About Our Foundation
"My Peace I give to you." These are the words of Jesus in St. John’s Gospel, words that have found a deep resonance in the heart of each one of us here at our monastery in Western Canada, where Master General Timothy Radcliffe, O.P. requested volunteers to found an English-speaking Dominican monastery in Canada.
It all began on November 27, 1999, with First Vespers of Advent when nuns came from different monasteries in the United States with the generous support of the Monastery of the Blessed Sacrament in Farmington Hills, MI as the sponsoring monastery.
We started out in Rosemary Heights in Surrey, where we lived in a very small house. Two years later we were able to acquire a home on Agricultural Land Reserve in the Fort Langley area. We raised sheep to maintain our farm status and tried to support ourselves through the sale of our monastic arts of prayerfully created sculpture, liturgical linens, cards and icons.
In October 2009 Sr. Claire Marie Rolf, OP was appointed by the Master of the Order, Father Carlos Alfonso Azpiroz Costa, OP the first Prioress of the Monastery and in 2012 was elected by the Community. The foundation thrived and on October 17, 2009 was cannonically errected as the Holy See, the Order of St. Dominic and the Archbishop of Vancouver, affirmed that our community had reached maturity and could be formally recognized and “given the privileges and spiritual favors and obligations which all Monasteries of the Dominican Order legitimately enjoy.”
We outgrew our temporary home in Fort Langley and therefore relocated north of Vancouver in the Upper Squamish Valley while construction began on our permanent monastery building. On the feast of St Dominic, August 8, 2012, after 17 months of construction our Chapel and Monastery were blessed by Archbishop Michael Miller and we are now in a monastic environment.
The community has continue to grow in every sense of the word. Sr. Maria Dominica, outgrew the earthly life and entered eternal life shortly before our monastery was blessed. Some nuns have gone back to their original monasteries to keep the fire burning. New members have been born. The community and the grounds blossom and bloom. We have a beautiful organic garden from where our neighbor supplies organic produce to the local community, and the proceeds help us maintain our farm status.
We continue to expand our creativity in candle making, pottery, soap making and wood working. Nuns live by the sweat of their brow, aided by the generosity of the People of God around. Today in 2017 Sr. Marie Tersidis is the prioress and we have four members of our community aspiring to become Nuns of the Order of Preachers in formation.
We offer Monastic Welcome to those who are seeking a time of silence and prayer, providing a beautiful sacred space for individuals to get away from the ‘rat race’ and experience the ancient monastic rhythm of life with its ebb and flow of liturgical prayer and silence. It is fitting that we should choose a place where the Creator of the Universe can speak to hearts in the midst of Canada’s awesome natural beauty.