The scoop, from Aleteia:
t was the last year of the Oprah show in Chicago and production staff were discussing what stories they hadn’t covered in their 25 year history. One woman spoke up. An “authentic” women’s religious community, she said. Oprah was hesitant. “Do you really think a community like that would be willing to be on my program?” she asked. She gave her staff permission to make some calls. All of the communities they contacted said “no,” except for one: the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist.
Founded in 1997, the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Dominican sisters have always been a community interested in engaging with the culture. The Prioress General, Mother Assumpta Long, and a council of the sisters took the request to prayer and asked for advice.
“Sr. John Dominic is a friend of Amy Grant [the singer] who had been on Oprah’s program, so she called Amy to ask for her thoughts,” recalls Sister Joseph Andrew, one of four foundresses of the community. “Amy was very encouraging so Mother phoned back, said ‘yes’ and asked when they would be coming to film, and they responded, “this Sunday evening, and we’ll be gone by Monday late afternoon.” And it all happened in just that manner!”
The Dominican Sisters of Mary appeared twice on the Oprah show in 2010 — on February 2 and again on November 23 for a follow up, after which the television crew followed them back to Ann Arbor to film a profession of vows and the celebration that followed. Both episodes featured a variety of professed and novitiate sisters and on set in the studio were Sister Mary Judith, Sister Maria, Sister Maria Catherine and the four foundresses: Mother Assumpta, Sister Joseph Andrew, Sister John Dominic and Sister Mary Samuel.
Five years later and Oprah isn’t finished with them yet. This October 18, the Sisters will be part of a “where are they now?” show on Oprah’s OWN Network.
“After the producers explained why they wanted to do this a third time, we agreed, ” says Sister Joseph Andrew. “The staff apparently said, ‘Get the Sisters back on!!’ Oprah, herself, told us four years ago that we ended up being the third most popular program that year. I think even she was surprised, but I also think she was so open to God’s grace.”