Dominican Parish Inspires Monastic Vocation

Picture: 
Body: 

"The mystery of the exclusive union of the Church as Bride with the Lord is expressed in the vocation of cloistered nuns, precisely because their life is entirely dedicated to God, loved above all else.”  These words of Vatican document Verbi Sponsa capture the vocation that called Sister Mary Jordan of the Holy Family, O.P., formerly Ida Friemoth of Loveland, Ohio, to a hidden life of prayer in the Deep South.

On Saturday, August 18, 2012, Sr. Mary Jordan of the Holy Family, O.P. made her Solemn Profession at the Dominican Monastery of St. Jude in Marbury, Alabama in the presence of Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi, Archbishop of Mobile, Archbishop Emeritus Oscar H. Lipscomb, Dominican friars & sisters, diocesan clergy, friends, family and her Dominican community.  Solemn Profession marks the total consecration of the nun as a bride of Christ and her permanent commitment to the Dominican life.

Sister Mary Jordan, the oldest child of Dale and Rachel Friemoth of Loveland, Ohio, first became aware of her call to religious life in her early teens.  After graduating from her family’s home school and from the inaugural year of Holy Family Catholic Home Educators’ high school co-op Mary Seat of Wisdom, Sister Mary Jordan attended Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia.  Drawn to the Order of Preachers by the witness of Dominican Friars at St. Gertrude Parish in Madeira, her family’s parish, where she participated in the high school Youth Group and the 20's Group, she first met the nuns at the Dominican Monastery of St. Jude shortly after her graduation from college.  The peace and joy of the Sisters, along with their monastic life, Latin chant, Marian consecration, and devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist made a deep impression on her.  After teaching grade school for a year at St. Edmund Campion Academy in Cincinnati, Ohio, Sister Mary Jordan joined the Alabama community in September 2006.

“Why are we so happy that Sister Mary Jordan, our guest of honor, is not able to celebrate out here in our midst?” asked Dominican Father Walter Wagner, O.P., homilist at the Profession Mass.  “Is it because as a cloistered nun she has withdrawn from the world, or dedicated her life to praying for us, or even simply chosen to live an intriguing medieval lifestyle?  No: it is because nuns have discovered the secret of life.  Every person is essentially alone, and God wants to meet us in the solitude of our interior life where we are alone with Him.  Nuns know this, embrace it, and are overflowing with joy.  Their life is a promise to us—they have gone ahead of us in anticipation of heaven.”

The cloistered Dominican nuns were founded by St. Dominic in 1206 to support the holy preaching of his friars by a life of prayer and penance.  The community in Marbury, founded in 1944, currently numbers eight nuns (including one postulant and one novice) ranging in age from nineteen to eighty-six.  Six years of formation prepare new members for the commitment of Solemn Profession.

“Many elements attracted me to the monastery,” said Sister Mary Jordan when asked about her vocation, “but there is one reason why I can make vows today ‘until death’: I am convinced that Jesus wants me to belong completely to Him, to seek Him constantly in purity of heart, and to give my life in union with Him for the salvation of souls.” (Rev. Br. Matthew Carroll, O.P.)