Mother Assumpta Long, O.P., Prioress General of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, was in Wake Forest on October 29-30 for the Catholic Education Conference sponsored by the partner NAPCIS Schools of All Saints Academy and St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School.
Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Raleigh, and Fr. Phillip M. Tighe, Pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Parish, greeted Mother Assumpta upon her arrival.
The conference at St. Catherine of Siena drew Catholic School teachers and parents and homeschooling parents. Friday night began with Holy Hour and Benediction. The evening included a band concert on the lawn and a welcome to Mother Assumpta, followed by a presentation from Dr. Ray Guarendi, a clinical psychologist and authority on parenting and behavioral issues. His talk was entitled “Standing Strong as a Parent.” The conference agenda for Saturday included seminars facilitated by Mother Assumpta; Dr. Guarendi; Dr. Dan Guernsey, Headmaster of the Donahue Academy in Naples, FL; Celina Manville of All Saints Academy; and Christina Preskenis of St. Catherine of Siena School.
Mother Assumpta said that the founding of her Congregation was inspired by Pope John Paul II’s call for the “new evangelization.” Four Dominican Sisters -- Mother Assumpta, Sister Joseph Andrew Boganowicz, Sister Mary Samuel Handwerker and Sister John Dominic Rasmussen -- instituted the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in 1997.
“We are consecrated women first, and so our foremost model is Mary, the Mother of God,” said Mother Assumpta. “Inspired by the charism of St. Dominic, our prayer life comes first, and our apostolic mission overflows from contemplation nourished before the Eucharist.” After their canonical establishment, the Sisters began teaching in the Diocese of Lansing, MI. Their house was built for 100 Sisters, but since the Congregation’s establishment, its membership now stands at 113.
Due to the Order’s growth, the Sisters are looking to establish a House of Studies to enable the Sisters to continue their professional education studies in a monastic setting. They are currently investigating the purchase of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. “At first we said no, but the opportunity keeps coming back,” said Mother. “It seems like God has another plan for us!”
Twenty-two women entered the community this past September. “It’s a Pope John Paul II generation. He really put youth on fire,” said Mother, explaining the strong response to the Order. “There are so many young women who want to give their life to God, and we have a great vocation director.” Each year, the Order hosts three 24-hour discernment retreats for women ages 16-32. “We have girls flying in from all over to sleep on the floor!” Mother smiled.
Upcoming Discernment Retreats for the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist
- November 13-14
- February, 12-13
- May 21-22
For more information visit, www.sistersofmary.org.
Above: Father Philip Tighe, Pastor of Saint Catherine of Siena, Mother Assumpta Long, O.P., and Bishop Michael F. Burbidge at the Wake Forest parish prior to the celebration of Holy Hour and Benediction on October 29.