NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Four Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, commonly known as the Nashville Dominicans, will now make the Diocese of Aberdeen their home, as the order opens a new mission in Scotland.
“It makes us glad that, in coming to know our four sisters, you will come to know our community,” the sisters wrote in the summer edition of the Aberdeen diocesan magazine, Light of the North.
Sister Anna Christi, Sister Imelda Ann, Sister Nicholas Marie and Sister Christiana will reside in Greyfriars Convent, a former Sisters of Mercy residence in the city of Elgin, while they assist in “the formation of youth and adults in the Catholic faith, in sponsoring retreats and catechetical courses and offering pastoral assistance in local parishes,” the sisters said.
They added, “Our hope is that, together, we may all come more deeply to know the Lord.”
The Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia are a Nashville, Tenn.-based religious order, with an interior focus of devotion and contemplation of God and an active focus upon Catholic education and formation.
The order was founded in 1860 and has grown over the past century and a half to become one of the largest religious orders in the United States, with nearly 300 members.
The sisters stated that, this year, they are “privileged to send sisters out from Nashville to serve in 19 dioceses in the U.S. and four in additional countries — Italy, Australia, Canada and, beginning this August, Scotland.”
A Mass welcoming the community was said by Bishop Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen on Aug. 25 in the convent where the sisters will live.
The bishop thanked the sisters for coming to Scotland, saying that with their presence, “this place of prayer is coming alive again — alive with God’s people, God’s word, with the body and blood of the risen Christ, with the Divine Office, [and] private prayer.”
“Sisters, thanks to you, the religious life in this diocese is being enriched. And so we are all being enriched. By religious life, I mean the consecrated life, the life of those who profess the Gospel counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience, usually lived in community,” he added.
“And when the consecrated life is being lived by women or men with freshness and zeal, everyone — laity and clergy — is inspired and comforted, bonded and united,” Bishop Gilbert said.“The Trinity is one, and the Church is one, and the different states of life flow in and out of one another, enhancing and enriching.”
Alluding to recent political struggles surrounding the redefinition of marriage to accommodate same-sex couples and other cultural challenges, Bishop Gilbert warned that it is “not going to get easier in Scotland being Christian and Catholic.”
“But love conquers everything,” he said, adding that “you, of the Order of Preachers, bring us Good News!”