Monday, May 25, 2015

Welcoming the Religious of our Diocese!

As part of the Year for Consecrated Life, we had a kind of "open house" for the religious of the Tyler, TX diocese (our home diocese) on Pentecost Sunday. Turnout was a little smaller than we expected due to heavy rain in parts of the diocese which prevented safe travel, but we had a lovely visit with those who were able to come!


 About 15 people were able to come, which was great! This included of course our chaplain, Fr. Marcos Ramos, OP and the provincial of St. Martin de Porres province (who is still visiting us), Fr. Thomas Condon, OP


We are blessed to have a great variety of religious in our diocese, including the Franciscan Eucharistic Missionary Sisters, the Daughters of Divine Hope, and the Brigittines, as well as the Dominicans. Some of the groups unable to be present today include active Carmelite sisters, Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, Fransalian fathers, and some Jesuits.

We had Midafternoon Prayer (also known as None) with the sisters, then a fraternal visit, and finished the celebration with solemn Vespers, officiated by Fr. Thomas Condon, OP. And the weather in Lufkin was cloudy but dry! We welcome these opportunities to meet with the religious of our diocese--they get together more regularly of course but being cloistered, we are usually unable to join them! We hope they will be able to meet with us again some time soon.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Visiting Friars...And Others!

We've had an exceptionally busy May, with lots of people coming to visit us! Here's a roundup of some of the friars and priests who have come to see us recently. 

Fr. J. Michael Sparough, SJ came by on his way to a liturgical convention in Houston. Father resides in the Chicago area so we don't see him too often, but he is always in our prayers! Sr. Mary Margaret is standing with him in the parlor. 

Father Art Kirwin, OP (on the right) brought our two Southern Province novices to visit us on their way back from the Provincial Assembly to the novitiate in Irving, TX. We are always so glad to see our former chaplain, Fr. Art, and we were delighted to meet the two novices! We are praying for your perseverance!

Fr. Thomas Condon, OP, Provincial of the Southern Province (St. Martin de Porres Province USA, to give the official name) also stopped by for the weekend. We are so glad to have him here! This is his first visit to us as Provincial (you may recall he visited us as one of our temporary chaplains in the summer of 2013) and we were interested to hear the news of the province and things he has been doing.

We have also had family visits and others "just stopping by to say hello". It is a great opportunity to meet the people we pray for every day and it encourages us to keep those prayers going! So if you are in the area and want to stop by and pray or say hello, please do so!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Visiting Friars: Fr. Juan-Diego Brunetta, OP

We just enjoyed several days of conferences on canon law and other things with Fr. Juan-Diego Brunetta, OP, from the province of St. Joseph (also known as the Eastern Province). It was a wonderful experience!

Father in the parlor, telling his story. Father is from New Jersey and had to try to slow down his normally rapid speech in order to communicate with East Texans!

 Father seated during a conference. For some of the sisters, Father's talks were an introduction to canon law and we were pleasantly surprised to find that it is not quite as mysterious and forbidding as one might imagine. Note that we brought our statue of St. Juan Diego over to the table in his honor!

As mentioned above, Fr. Brunetta discussed a wide variety of topics with us, ranging from canon law to Pope Francis to the Dominican Order and the Dominican Family (these two are not exactly the same, as we learned!).  He allowed us to "interrupt" his lectures with our questions, too, which he was always able to answer. It was a fantastic series of conferences and we were reluctant to bring it to a close. We really enjoyed our time with Fr. Brunetta, and hope he will be able to stop by again someday.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A Visit from Fr. Cesar Valero Bajo, OP

Fr. Cesar Valero Bajo, OP, who is the Promoter of the Nuns for the Dominican Order, came to visit our monastery! We had a wonderful time meeting with him and listening to what he had to say. 

Fr. Cesar is from Spain, and his English is really good!

Sr. Maria Guadalupe and Fr. Cesar

Fr. Cesar exhorts the community to love all our Dominican sisters. We do, Father!

On Wednesday evening after the meetings, we had a grand Texas-style program for Father. Note his hat!

 Fr. Cesar and Sr. Mary Thomas, editor of "Monialibus" (a Dominican nuns' publication)

Fr. Cesar with Sr. Mary Margaret (our sub-prioress, left) and Sr. Maria Guadalupe (prioress, right)

Almost the entire community with Fr. Cesar!

We were so enriched by Father Cesar's visit and hope he will be able to come to Texas again someday!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

May Novena 2015

Time once again for our annual May Novena! Please know that we are praying for you to Our Lady in a special way this month. If you have a particular request for the novena, please let us know by phone, email, or snail mail. We are always happy to pray for you!


More news is (hopefully) coming soon!