aka Sister Maria Veritas

Some may remember watching a video, in the spring of 2010, in which a young Harvard grad named Mary Anne Marks — of Queens, New York — made an engaging and lively salutatory address in Latin at commencement.

Miss Marks, who turned out to be one of Deacon Greg’s parishioners, sat for an interview with Kathryn Jean Lopez at NRO before becoming a postulant with the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, trying her vocation in this fast-growing Dominican teaching order.

Harvard’s motto is Veritas, and the motto of the Dominican Order is also Veritas, so it seems sensible that, should she persevere in the life, Marks will henceforth and forever be known as Sr. Maria Veritas, who — along with 17 other young women — was clothed in the habit of the Order of Preachers on August 1, 2011.

The new novices are here pictured with the second-year novices, so it’s difficult to tell, but I believe Sr. Maria Veritas may be seen on the far right of the front row, second from the end, beside Sr. Evangeline, at the end.

Let us pray for these young sisters, and for all men and women of all ages who are discerning the working of the Holy Spirit in their lives, that their discernment may bring them to truth, and that they be graced with the courage to persevere in their callings, whatever they may be.

This is the season for clothings, professions and vows, so keep an eye out for my annual vocation round-up, which will probably be mid-month!

Related: It’s very different
from the clothing of active sisters, such as the Sisters of Mary, but here a cloistered Dominican nun describes the meaning of the habit.

UPDATE: I have removed the link to the Sisters of Mary from the text, because the site seems to be bogging things down with a very slow load. If you want to check them out, see here.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • cdenmier

    Sr. Maria Veritas. I like that! And I love her (scandalous!) story. It’s a point of light in the Church today that I thank God for. May many more follow her example!

    I’ve got to say, though, if I was at a commencement (already a boring event) and someone got up and delivered an entire address in Latin, I would seriously think of walking out.

    [I believe that address is always delivered in Latin, at Harvard's commencements, and once upon a time, all the graduates understood it, but I doubt if the speaker is usually so lively. Not sure what you mean by "scandalous" story though? Confused. -admin]

  • cdenmier

    “I believe that address is always delivered in Latin, at Harvard’s commencements.”

    I did not know that! To each their own, I suppose.

    I meant scandalous in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way…you know, a woman graduates at the top of Harvard’s class and then “wastes” it all by becoming a nun. From a Catholic perspective, her choice makes perfect sense, but I think it confounds a lot of people in our culture (making it seem scandalous in a counter-cultural kind of way). It’s a good kind of scandal though, like the scandal of the Cross…a scandal that makes people look at their preconceptions and maybe give true beauty a second glance.

  • johny


    My niece should be in that picture, she entered last year! It is hard to find her though…too grainy

  • madigan

    How wonderful that we will have so many new, smart, teaching sisters.

    Interesting post on Harvard and Veritas today at

    “Veritas is the Harvard motto, and it does mean “truth” but technically the full motto is “Veritas Christo et Ecclesiae. ‘Truth for Christ and the Church.’ There are a few places around campus that still have this, including over the doors of the Widener Library. And it’s not just any open books; the way I’ve heard it, one book is the Bible, one represents the great learning of the past in written form, and in some versions, the third book is face down, representing the necessity of God’s self-revelation beyond human reasoning that may be found in books. In fact, Emerson Hall, which houses the department of philosophy, has a biblical inscription over the doors that reads ‘What Is Man that Thou Art Mindful of Him?’, which is in the Psalms.” [Ps. 8:4].