MUDr. Jana Dominika Bohušová

* 1954  

  • “The brothers brought me to the railway crossing which is near the train station here, where the main road is, and it was on purpose: they wanted me to be under that bridge where the roar was the loudest so that we would agree on the date of my vows there. The brothers whom I knew from that march thus planned it for a time when father Dominik would be available and so that we would get to know each other at least, because we have never seen each other before… Now coming to the August 20th and 21st, which was the day of my first temporary and perpetual vows. It was in the chapel of the provincial, which was built in a basement in Revoluční Street and things like that were secretly taking place there. The chapel was beautifully decorated and the nun for whom I carried the habit was already there. We thus met there with some other friends, too, an it was so nice. I still did not know what he would do with me. Father Dominik had so-called ‘faculties’ because in this totalitarian regime he was allowed to perform certain functions as if he were in the position of the magister of the Dominican order. He thus made use of this provision in that moment and when he saw me hustling around in there - because we had only seen each other under that bridge before and for the second time it was during the vows - he thus said that I would take the vow of chastity, poverty and obedience with the Dominican spirituality with the hope that when normal conditions would be restored, I would be able to continue in this contemplative way of life.”

  • “At that time I was fighting in my own little territory. I was thus saying to mothers that they should not eat oranges from Cuba when they were breastfeeding their babies, because the oranges were preserved with disinfectants and the babies suffered from a rash. I was therefore summoned to a committee of the whole department of gynecology and obstetrics. They held a meeting because of me and they started criticizing me, asking how I dared to have such an aversion against Cuba. It was in relation to the week when the struggle was ongoing and when it began to be apparent that the regime would hold no longer. I thus had to stand there on my own and resist their attacks. I was on duty during those days, I worked on 17th, 18th and 19th, it was a weekend, and on 19th, the boss of the obstetrics department called me and he started berating me a lot. There was only him and me in there. I already had some news since Friday, because some students who were from Frýdek and who studied in Prague came to me and they came on Friday and they told me what was happening, and during this whole shift I was with them in my mind and I sacrificed everything and I was happy that I had received the news personally, because the girl student had come to say hello to me and that was nice. On Friday I was summoned by the head doctor of the gynecology and obstetrics department who scolded me. It was for the Cuban oranges, and then for some other reasons, and I could already see that the revolution was in progress and that I was able to be completely calm as I sat down. I rested my body against the chair and I thought: ‘Wow, he really has the guts, even at this moment…’ I thought this only silently for myself and I have not felt any fear at all, because I already knew that it was hopeless for the regime. It was only the last tremor of communism.”

  • “Well, she [Růženka] thus became my godmother during the sacrament of confirmation. But at that time, in spring 1977, she suffered from angina pectoris and it was quite serious, because it was already after Charter 77 and she was one of the signatories… the confirmation ceremony took place in autumn, but the situation was getting worse since spring, they were going to see her and checking if she had any visitors and so on, and we were going to her, but she kept asking us not to come so frequently so that we would not put ourselves at risk. But I somehow managed to sneak in, and so I continued visiting her nonetheless. Even if just by myself; we were no longer going to her in groups, but I was going alone. I asked her to serve as my godmother and to allow me to have her name. One mother with her daughter were going there at the same time as well, and they were precious friends. This Jana Antonová was thus my surrogate godmother. My surrogate godmother is still alive. Růženka sent her as her deputy.”

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    Arcibiskupský palác v Praze, 09.11.2017

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    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
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    Arcibiskupský palác v Praze, 23.08.2017

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    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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To respect the values of life and to defend and protect them as well

Jana1964_dobova fotka.jpg (historic)
MUDr. Jana Dominika Bohušová
photo: dobove foto: archiv pamětnice, současné foto: Marie Mrvová

Jana Dominika Bohušová was born December 21, 1954 in Frýdek-Místek. She studied the 2nd Faculty of Medicine from which she graduated in 1981, specializing as a pediatrician. For ten years she worked as a doctor in the pediatric ward and in the neonatology department of the department of obstetrics and gynecology in the hospital in Frýdek-Místek. Thanks to her friends, who later became members of the Dominican order, Jana got acquainted with professor Růžena Vacková and together with other students she began regularly visiting her in her home. Their meetings and discussions about spiritual life, philosophy, arts and culture significantly contributed to Jana’s personal growth. In autumn 1977 Jana accepted the sacrament of confirmation and Růžena Vacková became her godmother. Jana also got to know priests Oto Mádr and Josef Zvěřina. In April 1984 she began visiting the contemplative Sisters of St. Dominic in Moravec. Jana took her eternal vows secretly in Pilsen at night on 20th and 21st August 1988. In March 1989 she had her vestition ceremony in Moravec and she was admitted into the novitiate of Dominican sisters. In 1991 Jana spent three months in formation in the convent of Dominican nuns, at first in Drogheda in Ireland and then in St. Anne in Częstochowa in Poland. In December 1991 she officially took her temporary vows of the Dominican nuns in the church of St. Giles in Prague. In 1991-1997 she was living in the convent of the Dominican sisters in Prague, alternating between Lysolaje and the St. Adalbert. Then she spent one year in the convent in Znojmo and in 1998-2010 she worked as an assistant of bishop in Hradec Králové. From 2010 Jana has been living in Prague and working in the secretariat of the Prague archbishop Dominik Duka, where her responsibilities include taking care of the spiritual and practical matters, managing the household of Father Dominik, drafting texts and providing hospitality to guests. She is also in charge of issues related to culture, arts and healthcare. During four weeks in spring 2011 she was intensely taking care of the health of president Václav Havel. Her motto which accompanies her throughout her life is ‘truth and humility.’