Dominican Sisters of the Heart of Jesus

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The Dominican Sisters of the Heart of Jesus are located in Lockport, Louisiana.[1][2]

The cloistered[3] sisters live a penitential life of prayer, study, community and work.[4][5] They are consecrated to God by public profession (of simple, private vows) of the evangelical counsels[6] of chastity, poverty and obedience. They have the full Habit, monastic customs and regular observances of the nuns of the Order of Preachers.[7] This community is under jurisdiction of the local Ordinary, or Bishop. This community, however, though descended from a Second Order Monastery, is not a member of the Second Order of Friars Preachers and has yet to gain full recognition by the Dominican Order. They have the status of public association of the faithful, and have simple, private vows. They have constitutional rather than Papal enclosure. While awaiting pontifical recognition, the Lockport foundation adheres to the ideals and practices of the nuns of the Order of Preachers[8], though, again, not being member of the said Second Order and, for the time being, is of diocesan right as an autonomous juridic person, with canonical status in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux.[9] Technically they are not "nuns" because only religious who profess solemn vows can rightly be called 'nuns'. Since they only have simple, private vows they are not technically religious.


The Dominican Nuns came into existence 800 years ago (1206) when Saint Dominic began his Order of Preachers by first establishing a cloistered monastery of women in Prouille, France.[10] In 1880, Dominican monastic life took root in the United States.[11] Approximately 50 years later, only days after her sixteenth birthday, the then Anna Rita McKanna (later receiving the name in religion, Sister Mary Henry of Jesus, O.P.)[12] entered the Dominican Monastery of the Blessed Sacrament in Detroit, Michigan (since relocated to Farmington Hills, Michigan). Shortly after her solemn profession of vows there, this exemplary young religious was chosen to be one of the foundresses of the Dominican Monastery of the Infant Jesus in Lufkin, Texas (1945).[13] Thirty-six years later, the Reverend Mother Mary Henry of Jesus, O.P., set out to found the Dominican Monastery of the Heart of Jesus in Lockport, Louisiana.[14]


There is also a guesthouse on the monastery grounds with accommodations for individuals or groups. There are openings available year round. Discernment-based days consist of sharing in the liturgical prayer life of the Dominican Nuns within a balanced schedule that includes a daily series of personal/group interviews and question sessions in the grille parlor. It is during this time that a particular vocation to the Community may be explored. Private or silent retreats are an option generally exclusive to priests and religious. However, arrangements may be considered for others such as seminarians, tertiaries,[15] or single women. Advance reservations are required.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Catholic Directory: Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux
  2. ^ A Guide to Religious Ministries for Catholic Men and Women (
  3. ^ Verbi Sponsa: Instructio de vita contemplativa deque monialium clausura Archived March 15, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Augustine, Saint. The Rule of Saint Augustine. 
  5. ^ Fundamental Constitution of the Nuns. 1987. 
  6. ^ Gambari, J.C.D., Reverend Elio (1986). Religious Life according to Vatican II and the new Code of Canon Law. Boston, MA: Daughters of St. Paul. p. 668. ISBN 0-8198-6416-1. 
  7. ^ Constitutions of the Nuns of the Sacred Order of Preachers. Vatican: Polyglot Vatican Press. 1930. p. 236. 
  8. ^ Liber constitutionum Monialium Ordinis Prædicatorum. USA: Master of the Order of Preachers. 1987. p. 153. 
  9. ^ Code of Canon Law. Washington, D.C.: Canon Law Society of America. 1983. p. 668. ISBN 0-943616-19-0. 
  10. ^ Hinnebusch, O.P., D.Ph. (Oxon.), William A. (1966). The History of the Dominican Order: Origins and Growth to 1500, volume one. Staten Island, NY: Alba House. p. 439. 65-17977. 
  11. ^ A Short History of the Dominican Order in the U.S.: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-14. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  12. ^ "Obituaries of August 2003 Thibodaux, Lafourche Parish, La.: Mother Mary Henry of Jesus, O.P.,". The Lafourche Daily Comet. 30 August 2003. 
  13. ^ History of the Dominican Monastery of the Blessed Sacrament - Michigan: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-07. Retrieved 2012-01-03. 
  14. ^ Brief History of the Dominican Monastery of the Heart of Jesus, Lockport, Louisiana. Lockport, LA. 2003.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  15. ^ Official Newsletter of the Lay Dominicans of the Southern Province:

External links[edit]