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TYLER, Texas (LifeSiteNews) –– Mother Miriam, well known to LifeSiteNews readers and listeners, has today made her final vows as part of the religious community Daughters of Mary, Mother of Israel’s Hope which she established under the initial guidance of Raymond Cardinal Burke.
In a ceremony held in the Diocese of Tyler, Mother Miriam of the Lamb of God made her final vows as a religious in the community which she leads as Prioress. Mother’s final vows mark the culmination of the lengthy process a female religious undertakes in joining a specific community. The Daughters of Mary, Mother of Israel’s Hope were born in 2008 at the invitation of then-Archbishop Raymond Burke, who established the group as a Public Association of the Faithful.
Women who discern a calling to join the community work through the various stages, culminating in the joyful and solemn ceremony of the profession of final vows. The customary time period is that final vows will take place only after 8 years at least have passed in the community.
The religious sisters are part of the wider Benedictine family of religious, and have adopted St. Benedict’s “Ora et labora” as their charism. “As a contemplative-active congregation of Benedictine Sisters, we are drawn by an intense love of God to live a life that is defined and animated by such worship,” the sisters write about their life.
Mother Miriam herself – who converted to the Catholic faith after years spent practicing Judaism and Evangelical Protestantism – recounted that her desire in establishing such a female religious life was to “restore the years the locusts had eaten with an order of sisters that would return the hemline to the floor and the habit to the world as the glorious sign to God that it is.”
After establishing the community in 2008, she completed a novitiate year with the Sisters of the Visitation of Holy Mary, an enclosed community in Massachusetts, and then accepted an invitation from Bishop Edward Slattery to move to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Slattery received her temporary vows in 2011, at which point she took the name Mother Miriam of the Lamb of God, having been known as Sister Rosalind previously.
Mother Miriam became Prioress of her fledgling community at this time, with the community’s house in Tulsa known as the Priory of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
In 2021, Bishop Gerald Vincke of the Diocese of Salina in Kansas extended an invitation to the community, after Bishop Slattery retired in Tulsa in 2016. But after a short time based in Salina, Mother Miriam moved again to Bishop Strickland’s Diocese of Tyler, Texas, after he invited her to establish a more permanent center. As of July 2022, the Daughters of Mary have been based in Tyler, and are currently in the process of fundraising and building a monastery.
The property Mother has purchased is an old conference center, and is set to hold some thirty nuns once it is suitably converted. “It’s truly the providence of God,” Mother Miriam said about closing on the property. “I’ve mentioned before that all I need to know is that we’re in God’s will and I can fly. If I had a $100 million and did not know I was in God’s will, it would mean nothing to me. But to know we’re in God’s will means everything. I desire nothing else.”
The community is devoted to use of the Church’s traditional prayers and liturgical rites, noting especially the sacrality of Gregorian Chant. “This is true liturgically speaking, as we have a tabernacle, altar and priesthood in the New Covenant, similar to the Old Covenant,” she said. “We also have Gregorian chant, which is rooted in Old Covenant worship. The Psalms were not merely read, but chanted in public worship of God, which Jesus himself participated in as a child.”
The chant forms a key part of the nuns’ daily life, with members of the community praying together the entirety of the Divine Office’s traditional hours throughout the day. Starting at 5 a.m. with Matins and Lauds, the sisters regularly return to the chapel, concluding with Compline at 8:15 p.m.
Focussing life on the mystery of the Presentation of the Infant Jesus in the temple, the nuns note how “in communion with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, pierced by a sword of sorrow, we respond by offering ourselves to the Father together with the Atoning Lamb in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and so help others to find at the altar the wellspring and the summit of the entire Christian life.”