Dax: the Dominicans open the doors of their monastery this weekend

“Of course society is going through serious crises. But hope prevails: there will definitely be a spring,” recalls Sister Marie in the cloister of the monastery, on the morning of this Wednesday, November 23. Installed near two cypresses and a palm tree, “the bell wakes everyone up at 6 o’clock,” says Sister Merete. Prioress of the community, this nun from Norway appreciates this dialogue of the Dominicans that the nuns will undertake during Operation Pause at the monastery this weekend.

Break at the monastery

The Dominican sisters of Dax are opening the doors of their monastery at 62, rue Gambetta, on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 November. Between 2 and 6 p.m., people aged 18 to 35 will be able to discover the daily life of the nuns during a Break at the monasteryan operation of the Catholic Church of France carried out for Advent.

“We are sometimes seen as aliens. These two afternoons will allow people who do not know the Church, whether they believe it or not, to see the life we ​​lead. A simple, focused life. A daily life of prayer, work and silence. From dawn to dusk. From lauds to compline. Anachronistic? “We keep talking about meditation, about spiritual retreat,” replies Sister Marta. We are going to think of Tibet, of India… Not of Christians. It shows how much we failed to convey our message or we distanced ourselves from people. »


Thus, it would be wrong to think that the reasons for concern are absent from the thoughts of the nuns. “You just have to go out into the street and observe all these people around you who are leaning on a smartphone”, points out the prioress of the monastery. Sister Merete is surprised by this relationship that people now have through this technology. “We are present with people who are elsewhere… And no longer with those around us. »

“The promise of the smartphone was to have more time for us. It’s the opposite that happens, it turned against us”, says Sister Marta. Coming from Poland, the observation of the nun is the same as that posed by the Catholic writer George Bernanos in “La France contre les robots”, his pamphlet dated 1947: “A world won by technology is lost for freedom. »

“A world won by technology is lost to freedom”

The sisters themselves confess their temptation to type on the screen of their device. “Information comes to us all the time, true or false. It’s very easy to get influenced. For young people, being able to form an opinion, having their own strength to think, is a matter of courage,” shares Sister Anne-Violaine.

At the source

To a society that is splitting apart, she opposes the tiny life she goes through with her Dominican sisters. “Living together is possible. We all come from different origins, with different characters and backgrounds. And yet, we are a community. »

The latter, however, was put to the test. “The decline in practitioners and vocations since the 1950s and a society that has changed,” notes Sister Merete. The publication of the Sauvé report and the latest revelations of sexual abuse in the Church remain “a wound” for these nuns.

” It’s painful. Without appeal. But it’s a good thing to know. There were too many facts hidden under the rug. We can no longer function like this,” says Sister Marta. She shares with Sister Anne-Violaine the feeling of having “the opportunity to restart something” when the future becomes unreadable and the mass seems to be over.

Dax: the Dominicans open the doors of their monastery this weekend