Whistleblower Carmelite nun appointed Prioress of Boston monastery

Mother Dawn Marie and Bishop Mark O’Connell

Mother Dawn Marie, the former mother superior of the Guam Carmelites, was named the Prioress of the Danvers Carmel Monastery in Boston, Massachusetts by Bishop Mark O’ Connell on July 16.

The promotion occurred on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the patroness of the Carmelite order.

It was Mother Dawn, who blew the whistle in 2016 on a toxic environment ex-archbishop Anthony Apuron allegedly created for the peaceful and cloistered nuns. In a November 2016 interview, the mother superior broke her silence about a documented attempt by Apuron to pressure the Carmelites to lie that the intended use of the former Redemptoris Mater seminary in Yona was for the formation of Neocatechumenal Way priests. In the news conference, Mother Dawn said she reported the matter to the Vatican. Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-fai, then-archbishop of Agana, confirmed the report to media in a statement.

Mother Dawn reportedly was one of the few among the religious orders who confronted Apuron about his administration of the Archdiocese of Agana and reports of sexual abuse. The tensions caused the Guam Carmel Monastery to shut down, with the Carmelites moving to California for their protection after 50 years of peaceful service to the people of Guam.

Below you’ll find the November 2016 story by Sabrina Salas Matanane, who at the time was the news director for KUAM.


  • Looks like there are many unanswered questions, which Tim Rohr highlighted recently in the Junglewatch.
    What is sure is that Sister Dawn Marie was evasive, after she moved her colleagues to Carmel by the Sea, where only two local priests have stopped to celebrate Mass. The sisters used to the nice weather of Guam, had difficulties to adapt to the cold and humid fog belt of the California Coast.
    Sister Dawn Marie was already fairly highly ranked within the Carmelite Order worldwide. She also spent quite a while at the Carmel in Ladue, Missouri (a very plush suburb of St Louis) located between two of the most exclusive Country Clubs in the region.
    Returning to Boston where she hails from, and where her family has many well placed connections is highly unusual for a Carmelite. This move makes the whole whistle blowing episode even more interesting. At this time, there is obviously more questions than answers.

  • Patrick Sampson

      08/19/2022 at 4:05 AM

    It’s a good thing to tell the truth about abuse to stop it. Why criticize her for doing that? And who cares if she came from an affluent family?

  • Carol Donovan

      11/11/2022 at 1:49 PM

    I have been a friend of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns at the Carmelite Monastery in Danvers, Massachusetts since they arrived in 1958 when I was a senior at Regis College. All of the original sisters have died. I have not met Mother Dawn Marie yet but I’m delighted that she has come to Danvers to be the Reverend Mother. I’m so sorry for the unpleasant experiences she and her other Carmelite sisters had to endure in Guam.
    May she find peace at our Danvers Carmel.

  • Why does this article say that the Danvers Carmel Monastery is in BOSTON? Danvers is a city that’s 30 minutes north of Boston.

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