Nuns Need Help

Me with the nuns for my September 2012 retreat.

About this time each year I receive a letter from the good cloistered Dominican nuns in Marbury, AL — a tiny town with a small monastery of faithful sisters who pray in a hidden and quiet way for us and for the whole world; this annual letter gives an update on what they are working on and how we can help.

Last year they had a leaky roof. I recall another recent year in which they had a lot of “equipment failures” — having to replace old appliances. These nuns live in a very modest monastery and they devote themselves entirely to prayer. They do not have a gift shop, a vestment-making business, nor do they export fruitcakes or spiked eggnog. (Though I’d support all of those if they did, haha!)

This year the nuns are repairing and resurfacing sidewalks on their property. They could use our help!

This year is their Platinum Jubilee as a foundation — 75 years ago their monastery was established here in Alabama. Their newsletter writes, “On August 17, 1944, our Mother Foundresses and a novice departed from Catonsville, Maryland. It was a hot afternoon when they arrived in Montgomery, Alabama…” — the newsletter goes on to speak about the dream of Mother Mary of Jesus concerning a race riot and a monastery on a hill where people of all races knelt in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. St. Jude Monastery in Marbury, Alabama was the first integrated monastery in the Deep South — well before the Civil Rights movement reached its peak and integration of other institutions took place.

The chapel of St. Jude Monastery, Marbury, Ala.

This small but faithful group of nuns has a beautiful charism of prayer. They chant the Divine Office daily, adore our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament, pray the Rosary, and assist at Daily Mass offered by their chaplain and various other priests. They pray daily for the sanctification of priests. I encourage all who may have the opportunity to pass through the tiny town of Marbury — not far off I-65, north of Montgomery, Alabama — to pay a visit to the Sisters. Do your best to contact them in advance so that you can be sure of being able to participate in one of their times of prayer or, if possible, visit with them in the parlor.

It would be wonderful for parish groups (youth groups, sodalities, etc.) to arrange special service trips to help the sisters with their needs. There are already groups who bring them food donations; I organized a group once to go down and rake leaves on their property; I’m sure there are always ways to help and they would be grateful for it.

CAN WE HELP THE NUNS WITH THEIR FINANCIAL NEEDS THIS YEARI note that on their PayPal giving option, it’s possible to set up a monthly donation. I have set up a modest monthly gift. Perhaps some others will set up monthly gifts, so that the nuns have a more steady income to meet their ongoing expenses. Others may prefer to send a gift by check or use their bank’s bill payment service. Their monastery buildings & grounds are of the age when things need to be replaced or updated. Let’s also help them by praying for their community and for vocations. CLICK HERE TO HELP THEM.

Thank you for your support of the Dominican Nuns of St. Jude!

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