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Dominicans of the Monastery of the Heart of Jesus – Lockport, Louisiana facts for kids

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The Dominicans of the Monastery of the Heart of Jesus are located in Lockport, Louisiana.

The strictly cloistered Nuns live a penitential life of prayer, study, community and work. They are consecrated to God by public profession of the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience. They have retained the full Habit, monastic customs and regular observances of the Nuns of the Order of Preachers.


The Dominican Nuns came into existence 800 years ago (1206) when Saint Dominic began his Order of Preachers by first establishing a cloistered monastery of women in Prouille, France. In 1880, Dominican monastic life took root in the United States. Approximately 50 years later, only days after her sixteenth birthday, the then Anna Rita McKanna (later receiving the name in religion, Sister Mary Henry of Jesus, O.P.) entered the Dominican Monastery of the Blessed Sacrament in Detroit, Michigan (since relocated to Farmington Hills, Michigan). Shortly after her solemn profession of vows there, this exemplary young religious was chosen to be one of the foundresses of the Dominican Monastery of the Infant Jesus in Lufkin, Texas (1945). Thirty-six years later, the Reverend Mother Mary Henry of Jesus, O.P., set out to found the Dominican Monastery of the Heart of Jesus in Lockport, Louisiana. While awaiting pontifical recognition, the Lockport foundation adheres to the ideals and practices of the Nuns of the Order of Preachers (“Second Order”) and, for the time being, is of diocesan right as an autonomous juridic person, with canonical status in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux.

The Dominican Nuns of the Monastery of the Heart of Jesus in Lockport, Louisiana are in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church, accepting all Magisterial teachings and directives.


The Monastery's extern Chapel is open during daylight hours. Anyone is welcome to attend the morning conventual Masses (1962) offered by the resident Dominican chaplain. There is daily Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament followed by Eucharistic Adoration. Seven times each day, the Nuns chant the Hours of the traditional Dominican Divine Office. They also pray the Holy Rosary in common every afternoon.


While all donations are accepted with sincere gratitude, the Dominican Monastery of the Heart of Jesus is supported primarily by the devoted labor of the Nuns themselves. They provide altar bread throughout their own Diocese and beyond. Annually, they sew almost a thousand ceremonial garments for the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. They send out their own Mass & Enrollment cards. Cord and bead rosaries are handmade to fill both standard orders and special requests for the Habits of friars and monks. As a limited seasonal enterprise, a small bakery/cannery is attached to the back of the Monastery.


There is also a guesthouse on the monastery grounds with accommodations for individuals or groups. There are openings available year round. Discernment-based days consist of sharing in the liturgical prayer life of the Dominican Nuns within a balanced schedule that includes a daily series of personal/group interviews and question sessions in the grille parlor. It is during this time that a particular vocation to the Community may be explored. Private or silent retreats are an option generally exclusive to priests and religious. However, arrangements may be considered for others such as seminarians, tertiaries, or single women. Advance reservations are required.

Important Update

The cloistered Dominicans of the Monastery of the Heart of Jesus have chosen to withdraw from social media and primarily to use "snail mail" correspondence. This decision is part of the Community’s return to the traditional expression of Dominican monasticism as per Summorum Pontificum (2007) and Universæ Ecclesiæ (2011).

Contact Information

Vocational inquiries and prayer requests may be sent to the address listed below:

Monastery of the Heart of Jesus
155 Church Street
Lockport, Louisiana 70374-2552

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