Our History

Our community was founded in England in 1994 as Roman Catholic Religious Congregation of diocesan rite, under Bishop Crispian Hollis, of Portsmouth. We belong to the Dominican Order (the Order of Preachers).

We were formed out of a little group of sisters originally belonging to the Dominican Sisters of St Catherine of Siena, Oakford. Our congregation started out of a desire for renewal and deepening of Dominican life. We currently number 13 sisters. We serve the Church through a unique balance of contemplative prayer, monastic observances (enclosure, habit, silence…), sung liturgy, and study together with an active work of proclamation and teaching of the Catholic Faith in the light of the New Evangelisation. It is from our strong fraternal life of contemplation and observances that we are enabled to carry out our apostolate as a community.

All our actions are directed to the teaching and preaching of the Catholic Faith, in any way possible and through any means available.

In doing so, we conform ourselves ever more to the mission of the Order of Preachers:

“We also undertake, as sharers of the apostolic mission, the life of the Apostles in the form conceived by St. Dominic, living with one mind the common life, faithful in the profession of the evangelical counsels, fervent in the common celebration of the liturgy, especially of the Eucharist and the divine office as well as other prayer, assiduous in study, and persevering in regular observance. All these practices contribute not only to the glory of God and our sanctification, but serve directly the salvation of mankind, since they prepare harmoniously for preaching, furnish its incentive, form its character, and in turn are influenced by it. These elements are closely interconnected and carefully balanced, mutually enriching one another, so that in their synthesis the proper life of the Order is established: a life in the fullest sense apostolic, in which preaching and teaching must proceed from an abundance of contemplation.”

– Fundamental Constitutions of the Order of Preachers, IV

Common Life

We live together under one roof, pray together, eat at one table and share everything in common so that we have nothing that we can call ‘our own’. The source of our communion is the Eucharist, celebrated daily. Charity is the purpose of our life as religious sisters. The love of God we have received is lived freely in the love we have for one another in community.

“Like the Church of the Apostles, our communion is founded, built up and made firm in the one Spirit. It is in the Spirit that we receive the Word from God the Father with one faith, contemplate Him with one heart, and praise Him with one voice. In Him we are made one body, share in the one bread, and finally hold all things in common.”

– Constitutions of the Dominican Sisters of St Joseph, 3,I.

“In order that each community be a centre of true communion, let all accept and cherish one another as members of the same body, differing in native qualities and functions, but equal in the common bond of charity and profession.”

 Constitutions of the Dominican Sisters of St Joseph, 4,I.

The Horarium – Our daily timetable

05.45 Rising Bell

06.30 Silent prayer

07.00 Office of Readings & Lauds

08.00 Study

10.00 Work

12.00 Angelus & Midday Prayer

12.15 Holy Mass (Sunday 11:00)

13.00 Lunch

14.30 Work

17.00 Rosary & Evening Prayer

18.20 Supper

19.45 Recreation

20.15 Adoration & Compline (19:30 on Sundays)

The Grand Silence follows Compline until after Morning Prayer the next day.

Visitors are welcome to join the Sisters for Mass and the Divine Office.

The horarium occasionally changes so please phone ahead to check times: 01590 681874

Religious orders are not formed for the purpose of gathering together perfect people but those who have the courage to aim at perfection.

Saint Francis de Sales

From the very beginning of the church men and women have set about following Christ with greater freedom and imitating him more closely through the practice of the evangelical counsels, each in their own way leading a life dedicated to God.

Perfectae Caritatis

Invited to leave everything  to follow Christ, you, consecrated men and women, no longer define your life by family, by profession, or by earthly interests, and you choose the Lord as your only identifying mark. Thus you acquire a new family identity.

Pope St John Paul II