Sister Marie Dominic, right, professes her first vows as a cloistered nun May 28 at Corpus Christi Monastery in Menlo Park, Calif. Sister Marie Dominic was an attorney and an evangelical Christian in Anchorage, Alaska, who joined the Catholic Church during her last months of law school. (CNS photo/courtesy Sister Marie Dominic)
MENLO PARK, Calif. (CNS) -- Tara Clemens was an Anchorage, Alaska, attorney, and an evangelical Christian who joined the Catholic Church during her last months of law school.
On May 28, she made first vows as Sister Marie Dominic of the Incarnate Word, a cloistered Dominican nun at Corpus Christi Monastery in Menlo Park.
With first vows, Sister Marie Dominic received the black veil, replacing the white veil of novices.
"The priest says, 'Accept the sacred veil by which you may be recognized as a house of prayer for your Lord and a temple of intercession for all people,'" Sister Marie Dominic said. "The center of the contemplative life of the Dominican nuns is the love of God.
"As a nun inside the cloister, even though I can never leave, I can embrace the whole world with that love and intercede for the whole world," Sister Marie Dominic told Catholic San Francisco, the archdiocesan newspaper.
First vows are for three years. Those vows will be followed by two one-year renewals as she and the community continue to discern her vocation. At Corpus Christi Monastery, a nun is in formation for a total of seven-and-a-half to eight years before professing solemn vows, that is, vows until death.