Monika Cleaver

COMING HOME

Over the years Rosary Priory and the Niland Centre have become a spiritual home for me.

Laudare, benedicere, praedicare … To praise, to bless and to preach

My road to becoming an Associate of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena Newcastle Natal at the Rosary Priory in Bushey Heath is quite different to many others in our group.  We are about twenty lay people and most of them have known one or more Sisters of the UK congregation through the schools where the Sisters taught.

For me, the first I knew of the Dominican Sisters was through Sister Regina McGarry who worked as a pastoral assistant in our parish about 30 years ago when I was bringing up three young children, with my husband often away on business.  I am not a teacher nor did my children attend any school with the Dominican ethos.  Sister Regina and I stayed good friends from the time of her work in our parish to this day.  She has a great gift of spotting a ‘potential’ Dominican at heart. Over the years, she has kept an interest in all the activities that I got involved in, from studying Pastoral Mission at Heythrop College to my work in the NHS.  She introduced me to many Dominican gatherings and also to the Niland Centre when it first opened.

Sister Regina was always there to help me discern where my faith was taking me.  She lives out the true Dominican spirit and I was very strengthened by this support when my faith was challenged.  I love being part of the reflections at the Niland Centre to which Sister invited me some years ago and which we still enjoy doing together.  We share many happy memories of the pre-planning of those sessions and the sessions themselves.  Over the years Rosary Priory and the Niland Centre have become a spiritual home for me, meeting so many wonderful Sisters.

When I was invited a couple of years ago to become an Associate, I was overjoyed.  I look forward to the future and how the association with the Dominican spirit will help enrich and strengthen each others faith and commitment.

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