History of the community
The first Dominican nuns settled on territory of the Czech republic already in the year 1239 in Brno (Moravia). Later there were founded other monasteries in different towns which existed and operated until destructive intervention of Austrian emperor Joseph II., who closed in his empire together with almost all contemplative orders also the monasteries of Dominican nuns.
The renewal of this branch of Dominican order in the Czech republic was one hundred and fifty years later the task of Father Metoděj Habáň OP. Thanks to him a group of candidates of this form of Dominican life obtained 30th April 1948 from Rome canonical approval of the new monastery in the north of Bohemia (in Ústí nad Labem). Hence the beginnings of our community of Dominican nuns in Znojmo date back to the middle of the 20th century.
On February 1950 the community moved to Litoměřice, but the stay here was again short. On 25th September 1950 the sisters were escorted – similar as other religious sisters in the country – by communist secret police to Bohosudov. From there the sisters were dispersed to other concentration monasteries and sent to work in different factories. After a year they were all assembled in monastery in Broumov together with approximately four hundred sisters of other religious orders. Their work was mainly embroidery. They stayed there till 1970 when they moved to Osek and in 1974 to Moravec where they operated in charitable service till the Velvet revolution in 1989. All these years were full of lack of freedom and communist persecution.
In 1990 the community moved to the former Dominican monastery in Znojmo. The buildings of this monastery were desolated by years of communist usage and extensive reconstruction was necessary. However, this monastery is not the property of sisters – it is only rented to the community – and it is also not entirely suitable for the demands of the contemplative life. For these reasons the community have decided to build smaller and more suitable monastery in the future.
The community currently consists of thirteen sisters. In the cemetery of Znojmo there are buried five oldest sisters, among them Mother Kateřina Baková.
Mother Kateřina (1906–2002) led our community as a prioress during whole forty years of communist totality. Her leadership was marked by wisdom, prudence and spirit of love. She died in the fame of holiness in Znojmo and left her sisters autobiographical and spiritual writings which excel by divine love and mercy.
From the meditations of Mother Kateřina:
„I see with the eyes of my soul the infinite abyss of Love of my Jesus by which he loves us and longs to be loved by us. I find in his holy Heart in reality the infinite abyss of God´s mercy which wants to forgive all our sins.
I see how from his holy wounds flow for ever his holy Blood and run to the ocean which is situated in his Divine Heart and exceeds all seas of this world by its immense magnitude. I hear from this ocean soft voice of infinite love of God which in his immense longing ardently calls all the time: ‘Come to me all of you! Come and do not linger, come to the source of the living water and I will save you’.”
Autobiographical writings of Mother Kateřina were already published in Czech and their English translation is available here.
|Mother Kateřina Baková|