My heart will belong only to God. He is my love!
– St. Paul of the Cross
Deep in the wooded serenity of 170 acres near Whitesville Kentucky, we continue Passionist contemplative life begun in Italy by the greatest mystic of the 18th century, St. Paul of the Cross. After founding the Passionist Congregation for men he then founded the Passionist Nuns in 1771. He was driven by a desire to comfort Christ in His sacred Passion and make Him more known and loved by all.
Our life as Passionist contemplative nuns flows from the personal love of Christ for us manifested in His passion, death and resurrection. We seek to comfort Him in His Sacred Passion by loving our Sisters in community life and through Divine Worship. This is expressed most powerfully in our participation in the Holy Mass which is the highpoint of our monastic day. Through this union with our Sacramental Spouse in the Eucharist we are empowered to persevere in this loving union with Christ Crucified.
We pray the full Liturgy of the Hours, the official prayer of the Church, which extends the fruits of the Mass throughout the day. This consists in psalms, hymns, scripture readings, readings from the saints and prayers. Although most of our chanting is done in English we do hold the use of Latin in high esteem and incorporate Latin hymns into our Liturgy.
We have an hour of prayer in the morning where we come to Jesus in the silence of our cells, the outdoors or before the Blessed Sacrament and spend time with Him alone. Each evening we have exposition of the Blessed Sacrament during Evening Prayer and the hour of private prayer.
We make a special vow to promote devotion to and a grateful remembrance of the Passion of Christ. This vow expresses the specific purpose of our Institute and gives inspiration and unity to our lives. We also make the vows of chastity, poverty, obedience and enclosure. We live our vows in the atmosphere of Christ’s sacrificial love and offer ourselves with Him to the Father for the salvation of our brothers and sisters. In all our life we seek to imitate Our Lady of Sorrows—the Handmaid of Redemption.
Our formation program, steeped in sacred Scripture and the mystics, nourishes heart and mind and develops the whole person. We greatly enjoy the family spirit of our community, therefore we have daily recreation with one another which may include hiking, playing games or just being together. Our work is simple and includes kitchen work, laundry, cleaning, infirmary, computer work, sewing, printing work, answering letters, phones and doors and caring for our 170 acres of woods, lake and open field. We host a small retreat house, an oasis of prayer for people hungering for deeper union with God.
We occasionally host vocation discernment retreats in response to the request of St. Pope John Paul the Great that all religious communities make known the great joy and value of a life consecrated to God. This gives young women an opportunity to learn more about our Passionist charism, living a life of worship and intercession and the liberation that comes from a radical embrace of the Gospel.
We also have opportunities for live-ins inside the monastery to help women in their discernment about our life. We arrange these after getting to know you better and you us through correspondence, phone calls and letters of recommendation.
In accord with St. Paul of the Cross’ original inspiration, we wear the full religious habit. We are faithful to the Magisterium and we love being brides of Christ and daughters of the Holy Catholic Church.
Through our monastic life of joyful prayer, penance, silence, solitude and virtue we enter deeply into the pierced heart of Christ, interceding for the needs of the Church and the world and giving unceasing praise and thanks to the Holy Trinity. As “Daughters of the Passion” we dwell on Calvary next to our Sorrowful Mother comforting Christ her Son. This blog is consecrated to these Two Hearts.
A Life of Intercession and Reparation
Let them have at heart the conversion of sinners…the sanctification of the neighbor, freedom of souls in purgatory and the exaltation of Holy Mother Church. Let them pray also for the Sovereign Pontiff…and for all evangelical workers…
A Life of Worship and Self-Gift
To this end, let them frequently offer to the Eternal Father the Passion of Jesus Christ. This being the very end of the Institude of the Daughters of the Cross and Passion of Jesus Christ.
~ St. Paul of the Cross in his Primitive Regulations
for the Passionist Nuns 1772