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Posted on Mon, Feb 8, 2010 : 5:30 p.m.

Ann Arbor nuns to be featured on Tuesday's Oprah Winfrey Show

By Erica Hobbs

Before watching Ann Arbor's Andrea and Darrell Hough on The Biggest Loser at 8 p.m., a few other locals will be making national TV Tuesday.

Ann Arbor’s Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, will be featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show for a segment focusing on “hidden lives.”

“I think it’s trying to give a general overview of what it’s like in religious life,” Postulant Director Sister Amata Veritas said. “It’s a hidden way of life not many experience or see.”


Sisters pray in the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist chapel in Ann Arbor Township. The convent will be featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show on Tuesday.

Melanie Maxwell |

Veritas said more than half the show focuses on the local order, which has taken vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. The other half, according to the show’s website, features the world’s only Western geisha.

The show’s producers contacted the local order, located at 4597 Warren Road, last month. They visited the convent on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 to film the sisters in their daily lives, Veritas said. 

Founders Sister Mary Samuel and Sister John Dominic were flown to Chicago a few days later to meet Oprah and tape the show, along with sisters Francis Mary and Mary Judith.

“They’re just kind of your general, ordinary sisters,” Veritas said. “They’re a good representation of us.”

Veritas said the show chose the Sisters of Mary because it has a growing community with a large number of young vocations.

The convent opened in 1997 with four nuns and has since expanded to include 98 women. The average age of the nuns is 26.

For the Sisters themselves, Veritas said the show is a chance to spread their message to a larger audience.

“We wanted to have the opportunity to educate a wide audience on the beauty of religious life and its role in the church and its role in the world,” she said.

The shows airs at 4 p.m. Tuesday on WXYZ TV Channel 7.

“It’s going to show on the 13th anniversary of our founding,” Veritas said. “We all saw God’s hand in it.”



Tue, Feb 9, 2010 : 11:54 p.m.

I saw the Oprah show and they seem really thoughtful and intelligent. Does anyone know what they do in the community as far as charitable works? These nuns seem so much nicer than the ones I knew in Catholic schools! This article gave a pretty good account of this show. The nuns did seem to compare sex and lack of it to chocolate and wanting it.

Michigan Reader

Tue, Feb 9, 2010 : 6:48 p.m.

@ichen--I didn't mean it's hard to find a woman of high virtue, you could go to any church group and there are plenty. I meant, that taking into consideration the women and men of the U.S. as a whole, that is, all secular society too, that the nuns are far above the norm in a GOOD way. Just like Jesus. He's been and always will be unmatched as a human being. I hope you weren't offended.


Tue, Feb 9, 2010 : 11:19 a.m.

I have meet several of these women as students at Washtenaw Community College, they are sweet and wonderful.

Mark Thompson-Kolar

Tue, Feb 9, 2010 : 8:26 a.m.

This exposure could be a great thing for the order. It will be interesting what direction Oprah steers the discussion; I hope it's in a respectful one and not trying to portray nuns as "strange." I'm optimistic.


Tue, Feb 9, 2010 : 8:19 a.m.

These women have made themselves conduits for Gods love. Everyone I know who meets them is touched by them. I'm happy their story will get more attention.

Top Cat

Tue, Feb 9, 2010 : 8:18 a.m.

I speak with many of them at Dominos Farms. They are truly very warm and genuine. The only problem is that when I ask them to pray for warm weather, they tell me how much they like the winter.


Mon, Feb 8, 2010 : 8:31 p.m.

@Michigan Reader. What do you mean by "not normal women?" Do you mean that it is hard to find virtuous women who dedicate themselves to a life a virtue in such a bold way or that it is abnormal to do so?

Michigan Reader

Mon, Feb 8, 2010 : 6:58 p.m.

@interested---They may be amazingly kind, but they're not normal women---they're far above normal. To have that kind of virtue (poverty, chastity, and obedience) in today's or any day's world is unusually good.


Mon, Feb 8, 2010 : 6:04 p.m.

I've been able to get to know some of the nuns from this convent. They are amazingly kind, and normal women. I am happy that they will be able to share their lives to people who may not understand the life of nuns. I had the honor of knowing these ladies at university and have learned so much from them, even as one who is not religious.