A New Monastery on The Hill

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After settling in Western Canada 13 years ago, the Dominican Contemplative Nuns welcomed hundreds of guests, both lay and religious, to their new home for the dedication Mass of Queen of Peace Monastery. 

“This monastery and its chapel bridge the gap between beauty in the world of nature and the unfathomable beauty of eternal life, between the beauty of things and God Who is beauty itself,” Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, said during his homily Aug. 8 on the Feast of St. Dominic. Archbishop Miller celebrated the Mass with Friar Andre Descoteaux, OP, the Dominican Order provincial; Dominican priests from across Canada; and many priests of the archdiocese.  

“We are praying that this monastery will be for the Dominican nuns, and for all of us, a place where God reveals Himself,” Archbishop Miller continued.  He said the monastery reveals God’s “tremendous majesty” in the natural beauty of Canada, which he called a reflection of Mount Zion.

The monastery sits in the Coast Mountains in Squamish, out of range of cell phones. The building sits on a hilltop and behind the altar of the chapel are floor-to-ceiling windows, giving a view of the property and the surrounding glaciers. “With stone, and wood, and glass, this building points to the One Who is our Rock of Refuge,” Archbishop Miller said. “Truly, the beauty here is a pathway to God, and the choral prayer, the Church’s praise of the Creator which the nuns faithfully carry out in this chapel.”

In November 1999, with the sponsoring support of Farmington Hills Monastery, a group of five nuns coming from monasteries in the United States , responded to a call from the Master of the Order, Brother Timothy Radcliffe, who asked that all the branches of the Order establish a Dominican presence on the West Coast of Canada which is a place of mission and the door to Asia. 

Sr Claire Rolf, OP