28th January 2013: Prioress Domenica Dethomas takes over leadership of the convent

Prioress Domenica is the 57th leader of the Benedictine community of nuns in Müstair

Elected on 11th October 2012, the new prioress Sr. Domenica Dethomas was installed on 28th January 2013, the feast day of Charlemagne. Sister Domenica Dethomas follows 32 abbesses and 24 prioresses and is now the 25th prioress of St. John’s Convent in Müstair.

The installation Mass took place in the convent church in Müstair, celebrated by the Bishop of Chur, Vitus Huonder, and in the presence of the priest, Father Gregor Imholz. 28th January is an important day for St. John’s Convent in Müstair; this day celebrates Charlemagne, the founder of the monastic community.

120 years since the last prioress from Müstair

Sr. Domenica entered the convent aged 25. Since then she has lived within the convent walls steeped in history, just 100 metres from her earlier home. At the moment she is the only member of the community who is a native of Müstair. It has been 120 years since an inhabitant of Müstair has led the Benedictine community of nuns in St. John’s Convent in Müstair.

Bringing Benedictine spirituality to the people

In her job as kindergarten teacher and later as co-worker in the museum and subprioress, Sr Domenica has had plenty of opportunities to keep in touch with the population of the valley and numerous visitors from far and near. She is committed to bringing the convent and the spirituality of the Benedictine community closer to the people outside the convent walls. Her duties as prioress are clearly defined in the Rule of St. Benedict, as is the way she should lead and represent the convent.

St. Benedict dedicates two chapters in his book of rules to the head of the community. The prioress must be aware “what a difficult and arduous task” she assumes, namely “governing souls and accommodating herself to a variety of characters.” (Rule of St. Benedict 2,13)