devotion. Girard itself is a quiet, rural area. The air is clean and fresh. We are surrounded by cornfields and there is little to no traffic.”
The Dominican nuns of the Monastery of Mary the Queen are asking for financial gifts to build an art gallery and chaplain quarters and operate their new home, upkeep the property, and offer adequate facilities for guests.
You can mail donations to:
The Prioress, Sister Anna Marie Pierre, OP
1237 W. Monroe Street
Springfield, IL 62640