The Dominican nuns of Elmira, who have resided at Monastery of Mary the Queen since 1944, plan to close the monastery and relocate approximately one year from now.
According to a Christmas 2013 newsletter from the monastery, the cloistered sisters expect to move to Illinois and build a smaller, easier-to-maintain motherhouse by late 2014 or early 2015. The newsletter noted that Father Bruno Cadore, master (worldwide leader) of the Order of Preachers — also known as the Dominicans — "has urged the nuns around the world to reflect on their future due to the lack of vocations."
The Elmira Dominicans’ previous newsletter, dated Sept. 29, 2013, had first raised the probability of a move, explaining that the community has not received new vocations "in a number of years" and asking for prayers while stating that "it is a tremendous undertaking to empty and close a monastery after living here for almost 70 years."
Monastery of Mary the Queen is located at 1310 W. Church St., a half-mile west of Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Although as a cloistered community the sisters do not leave monastery grounds, they have maintained ties with the general public by making daily Mass available and inviting prayer requests to be mailed to them. The monastery also hosts the Third Order Dominicans, a branch of the Order of Preachers created for laypeople. Elmira’s chapter is the only lay Dominican group in the Diocese of Rochester.