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Mother Assumpta Long, O.P.

Mother Assumpta Long, O.P.It is not enough to discover Christ - you must bring him to others! The world tody is one great mission land, even in countries of long-standing tradition (Pope John Paul II).

...The church needs the spiritual and apostolic contribution of a renewed and revitalized consecrated life (Vita Consecrata, 12 &13).

In 1996 Pope John Paul II's summons for the "new evangelization" inspired four Dominican religious women to undertake a new initiative. On February 9, 1997, John Cardinal O'Connor recognized their with to develop a new institute of consecrated life and established them as a Public Association of Christ's Faithful in the Archdiocese of New York. TO signal the new community's devotional emphasis, the four sisters' Community is named "The Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist." The founding members of this new community in the Church include Mother Assumpta Long, Sister Joseph Andrew Boganowicz, Sister Mary Samuel Handwerker, and Sister John Dominic Rasmussen. Since the Assocation's establishment, its membership has grown to forty-seven.

Mother Assumpta Long, the present superior of the community , has wondered for some time whether small bands of devoted sisters sent out for apostolic service to regions where a particular religious charism was not represented might not serve to renew religious life in the United States. Mother Assumpta explains the ideal that the Dominican Sisters of Mary, the Mother of the Eucharist want to embody. "We are consecrated women first, and so our foremost model is Mary, the Mother of God. Inspired by the charism of St. Dominic, our prayer life comes first so that our apostolic overflows from a contemplation nourished before the Eucharist.

Shortly after their canonical establishment, the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist accepted an invitation from Biship Carl F. Mengeling to teach in the Diocese of Lansing. Mr. Thomas Monoghan generously welcomed the Sisters, and asked them to administer and staff the Spiritus Sanctus Academy, a new adventure in Catholic education sponsored by the Domino Foundation. Once fully developed, this system of smaller, multi-age grouping schools will provide a challenging elementary-school curriculum infused with a strong Catholic identity.

Besidese Spiritus Sanctus Academies, the Dominican Sisters of Mary are interested in assisting home schooling endeavors. They also supportthe Catholic Evidence Guild, an outreach effort to students enrolled at the University of Michigan. In keeping with one of the main themes of the new evangelization, the Sisters give individual and corporate witness to the Gospel of Life. In summary, Mother Assumpta says, "We will work in whatever forms of evangelization that the Church needs our presence."

When asked what should be done to renew religious life in the Church today, Mother Assumpta Long reflected the commitment cherished by the entire community: "The renewal of religious life will only take place if each religious renews his or her consecration to Christ as the heart and soul of one's very life. Renewal can only begin with personal conversion."

In her background, Mother Assumpta Long received her Bachelor's of Science degree in Mathematics from Peabody College, her Master's degree in Religious Studies from Providence College, and her Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Angelicum University in Rome. She has taught in Elementary and Secondary schools and Junior College, was the president of both Aquinas Junior College and The Forum of Major Superior and Director of Formation for the Sisters of Life. She is currently on Boards for a number of educational institutions including Ave Maria College in Michigan, The Consortium Perfectae Caritatis, and the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, and has been a guest speaker at many religious assemblies of the Clergy, Religious, and laity in the United States as well as been part of a speaking tour in Australia.

If you are a young Catholic woman who feels drawn to the Dominican sisters' challenge, please contact the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, 4597 Warren Rd., Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48105 or see their website at www.sistersofmary.org.