Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Friday, July 30, 2010

Another Week, Another Party!

Well...a WORK party, anyway! We received a large amount of purple hull peas from a generous benefactor and set out to shell them at recreation. Appropriate, since it was the feast of St. Martha!
Notice the "purple hulls" on these peas, which stain your fingers (that's why the gloves are worn!)

Hey, we need some more peas here, please!

Sr. Marie Augustine, our cook, examines the evening's work. 

We had some of these peas for dinner today and they were delicious! Many thanks to all those who have shared their garden produce with us this summer!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

July 29: Memorial of St. Martha

Sometimes we  think of St. Martha only as she appears in the story of Jesus’ visit to Bethany (Lk 10:38-42). “Martha, Martha,” Jesus says, “you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing.” He refers, of course, to her sister Mary, who remained seated at His feet listening to His words while Martha served. But there is another aspect to Martha, which is highlighted in the story of the raising of Lazarus (Jn 11:19-27). In this Gospel narrative, Martha shows herself to be a woman of tremendous faith. Martha tells Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” It is to Martha that Jesus makes one of his great “I Am” statements: “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” He questions Martha: “Do you believe this?” And she answers: “Yes, Lord, I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.” Today let us pray for the gift of a deepened faith, a faith that recognizes the presence of God even in the most distressing and terrible situations. St. Martha, pray for us!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Penny Saved...

What's the value of a penny? Not much, you may say, but even the smallest things have value in God's eyes--and ours! Recently a generous benefactor gave us several large containers of loose pennies. When we receive large quantities of things that need to be handled--be it pennies, fruits and vegetables, or almost anything else--or when we need to mail out our newsletter, "Monastery Bells"--we have a "party", a fun-filled work detail where we talk and enjoy ourselves while getting the job done. So instead of taking the pennies to a machine for counting, we got to work and counted and rolled them ourselves. After all, every little bit helps!

 Sr. Maria Cabrini, Sr. Mary Catherine, Sr. Mary Gabriel and Sr. Mary Dominic hard at work counting and rolling pennies.

When everything was done, our bursars counted up the total, which was pretty good for an hour's work! Thanks so much to the generous benefactor who donated these pennies!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Saint Mary Magdalene, pray for us!

marymagdalene-SimoneMartini[1]St. Mary Magdalene is one of the patronesses of the Dominican Order, probably because she is the “apostle to the apostles”—the woman who first met Jesus in the garden of the Resurrection and ran to tell His disciples that He was alive! We find this commentary in the Catena Aurea of St. Thomas Aquinas: “Through this woman, who was eminently steadfast in finding out about the burial place of Christ, is prefigured every person who yearns to know divine truth and is therefore well-disposed to pass on the knowledge of such a grace to others, just as Mary announced it to the disciples so that she could not be reprimanded for hiding her talent…God has not granted us this joy in order for you to hide it in the recesses of your hearts, but to share it with those who are capable of love…” She is a great patroness especially for the Dominican nuns, because through our life of prayer and contemplation we meet the living Christ and then tell our brothers and sisters about the encounter.  May we all have the courage to be fearless preachers of the Good News of Jesus Christ

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bird Watching

Here at the monastery, we are blessed with many different kinds of birds. In addition to migrating birds such as robins, juncos, and cedar waxwings, we also see numerous birds who seem to live in our area year-round. We have even seen the occasional heron land in our lake and hunt for fish! But mostly we see mockingbirds, cardinals, hawks, crows, house finches, and wrens and sparrows of various kinds. They are not only fun to watch but also a reminder of God's provident care for us--if He watches over these birds of the air, how much more will He watch over us and keep us safe? 

One of our sisters put up a hummingbird feeder and it has attracted large numbers of these small and beautiful birds. In fact, they tend to fight over feeding rights--if one goes to drink, the others come to chase him away. But recently they have become more civil, and we have spotted two or more drinking at the same time. Incidentally, it's harder than you might think to take a picture of a hummingbird!

This determined cardinal has been pecking at various windows around the monastery for months! He most often flies at the windows in the refectory, but has been known to attack windows in the infirmary, dormitory, community room and even the chapel. We're not entirely sure why he does this--does he see his reflection and mistake it for another cardinal? Or does he just want to come inside? We may never know for sure, but he is certainly persistent. 

One of the Fathers of the Church commented that all creatures pray, saying that even the birds of the air open their wings in the form of a cross. May God be praised for all His wondrous creation, which glorifies Him in so many ways!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Our Website is Back

If you've been looking for our website, you're not alone...but we're happy to announce it is back up and can be viewed at Please come visit us there, too, and find out more about our monastery and our Dominican contemplative life!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

We Have A Prioress

Sister Mary John of the Precious Blood, O.P., was re-elected Prioress of our monastery! She will serve her second term, beginning immediately. Congratulations, Sister, and may the Holy Spirit guide you over the next three years and always!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Visit from the Master of the Dominican Order!

Fr. Carlos Azpiroz Costa, O.P. and his vicar, Fr. Ed Ruane, came to Lufkin for a quick visit just in time for Vespers on June 30 and stayed through the early afternoon of July 1. Fr. Carlos had been promising us a visit for years, so we are grateful he managed to fit us in before his term as Master ends in September!

Fr. Carlos in our community room

Fr. Carlos spent a lot of time during his visit speaking with us and answering our many questions about the nuns and our life, the Order in general, and even a little about himself. We enjoyed two meals with Fr. Carlos and Fr. Ed in our refectory and of course we had to make things a little special for them.

The fruit creations of the sisters!

During one of the  meals, we made Fr. Carlos and Fr. Ed honorary citizens of Texas! They were naturally thrilled to receive this privilege. 

Fr. Carlos and Fr. Ed admire their Texas citizenship certificates

We couldn't let such a great event pass without a community photo, we are in the chapter hall:

Our community, plus Fr. Carlos and Fr. Ed

Thank you so much, Fr. Carlos and Fr. Ed, for taking time out of your busy schedules and preparations for the General Chapter to come and visit! And thank you for all your wonderful service to the Order and the Church! You are in our special prayers always.