The new Queen of Peace Monastery sits on top of a hill about 30 minutes' drive from Squamish. The $5-million cost was raised partly by the sisters, with the rest coming from a mortgage. Several religious orders made financial sacrifices to help the sisters complete the monastery on time. The building comes 11 years after the Dominican Contemplative Nuns made their foundation in B.C. Nathan Rumohr / The B.C. Catholic.
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB
This is an excerpt from a homily given Aug. 8 at Queen of Peace Monastery.
Here we are on the feast of St. Dominic, "in festal gathering," coming together for this historic and festive occasion in this place soon to be made sacred for many generations, even many centuries, to come.
This morning we are praying this monastery will be for the Dominican Nuns - and for all of us - a place where God reveals Himself both in His tremendous majesty in this British Columbian reflection of Mount Zion which you can see before you, and where He is truly present in our midst as the living God Who gives us a foretaste of the heavenly Jerusalem in the Eucharist which will be celebrated in this chapel.
This monastery and its chapel bridge the gap between beauty in the world of nature and the unfathomable beauty of eternal life, between the beauty of things and God Who is beauty itself.
In the words of Pope Benedict, "beauty is one of mankind's greatest needs; it is the root from which the branches of our peace and the fruits of our hope come forth. Beauty also reveals God because, like Him, a work of beauty is pure gratuity; it calls us to freedom and draws us away from selfishness."
The way of beauty is a privileged and fascinating path on which to approach the Mystery of God. What is the beauty that we see here in the tall trees, splendid glacier, and plain before us other than a reflection of the splendour of the eternal Word made flesh, the true Splendor Veritatis?
How blessed, indeed how truly blessed, we are to have a third monastery in our archdiocese, adding to the splendid gifts of monastic life already present with the Benedictine monks at Westminster Abbey and the Poor Clares in Mission.
Monasticism and the contemplative life are, as Blessed John Paul said, "a constant reminder that the primacy of God gives full meaning and joy to human lives," because we are made for God and our hearts are restless until they rest in Him.
In a radical way, the mystery of the exclusive union of the Church as Bride with her Lord and Bridegroom is expressed in the vocation of our beloved Dominican nuns. In their new monastery they will return to the enclosure of the cloister, certainly not to be removed from us, but to be more present to our hearts and souls as never before.
Their monastic life is a reminder to us all of our fundamental vocation to live in the presence of God and for Him above all else. Theirs is a blessed foreshadowing of the goal towards which we, the entire community of the Church, is journeying: all of us who are called to the Supper of the Lamb of God.
In a similar way, this monastery takes its place in the great Dominican tradition of contemplation of the Word of God, of always speaking with God and about God, like its saintly Founder, Dominic. The Constitutions of the Order of Preachers give great importance to the pondering, the ruminating, the chewing of the Word of God, to lectio divina.
St. Dominic wanted his followers to devote themselves to the study of God's Word without reserve, with diligence and piety, yet always respectful of the questions asked by reason. They were to find profound "inner joy" in contemplating the beauty of the truth that comes from God, a truth that is always timely and life-giving.
The motto of the order, contemplata aliis tradere, requires that even those who live enclosed in a monastery must find appropriate ways to communicate to others the fruit of their own contemplation. We are counting on you, dear Sisters, not only to pray for us but to share with us, in ways appropriate to your cloistered life, what the Lord is saying to us individually and as a community which loves you.
As I dedicate this splendid chapel and bless this monastery with you, dear sisters and faithful gathered here, I implore the Lord to Whom we lift up our eyes above the mountains from whence shall come our help that, from this altar, which will now be anointed with sacred chrism and upon which the Sacrifice of the love of Christ will be consumed, there will be a flood of grace and love poured out upon the Dominican Nuns of Queen of Peace Monastery, upon our archdiocese, and upon the whole world which has been reconciled to God by the Blood of the Cross.