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Alumna Sr. Johanna of the Holy Spirit (Maire Kathleen “Dubh” O’Donnell, ‘09) made her final vows with the Poor Clares this past Thursday, July 22. Sr. Johanna, who has been cloistered with the Poor Clares since 2012, is Christendom’s fifty-second alumna sister, devoting her life to prayer, contemplation, and fulfilling the college’s mission of “restoring all things in Christ.”

Sr. Johanna of the Holy Spirit (Maire Kathleen “Dubh” O’Donnell, ‘09)

Sr. Johanna graduated from Christendom in 2009, earning her Bachelor’s degree in English language and literature. Soon after, she entered the Mary, Mother of the Church Monastery in Alexandria, Virginia, joining the Poor Clares and beginning her cloistered life. Her final vows on July 22 marked the final chapter in her vocational journey, along with the first time she was able to embrace her family since entering the monastery.

After taking her final vows, Sr. Johanna became the third professed alumna at Mary, Mother of the Church Monastery. Sister Mary Charitas of the Child Jesus (Patricia Schneible, ’94) and Sister Mary Christiana of Jesus Our King (Margaret Barry, ’93) have both been a part of the community of sisters since the 1990s.

Together, the three alumnae are part of the group of 52 alumnae who have become sisters since the college’s founding. That number will grow to 53 this fall when Becky Derks (’19) takes her vows as a Dominican Nun of the Perpetual Rosary.

2021 has been a tremendous year for vocations at Christendom, with four priests ordained so far and a fifth on the way later this year. While Christendom’s founder, Dr. Warren H. Carroll, founded the school primarily to form Catholic lay people who would impact the world in every field, the school’s vibrant Catholic culture has unsurprisingly helped foster nearly two hundred religious vocations over the past nearly 44 years.

Sr. Johanna of the Holy Spirit embracing her father, College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell.

In total, Christendom currently has 98 alumni priests, 52 sisters, 6 brothers, 3 transitional deacons, 1 permanent deacon, and 16 men currently studying for the priesthood, along with 519 alumnus-to-alumna marriages.

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