Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Is it Lent already? It is. Actually, some of us are kind of excited about it. Because it's not just a time to give things up; it's a time to get closer to God. It's a time to remember that we are dust, and to dust we shall return, so a lot of the things we really get hung up about aren't that big a deal. It's a time to turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel, which when you think about it, is a wonderfully happy and exciting thing to do. 

In the coming weeks we hope, with God's help (and an assist from the Blessed Mother) to bring you some meditations on Mary. Some of us have been doing a lot of thinking about Mary thanks to the class we are still taking from our chaplain, Fr. Marcos Ramos, OP. As we are led into contemplation of Mary and her role in our salvation history, we hope to pass on to you the fruits of our contemplation. So please keep checking back, and pray for us during this Lenten season. You'll be in our prayers as well. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Sr. Bernadette Marie's Solemn Profession

It's a little long in coming, but we do have a few scenes from Sr. Bernadette Marie's solemn profession, which took place on January 30! It was a beautiful Mass, celebrated by Bishop Joseph E. Strickland (our bishop of Tyler, TX) and concelebrated by a host of other priests, including Sr. Bernadette Marie's older brother, Fr. Joe Torres, OMI. 

Sr. Bernadette Marie in chapel during the Mass

After the Mass, Sr. Bernadette Marie exchanged the kiss of peace with the community. Here she is hugging Sr. Marie Augustine

Mass was followed by a delicious meal in our refectory, then a visit with Sister's family and many of the clergy in the Gate Parlor. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

In the Order of Preachers, your name will be...

Sister Mary Therese of Divine Mercy!

Congratulation to our new novice, and we pray more will follow in your footsteps!

More pictures hopefully to come...

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Keep them in your prayers!

These two radiant women are now in retreat, awaiting their respective great days! Cloe (our postulant on the right) went into retreat on the 19th, and she will come out of the desert on the 28th, to be clothed in radiant white as a novice with a new name. What will it be?? And Sr. Bernadette Marie (on the left) enters retreat this evening, emerging on the 30th to make her solemn profession. Pleas e keep our two sisters in your prayers as they seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit and prepare to make these important steps in their religious lives! 

Wood Carving and Icon Workshop

You may be wondering, "What have the nuns been up to since the beginning of the year?" Well, it's been kind busy, what with preparing for a clothing and a solemn profession! In the midst of all these fun activities, we also just concluded a wood carving and icon workshop with Sr. Mary Magdalen, OP, artist extraordinaire from Queen of Peace Monastery in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada (about two hours from Vancouver). Sister has come before several years ago (back in 2001!!) and given wood carving lessons, and she also came to design and carve the front of our tabernacle a few years ago ( maybe 2008 or 2009?). But we realize now that our first carvings were mere beginnings compared to what she helped us to accomplish this time!

The room we transformed into a temporary workshop...

Sr. Mary Christine soon proved to be an expert at wood carving!

Hard at work! You can see Sr. Mary Magdalen sitting down at the far left. Sr. Mary Jeremiah is working beside her, and then Sr. Mary Rose, Cloe, and Sr. Mary Christine.

Sr. Mary Jeremiah works on her Holy Spirit carving

Sanding the edges is an essential part of finishing, as Sr. Mary Giuse knows

Sr. Mary Rose with her lovely carving. 

Sr. Irma with her Dominican Jubilee carving! Hers is the only carving that got a touch of color. The rest were simply treated with clear varnish. 

We also learned how to make icons by mounting pictures or posters to pieces of wood. Very interesting work and the results are great! Cloe and Sr. Mary Jeremiah are trimming a large picture which they will mount. 

Cloe touches up a picture of St. Catherine of Siena

Sr. Irma with an icon of the Holy Family

We had such a wonderful time learning with Sr. Mary Magdalen, and we are so grateful to her community for allowing Sister to spend so much time with us! Hopefully she can return some time and teach us more! Meanwhile, some of the sisters here hope to set up a wood carving and icon mounting workshop in one of our old barns. Who knows where this will lead? More details to follow!