Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Visiting Sisters

We often have posts about Dominican friars who visit us...but yesterday we had a lovely visit from some Dominican sisters who are working in our diocese of Tyler, TX!

These are sisters from a congregation based in Puerto Rico, called the Dominican Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Fatima. Their mission is to "bring Christ to the family, and the family to Christ" so their primary work is social services. They have been doing great things in the diocese,  working mainly with the Hispanic population. We are so delighted to have some active Dominican sisters in our diocese again, and we hope they will visit us when they can. 

Here you can see most of our community, plus the visiting sisters and our chaplain, Fr. Marcos Ramos, OP. A true meeting of the Dominican family!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Still Growing on Lotus Lane

It's hard to know what to do with a poinsettia after Christmas. During the Christmas season, they are a beautiful addition to all the liturgical festivities...then in mid-January you have all these dying flowers in conspicuously red and green pots, which are usually disposed of in the dead of night when no one is around. A sad ending! But for one lucky poinsettia, things turned out very differently. A few years ago, Sr. Mary Jeremiah nabbed one of these wilting poinsettias after Christmas and determined to keep it alive. Like the servant in the Gospel who hoed and watered the fig tree for another year to see if it would eventually bear fruit, Sister carefully tended her poinsettia and saved it from several attempts to be thrown out. The first couple of years, the poinsettia flourished, but its leaves remained stubbornly green. However, this year Sr. Mary Jeremiah's patience finally paid off, and the leaves are slowly turning a brilliant shade of red!


Sr. Mary Jeremiah in the library with her poinsettia and our community librarian, Sr. Mary Annunciata, another firm believer in the little poinsettia that could!
 
Being nuns, we of course draw a moral from all this gardening. So often our good efforts seem to come to nothing. But grace often works slowly, imperceptibly in our lives, so that one day we realize things have changed without realizing the exact moment when the change came! It's like the seed in another parable--the farmer plants it, and then he sleeps and rises, every day noticing the seed had grown, but he does not know how or when it actually happened. May we continue to be patient with ourselves and others, so that the seeds (and green leaves) of grace make reach their fulfillment in due time!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Christian Unity Octave, 2015

Today begins the Christian Unity octave (January 18-25). Here at the Monastery of the Infant Jesus, we pray for church unity, and we also try to practice it in our way. Just yesterday we visited with a group of Methodist teens who are preparing for Confirmation in their church later this spring. We had a very fruitful discussion with them about prayer, listening to God's voice in our daily lives, and yes, we discussed Christian unity, as well. We open our doors to people of every faith (although in Lufkin, TX  we mostly get people of various Christian denominations) who want to come and pray before the Blessed Sacrament, or join us in the Liturgy of the Hours. And they do come. Some people just stay out in the parking lot, but they tell us they can feel the presence of God in a special way even there. We are always open to dialogue with people of different faiths, and we enjoy discussing our faith and practices with people who are curious about what we do. We are Dominicans, after all!

Let us be united in prayer during this week and throughout the year, remembering that Jesus was willing to ask the Samaritan woman for a drink at the well. Whatever our faith, let us be open to each other and ready to find common ground.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

9 Days for Life, 2015





Today begins 9 Days for Life, a novena of days to pray for pro-life causes of every kind. We'll be praying, and we hope you will, too! You can pray the novena from the USCCB here. It's in both English and Spanish. We hope you will join us in a special way on January 22, the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, in praying for an end to abortion in this country and throughout the world. Let's get on our knees and pray!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Christmas at the Monastery, 2014

The chapel creche

We know...you might be thinking, "Hey, Christmas is over! It's 2015 already!" But as Catholics--and nuns whose monastery is dedicated to the Infant Jesus, our patron--we celebrate Christmas from the eve of December 24 to the feast of the Baptism of the Lord (which comes on January 11 this year). So Merry Christmas, y'all, and Happy New Year! Here are some scenes from around the monastery: 

The refectory (dining room) 

The main hallway

The main hallway again

Community room creche

The community room all lit up

 Every room in the monastery (almost) has a creche! This is the one from the Guild office.

And our illuminated bell tower!