At the dawn of the third millennium, Pope St. John Paul II called the Church to “take up her evangelizing mission with fresh enthusiasm,” and to “open wide the doors to Christ!”
The Dominican Sisters of Mary are building a new Religious House (large convent) in the Diocese of Austin, Texas in order to continue spreading the Truth of Jesus Christ and to assist the diocese with the mission of educating current and future generations of Catholic schoolchildren.
To support construction of Phase I of this much-needed Religious House, we have been working diligently to complete our $30 million Open Wide the Doors capital campaign. Although we still need to raise the final $1.9 million toward our campaign goal, this past summer we stepped out in faith by breaking ground on Phase I of the Texas facility.
In addition to managing our construction project, we are honored to be teaching in three diocesan schools at both the elementary and high school levels: Santa Cruz Catholic School in Buda, and Holy Family Catholic School and St. Dominic Savio High School in North Austin.
The Sisters deeply appreciate the welcome and enthusiastic support of so many in Central Texas, including, most importantly, the current Bishop, the Most Reverend Joe Vásquez. God bless you all!
2009 → Eight Sisters arrived in the Diocese of Austin upon the invitation of then Bishop Gregory Aymond.
2011 → Through the assistance of generous benefactors, our community purchased 60.4 acre tract of land in northeast Austin, near Georgetown on the San Gabriel River.
2012 → We commenced our $30 million Open Wide the Doors capital campaign, the purpose of which was to fund Phase I construction and support initial operations at the facility. Later that year, we celebrated the Blessing of the Texas property and entrusted the project to Our Lady.
2013 → We achieved our first major project milestone by completing the construction of a temporary mission convent on the site, allowing our Texas Sisters to live in community and work on-site to oversee our project and development efforts. In addition to this convent – which eventually may be used as a guest house or chaplain residence – we also maintain current houses in North Austin and Buda.
2013 → On September 21, we were honored by the presence of Bishop Joe Vásquez of the Diocese of Austin and Bishop Michael Mulvey of Corpus Christi as they celebrated the Rite of Blessing for this mission convent.
2014 → We completed the construction and celebrated the blessing of the Texas Religious House Prayer Garden.
2017 → We made the decision to move forward with Phase I of the facility and, after competitively bidding the project, selected Zapalac/Reed as our general contractor. We broke ground on the project in late June.
Status of the Texas Religious House Construction Project
The first phase of the project comprises approximately 78,000 square feet and will include 56 cells, as well as dining, education, community, library, gymnasium, administrative, and support spaces.
Despite Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath, we have made steady progress. Under the leadership of Sr. Mary Theresa, we have been blessed with an outstanding construction team, and we expect to complete this project by late 2018.
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Please view the photos of the construction below!