Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter at the Monastery, Continued

Easter is a solemn event...the resurrection of Christ from the dead after His passion...but we think it's OK to have a little fun during this Easter octave, too! After all, Easter is also about the joy of new life and new beginnings! So we continued our celebration with an Easter egg hunt in the community room.

Sr. Mary Rose finds an egg hidden in an unexpected place.

Sr. Mary Jeremiah makes a find!

Is there an egg in there, Sr. Bernadette Marie? (Yes, there was!)

Sr. Marie Augustine counts the eggs she found...

...Sr. Mary Giuse is still counting!

The winners, with 22 each, were our two bursars, Sr. Mary Rose (right) and Sr. Mary Christine (left).

Sr. Mary Margaret took special honors for finding the most "shiny" eggs.

It was a lot of fun and everyone found something! Many thanks to Sr. Mary Gabriel, Sr. Maria Guadalupe, and Sr. Maria Cabrini who hid all 201 eggs! (201?? Wow! But we have 26 sisters in the house right now, so it evens out really well.) Happy Easter to all and may you be blessed with Paschal joy this season!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter at the Monastery

We are having a beautiful Easter celebration at the monastery today, and it's only beginning! The entire Easter octave (that's from now until next Sunday, May 1) is one long celebration of this most glorious feast. Today, we'd like to share some pictures with you:

Our monastery chapel, all decorated for Easter

The Paschal candle 

We were delighted to have our friend Father R.B. Williams, O.P.  (who gave our community retreat last year) come to spend the triduum with us. He concelebrated Mass and the Good Friday liturgy with our chaplain, Fr. J.D. Logan, O.P. and they both did a great job! Later, Fr. R.B. shared with us about his travels and adventures as an itinerant Dominican preacher. All too quickly he was back on the road, but not before we got this picture of him with some of the sisters. 

Sr. Maria Cabrini, Sr. Mary John, Fr. R.B., Sr. Mary Gabriel, Sr. Mary Dominic

We hope you are having a blessed celebration of Easter and will continue to celebrate during the octave and until the Easter season ends at Pentecost (June 12 this year)!

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

This is the day the Lord has made!
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Triduum Schedule

 We invite you to join us for our celebrations of the Paschal Triduum, if you are in the Lufkin area. All our Masses and liturgies are open to the public.

Holy Thursday Mass will be on April 21 at 7:15 PM.

Good Friday Liturgy will be on April 22 at 3:00 PM.

The Easter Vigil will be on April 23 at 9:00 PM.

Easter Sunday Mass will be on April 24 at 10:15 AM.

We pray you will have a holy and blessed Triduum! We will be in retreat Thursday-Saturday, and we hope to post again on Easter Sunday. Pray for us -- we'll be praying for you!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Palm Sunday

      Palm Sunday is a special day. It is the first day of a very special week in which each day has its own particular liturgy and significance. 
    The palms re-enact and connect us with Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem as King and Messiah, fulfilling many Old Testament Scripture passages. To the ancient Jews, the palms were symbols of victory and abundance. In Christianity they have become the symbol of the martyr, who is victorious over death.
       Everyone is encouraged to take some palms home and put them on crucifixes or holy pictures. The palms have been blessed and are, thus, sacramentals, bringing Christ's special presence and power into our daily lives. Seeing them each day reminds us of Christ's redemptive sacrifice, which in turn can lead us to prayer and trust in our ultimate victory in Him. 
     The triumphal entry into Jerusalem accompanied by acclamations and songs of praise ends abruptly with the opening prayer of the Mass, when the focus shifts to Christ's Passion. Palm Sunday is linked with Good Friday; these are the only two days when the entire Passion account is read, from one of the synoptic Gospels on Palm Sunday and from the Gospel of John on Good Friday. May the words of that opening prayer be a source of renewal and strength for all of us on the journey to eternal life. 
 Father, Jesus fulfilled your will 
by becoming man 
and giving his life on the cross. 
Help us to bear witness to you
by following his example of suffering 
and make us worthy 
to share in his resurrection. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sarah Murray Visits Our Monastery

We were happy to welcome Sarah Murray, candidate for the Lufkin City Council, Ward 6, to our monastery for a visit yesterday!

Sarah Murray with some of the sisters

Sarah Murray and her husband Joe are long-time friends of the monastery. Although they are not Catholic, they often come to spend time with us in prayer, especially at Vespers. When Sarah announced her intention of running for City Council, Ward 6--the ward we happen to live in--she offered to come and talk to us about some of the issues facing our city. We enjoyed a delightful evening with Sarah and asked many questions, which she answered with skill and knowledge. As cloistered Dominican nuns, we don't go out and get personally involved in things--our job is to pray--but we do make it a practice to vote in national, state and local elections because we believe our vote is important! And of course, we keep our elected officials in our prayers always. Thanks so much, Sarah Murray, for coming out and helping us to stay informed about our city's needs!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Fifth Sunday of Lent

"I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and whoever believes in me will never die." (John 11:25-26)

In our monastery, we sing the chant Media vita at Compline during this season of Lent: "In the midst of life, we are in death. To whom do we look for help, but to you, O Lord...?" We all undergo situations that are a kind of death as we journey through life: the loss of friends, of jobs, of financial security, the end of relationships and ways of life that are dear and familiar to us. These struggles may reduce us to the breaking point. But Jesus reminds us this Sunday that death is not the end. If we have the courage to take away the stone when Jesus commands it (cf. John 11:39) we will be surprised and amazed by the restored life that emerges. Lazarus was returned to his grieving family; Jesus Himself rose from the dead after three days and now reigns as King eternally. Jesus is alive and lives to renew and transform our dead lives into something beautiful for God. Whatever happens in life can only bring us closer to Him--if we let it. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fourth Sunday of Lent

In St. John's account the blind man does not know who Jesus is until the end of the story. Jesus asks him: "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" He answered and said, "Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?" Jesus said to him, "You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he." He said, "I do believe, Lord," and he worshiped him. 
Since the man was born blind it was unheard of that such a man could see again. So, we do not hear him begging for a cure. Yet, Jesus stopped, "spat on the ground, made clay with the saliva and smeared the clay on the blind man's eyes, saying to him, 'Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam'." He went, washed and came back able to see. By this time Jesus and his disciples had left. So although he could see now, he did not see Jesus. He only knew him by name, that he was a good man who did the impossible: cure a man born blind. To this fact he gives witness to his neighbors, his parents and to the Pharisees that this man was good: "A sinner could not have opened the eyes of a man born blind," he said to them. In the end he was criticized, and expelled from the synagogue. 

When Jesus heard that this man had been thrown out of the synagogue, he sought and found him. At last the man could see Jesus! Jesus said, "I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind." 

Jesus desires all people to see him and to believe that he is the Son of Man. Some choose to remain spiritually blind although they can see; others choose to see, although, through no fault of their own, they are blind spiritually or physically. Jesus heals those who want his healing. 

This story comes midway through Lent to give us hope and direction: hope in the great mercy of God that He will pour out on us as we reach Holy Week and Easter, and direction to know how to follow Him more closely. God's mercy is without end. It reaches to the depths of our being and enables us to see our "blind spots" and ask for God's healing. 

We grow in our knowledge of Him as we allow ourselves to enter into a closer relationship with Jesus, the Son of God and Son of Man. Like the beggar, then, we too can worship Him as Lord and thank Him for his great mercy to us.