"There must be a place in the monastery
reserved for God alone, just as the nun is set apart for God alone. This is the purpose and meaning of the monastery chapel"
St . Dominic’s Monastery has a long and varied history that spans two continents over the course of more than a hundred years.
In 1907, two courageous nuns were sent out from the Dominican monastery in Union City, New Jersey to cross the continent and pioneer a new foundation in the far reaches of the West. After only two years in Baker City, Oregon, the local bishop insisted that the nuns leave their enclosure to do something “useful” as teachers or nurses. This compelled them to seek elsewhere for a diocese that would welcome them and support their particular vocation as contemplative nuns. The bishop of La Crosse, Wisconsin warmly welcomed the nuns and helped to establish them in a small house until they could build a monastery, which they thought would be their permanent home.
Eventually, a temporary monastery was built and the community began to flourish, but the effects of the confusion in the Church following the Second Vatican Council reduced the Catholic community to such straits that by the 1980’s there were not enough priests in the diocese to minister to the nuns. They were compelled to leave the enclosure to attend Mass.
Yearning for a home where their vocation would be supported and could be faithfully lived, Sr. Mary Martin, O.P. and Sr. Mary Paul, O.P. courageously pulled up roots and moved the community ‘temporarily’ to Washington D.C. in order to be near the friars at the Dominican House of Studies. After twenty-two years, the community had outgrown this dwelling and they began searching for property more conducive to the contemplative life where they could build a permanent monastery. A suitable site was found in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the diocese of Arlington. After several years of careful planning, construction of the new monastery began.
In 2008, the community finally moved into the partially completed St. Dominic’s Monastery on top of Blue Mountain near the town of Linden, Virginia, sixty miles west of Washington, DC. However, escalated construction costs necessitated a modification of the original plans, thus, some areas of the monastery had to be ‘temporarily’ repurposed and others left unfinished.
They were warmly welcomed by Bishop Paul Loverde and his brother priests, as well as by the neighbors and faithful of the Diocese of Arlington.
The monastery has become known to its local neighbors and diocese, offering a haven of peace and interceding for their needs, while receiving gratefully the material and financial support of its benefactors.
Capital Campaign Brochure
St. Dominic’s faithful donors will be asked to support this building campaign, but they cannot do it alone. The sisters are also seeking major gifts to help secure the $8.5 million necessary to complete St. Dominic’s Monastery and build the permanent Chapel by December 31, 2025.