Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fall 2015 Monastery Bells!

We just mailed out the Fall 2015 issue of "Monastery Bells"...but you can read it right now on our website! It's right here. This issue is all about hospitality which fits in well with recent events, as you can see from previous posts! As always, if you would like to receive "Monastery Bells" by mail, just let us know and we'll add you to our mailing list! Sorry, we can't mail them overseas because of the cost but you can read it online! 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Visiting Friars: Fr. Jorge Rativa, OP

We had a pleasant surprise this afternoon...Fr. Jorge Rativa, OP, the socius and vicar provincial of our Dominican province of St. Martin de Porres (aka the southern province) stopped by with a member of the Dominican Laity, Sandy Sanchez. They had just been giving a retreat in Houston and wanted to come by and meet the nuns before returning to their home in New Orleans! Lufkin is not actually on the way from Houston to New Orleans, so we like to think Fr. Jorge and Sandy just wanted to come and meet us. And it was a truly delightful visit! Several of us crowded into Peace Parlor (it's supposed to hold about five nuns, but we managed to squeeze in eight) and of course Fr. Jorge and Sandy had plenty of room on their side of the enclosure. Naturally we got a picture of the happy event: 

Sr. Maria Guadalupe (standing), Sandy Sanchez, OP, Fr. Jorge Rativa, OP, and Sr. Mary Rose and Sr. Mary Giuse (kneeling)

Our visit was only supposed to last a short time but easily stretched into an hour. We had to say goodbye when the bell rang for Rosary and Midafternoon Prayer. However, we are hoping to see Fr. Jorge again soon...details will most likely come in the weeks ahead! 

We are always so happy to welcome members of our Dominican family here at the monastery! If you are in the area, please feel free to stop by and visit with us! Actually, we welcome everyone to our monastery--not just Dominicans. Our monastery and chapel are "a house of prayer for all peoples" (Isaiah 56:7). If you are visiting Lufkin you are welcome to come in the chapel and pray...or just sit outside and pray. We look forward to seeing you! 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Monastery Decorations

We recently added some decoration to the monastery in the form of some Dominican plaques which were given to us! Two are made of granite and were installed outside on the breezeway, and the other is a marble square from the chapel of our Dominican monastery in Camden, NJ which had to close a while back. Each of our new decorations has a meaning which goes beyond simply being attractive (although we think they are very nice!). 
Sr. Mary Rose is standing next to the first, an image of St. Dominic, the founder of the Dominican Order. He holds a walking staff (in the shape of a cross) in one hand and assorted books and scrolls in the other. He seems to be silently encouraging us to walk forward and onward, guided by the Cross and carrying the intellectual treasures that will help to renew the Church in our time. 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the breezeway, Cloe is standing besides a plaque that has a prayer to St. Dominic written on it. This reminds us of the need to pray always--and to ask for our holy father St. Dominic's intercession, which we know to be powerful!

Just outside the doors of our chapel, Sr. Mary Rose and Cloe stand by this marble square with a cross on it. This brings many images and ideas to mind, but we would like to remember especially the many years of service and prayer and love that our sisters in Camden, NJ dedicated at their monastery. 

We have many other reminders and images on our walls here at the monastery--hopefully we can bring you some more pictures of these! Many thanks to our friends who donated the plaques and helped us put them up! 

Friday, September 4, 2015

A Visit from John-Carlos Estrada of KTRE-9

Sr. Mary Dominic, Sr. Mary Jeremiah, and Sr. Maria Guadalupe with John-Carlos Estrada

Well, we're not going to be on TV (yet) but we did receive a nice visit from KTRE-9's news anchor for the 6 and 10 news! John-Carlos Estrada is also the managing editor for KTRE (which is our local ABC affiliate), and an adjunct professor at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX. He stopped by to meet us and tell us about life in broadcast journalism, which we found very interesting. Of course we hinted that a story about our monastery would be a good idea, so who knows what the future may hold? Stay tuned!

Check out Lufkin/Nacogdoches news at

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Sr. Mary Rose's Feast Day Celebration

Sr. Mary Rose's feast day falls on August 23...feast of St. Rose of Lima...but various circumstances forced us to postpone the celebration of her special day until August 30. Seven sisters joined Sr. Mary Rose in the novitiate for a lovely time!

A tribute to St. Rose of Lima on the novitiate bulletin board. 

Most of the day was spent happily recreating, snacking, and watching a movie. We also played some games and watched Sr. Mary Rose open her gifts. 

The gift table 

Sr. Mary Rose opens a gift as our postulant Cloe looks on

Sister received many useful gifts, including books, cards, and this beautiful tote bag made by Sr. Bernadette Marie

After opening the gifts, we played a game. One sister had to describe an object to her partner, who would draw it based on the description given. The sister who described the object could not say what it was or what it was for, which made the results extremely funny!

Sr. Mary Jeremiah and Sr. Mary Margaret with their drawing and object

Sr. Mary Gabriel and Sr. Mary Thomas with their drawing and object

Cloe and Sr. Mary Rose with their drawing and object

We give thanks to God for a beautiful day, and for Cloe our postulant, and Sr. Mary Rose, our novice directress, whose feast day inspired such a great time! May He send us many more young women who wish to serve Him as cloistered Dominican nuns!