The convent of the Premonstratensian Sisters in Doksany (Czech Republic)  

The beginning of the convent in Doksany reached to the year of 1144 when it was founded by Princess Gertruda as a sisters´ convent of the monastery of Strahov in Prague. It always belonged to the largest and most inportant women´s convents in Bohemia. Its history was similar to that of many other monasteries: flourishment as well as decay, wealth as well as poverty, wars, floods, fires. The regular life lasted uninterrupted till 1782 when the convent was abolished according to the order of Emperor Joseph II. At that time there lived 49 sisters. Then it served as an army hospital for a short time and at the end it was solved to a noble family of Aehrenthals that rebuilt it into a castle. The north wing was used as stables and cowshed. These adaptations together with a gradual decay under the communist regime led to a complete devastation. The church and parish house remained in the administration of Premonstratensians from Strahov with a short break during communism.
The first attempt to renew contemplative life of the Premonstratensian sisters was made at the beginning of the 20th century. Several girls started their formation in the convent of Zwierzyniec in Cracow, Poland, but after they returned it turned out that it was not possible to begin a cloistered regular life because of the reasons given by the church and state administration. That was why the Congregation of the Premonstratensian Sisters of the Holy Mountain came into existence (1902) which began to devote to apostolic works. But the desire for a life more strictly contemplative did not disappeared from the hearts of sisters.
In 1989 the fall of the communist regime brought freedom for the Church. And so the idea to renew contemplative life could become reality step by step. This initiation was supported by brethren of Strahov monastery as well.
The ancient convent in Doksany which regardless of all devastation was still standing was chosen as a place of living for the first sisters. In 1997 Strahov monastery bought a north part of the former convent from the state and its reconstruction started to be planned. Father Abbot Michael Pojezdný asked the canonry of Cracow to send sisters to renew their former mother convent (the convent in Cracow was founded in 1164 from Doksany).
With the blessings of Father Abbot Michael, prioress of the convent of Cracow Mother Paula Torczyňska and superior general of the Congregation Mother Bohuslava Maceková the four sisters (two from Poland and two from the Czech Republic) began their community life on 31.1. 1998 – provisionally in the parish house. The community has gradually grown and undergone the formation.
Since December 1998 the renovation works in the part of the convent were done. In December 2002 the works on one wing were finished so that in January 2003 the community could move in and on 31.1. 2003 the benediction of that part of the building took place. We thank God, the canonry of Strahov, the whole Premonstratensian Order and all who supported us during that time.
The renovation of the other part of the building will continue according to the financial sources.
The main aim of the renewal of the convent in Doksany was the return of a contemplative form of life of the Premonstratensian sisters to Bohemia to continue the old tradition of our Order when sisters helped the apostolate of brethren through their life of prayer and sacrifice.
So our main mission is the life of prayer. As members of the canons´ order we put the main emphasis on the solemn liturgical prayer. Thus we fill the mission to serve the Church in the first place (Constitutions Nr. 29, 30). We also support with our prayers our brethren in their apostolate and intercede for all who ask us to pray for their needs. On the intercession of St. Norbert we pray for God´s help for expectant mothers, their children and families as the family life is undergoing a deep crisis nowadays. To a certain extent our community is also open to those who look for a place of silence, prayer and spiritual refreshment (Constitutions Nr. 26).
Those people can take part in our liturgical prayers, they have time for private prayer and spiritual reading and can ask for a spiritual guidance of a sister or of one of Premonstratensian priests living in the parish house. The association of tertiaries is being formed as well, with whom we are in regular contact.
Besides of household chores necessary for everyday life of the community we make liturgical vestments and chalice linen - from this we have also a certain income. We clean and decorate the church which is at the same time the parish church and work in the garden (0.5 hectar) where we grow vegetables for our own use and medicinal herbs.
Our community lives in the part of the country where there is an overwhelming majority of non-believers. That is why we would like to be an oasis of spiritual life spreading God´s glory and intercessions for spiritual healing of the diocese, nation and country to whose patrons saint St. Norbert belongs.