Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Thank You, Father Mark Padrez, OP!

Our retreat officially ended this morning, and we are happy to tell you it was really excellent. Of course the Holy Spirit guides every retreat, but we also give thanks to our great retreat master, Fr. Mark Padrez, OP!

Fr. Mark in the Gate Parlor

Fr. Mark gave us ten conferences on growing in holiness through the virtues, and everyone (including Father!) seemed to really enjoy them. We also had some "quiet days" for reflection during our retreat, which we always appreciate. Now we return to regular life (and work!) on this beautiful feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. We thank everyone who prayed for us during our retreat. Please know that we were praying for all of you as well! And of course we continue to do so, always...

We wish Fr. Mark all the best as he continues his work in the western province--and we hope he will be able to return someday to our monastery. We're keeping that intention in our prayers as well!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Check out the Fall Newsletter!

The Fall issue of Monastery Bells is in the mail! If you'd like to read it--or get a preview if you receive it by snail mail--please click here. This issue contains some things that have never been seen before now so do take a look!

We'll be officially out of retreat tomorrow--stay tuned for news about our retreat!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Annual Retreat 2014

An image from the wooded area inside our monastic enclosure

This evening we begin our annual community retreat! Our retreat master this year is Fr. Mark Padrez, OP, provincial of the Dominican Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus (also known more informally as the Western Province). We are excited about his coming as we have never met him before, but we have heard many good things about him and look forward to his retreat conferences! Please check back to find out more about the retreat and other news of what's happening here!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Visit with Mother Susan Catherine

Recently we were delighted to welcome Mother Susan Catherine, superior of the new community called the Daughters of Divine Hope, to our monastery. Mother Susan Catherine officially established this community in our home diocese of Tyler, TX in 2011 and is already preparing for the first vows of her novices! Mother Susan Catherine herself just made her final vows on September 14th of this year. We have known Mother Susan Catherine for many years and are so happy that she is following God's call in this way. We encourage women who may be interested in active religious life to check out her community's website: http://www.daughtersofdivinehope.org/mainpage.html. We wish Mother Susan Catherine and her novices all the best, and we hope they will flourish in our diocese and--who knows--elsewhere, too, as God wills! 

Mother Susan Catherine and Sr. Mary John in our large parlor. Sr. Mary John helped Mother Susan Catherine with advice on religious life in the early days of planning and establishing the Daughters of Divine Hope.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Novitiate Renovations

Our novitiate building is lovely...but the floor is not in good shape. This is hardly surprising, since it was installed over 40 years ago and many a novice has traversed the floor since then. As you can see...

...there are a lot of bad spots, not to mention places where tiles were replaced over the years.

But, as we read in Ecclesiastes, "there is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens" (3:1). We are about to replace the entire floor in the novitiate! Of course, to prepare for this great event, we had to clear out stuff. A lot of stuff! All the books in our substantial novitiate library were packed away neatly and stored; all the pictures and statues and crucifixes came down. And a lot of furniture had to be removed. Some of it we could do ourselves, some was moved by our trusty workmen, and the bulk of the furniture was moved this morning by our faithful Knights of Columbus!

Arriving in the novitiate

Shelves from the novice directress's office

It fit through the door...just barely!

Sr. Mary John watches carefully as the Knights move a filing cabinet

Much of the furniture was moved to our Chapter Hall for the time being. 

The Knights in the Chapter Hall

Sr. Mary John and the Knights of Columbus after finishing up!

We are so grateful to the Knights for their hard work and for taking time from a busy Saturday to help us. And they plan to return and help us move everything back in, too! What a great group of Catholic men! Thank you so much for everything! 

We will keep you posted on our novitiate renovations as they continue, so be sure to check back in for updates!