History of Mt. Thabor
The two founding sisters started their religious lives many years
before in a Dominican Monastery in Union City, New Jersey.
- Our purpose was to ponder a
future contemplative mode of life within the monastic setting.
A life that was being effected by a changing society and a changing
Church. Thus begun our quest to find and realize a vision born
out of the historicity of time.
- We spent our first year in W.
Virginia at the invitation of the Bishop who was most eager to
start a new house in an experimentation of the contemplative
life in the modern world. We moved on for further investigations
along the east coast.
In the way God leads us and has
formerly led us, an invitation from the Bishop to open a house
in the Archdiocese of Detroit arrived in answer to our search
in July 1969. Kind Missionary Sisters sustained us until a suitable
place could be found.
- When a country setting did not
appear, we traveled in the poorer section of the city of Detroit
and finally spied an almost abandoned house on Grinnell Street
with a "for rent" sign. After a week scrubbing and
cleaning we moved into our new home. The Missionary Sisters provided
Mass furnishings, cooking utensils and a folding bed; the extent
of our belongings. Within weeks, generous neighbors provided
sufficient furniture to live comfortably and neighboring churches
generously supplied the needs of our chapel. Masses in our chapel
were always attended by neighbors.
- Time for our next move arrived
when Divine Providence again stepped in with little notice, and
our home was sold. Shortly before leaving Detroit, we came upon
this lovely setting in Ortonville so suited for a monastery such
as we envisioned. Without money, the owners, extraordinary people,
encouraged us to accept the ten acres of land and pay in the
future! So started the most astonishing story of blind trust
in God, as He daily provided just a little each day to allow
the project to move on to reality.
Two Geodesic Domes, the smaller
to be the chapel, were to be our Monastery. It was bitter cold
when we, without much help, dug the foundation and poured the
cement. The owners of the land called neighbors together for
volunteer help to erect the domes. The electrician and plumber,
also friends of the owners, donated all labor free of charge.
A neighboring builder freely presented himself and offered to
complete the interior. God moves the hearts of His people to
accomplish His work. Through all the building process, we remained
on the job and helped the workmen while sewing in the evening
to earn some money.
August 1, 1973
- We moved into the monastery,
which was quite incomplete but livable.
August 6, 1973
- The first wonderful feast to
be celebrated was the Transfiguration of Jesus on Mt. Thabor.
This great mystery of the Church had been the one chosen from
the very inception of this establishment. The concept of the
choice clearly pointed to transfiguration of religious life and
our place within the transfigured church. The rich essentials
of contemplative style of living fit into our space age of technology
August 8, 1973
- On the Feast of St. Dominic,
the Blessed Sacrament was first reserved in the tiny chapel that
had been carefully prepared.
1979 -- 1980
- Two buildings were added to
the Geodesic Domes. The cloister wing, which is the general living
and work area, dedicated in honor of St. Martin de Porres, O.P.
The Chapel followed, dedicated in honor of St. Catherine of Siena,
O.P. in memory of Catherine Repucci, a student victim of the
Providence College, Rhode Island fire in 1977.
November 6, 1995
- A new library wing was added.
It was blessed and dedicated in honor of St. Thomas Aquinas,
O.P. by Adam Cardinal Maida.
- The RCIA from various neighboring
parishes make annual visits to the Monastery for part of their
formation, praying Vespers with the Sisters and learning what
Monastic life is.
- Fr. Lawrence Kearney, O.P. named first permanent Chaplain
to the Monastery, St. Joseph Cottage (Chaplin House) is remodeled
and prepared for occupancy, and the Sisters had a new garage
built to house three cars and tractors.
December 8, 1999
- The community receives its official aggregation into the
- The Monastery is named a pilgrimage site for the Jubilee
September 19, 2001
- Ground breaking for St. Dominic Wing. The new Wing will be
the community dormitory, recreation and conference room, and
April 15, 2002
- St. Dominic Wing is blessed and dedicated in honor of St.
- The building of Transfiguration Retreat House was begun the
day after Palm Sunday and completed by August 10, 2003.
August 10, 2003
- Thirty years established in Ortonville, Michigan is celebrated.
Transfiguration Retreat House is
blessed. New outdoor Blessed Mother Statue
and St. Dominic Statue, created by Suzanne Young, are blessed.
September 21, 2003
- New outdoor Stations of the
Cross, created by Suzanne Young, are blessed.
- The original Chapel was enlarged
to create space for the public attendance of ceremonies.
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