Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Chair of St. Peter

The Chair of St. Peter refers to Peter's seat of authority in the Church. It is a feast of St. Peter and a feast of the Papacy itself, since the Pope is the successor of Peter. This feast has been celebrated since before the 4th century, and reminds us that the Bishop of Rome--the Pope--has jurisdiction over the Church throughout the whole world. St. Augustine wrote, "Blessed be God, who deigned to exalt the Apostle Peter over the whole Church. It is most fitting that this foundation be honored since it is the means by which we may ascend to Heaven." And as Paul the Deacon writes, " It is right for all the churches to honor Peter. As head of the Church, firm as the hardest rock, he confounded the enemies of Christ by the authority of the Holy Spirit, conquering by the strength of tireless endurance." We are glad to stand firm with Peter on this day and all days. We love our Pope! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tet at the Monastery

 

The Lunar New Year was officially celebrated on February 3, but for reasons too numerous to go into, we had our celebration last night! We had an excellent time...beginning at noon with homemade Vietnamese food for dinner and continuing with a special night recreation program organized by our sisters. It was an evening filled with fun and family spirit. 

 The treats and lucky money (hanging in red envelopes on the tree) were generously provided for us! Thank you so much!
It has become our custom to perform a Vietnamese dance as part of our Tet celebration. Congratulations and thanks to Sr. Mary Christine, who choreographed the dance and helped us learn it! You can see more of this dance on our website---www.lufkinnuns.org--on the Photos page.
Another part of our Tet celebration is playing games! This was a fun one--you had to toss a ping-pong ball into a vase filled with water. Sr. Mary Sybillina was an expert at this!
We wish all of you a very joyful Year of the Cat! May God bless you abundantly this year!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

We Have A Novice!

Our postulant Teresa Torres received the habit at last! The ceremony was held in the chapter hall of our monastery. Above you can see Teresa receiving the habit of the nuns of the Order of Preachers from our prioress, Sr. Mary John. Sr. Mary John's talk at the beginning of the ceremony was so lovely we decided to post it here for all to read and enjoy:

     Once again, Teresa, you have asked for the mercy of God and of the community and already you know that is is given by both. This beautiful feast of Our Lord's Presentation is a particularly apt day to begin your novitiate and put on for the first time the habit of the Nuns of the Order of Preachers. Like Joseph, Mary and Jesus, you have come to present yourself to be consecrated to the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ. At the same time, Jesus comes to the temple that is Teresa Torres and to the temple that is each of us here.
     Jesus was presented by his parents, his family, and you too are presented by your monastic family...It is in this family that you will, like Jesus, grow in wisdom, age and grace before God and mankind.
     In the two years of your Novitiate you will study and pray diligently to be able to give yourself generously and courageously to that same God through the vows of obedience, chastity and poverty. You will become more deeply acquainted with our Dominican charism and way of life through your classes and your daily experience of our monastic lifestyle. It will be a time to grow in the love of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, of Mary Immaculate, especially in her Rosary--our cherished Dominican devotion--in the love of St. Dominic our father and guide, in a special devotion to the name of Jesus, and to all the holy men and women of the Order, and particularly to pray for all our deceased brothers and sisters.
     There will, of course, be times of trials, but these can be the fuel that will intensify the fire of your love. If you are docile to your superiors, faithful to your obligations and sincere in your service of your sisters, your temple will always overflow with the life-giving waters of grace and mercy that spring from the heart of Jesus.

Teresa took the religious name "Sister Bernadette Marie of the Sacred Heart". A beautiful name! 

Sr. Mary John, Sr. Bernadette Marie, and Sr. Maria Guadalupe 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Promoting Vocations

We live in a world filled with constant noise and activity. It sometimes seems like the only way Jesus can get our attention is by calling on a cell phone or sending us a tweet! And yet the Lord continues to call young people to serve Him just as He did over two thousand years ago. When we consider the state of the world today, the need for cloistered contemplative religious, women dedicated to serving God through prayer and sacrifice for the salvation of souls, becomes ever more apparent. The question is: how do we help these women whom the Lord is calling to hear His voice?

Pope John Paul II said, "Every vocation is a gift of the Father and, like all gifts which come from God, arrives through many human mediations: that of parents or teachers, of pastors of the Church, of people who are directly engaged in vocation ministry, or that of the simple believer...Let every believer become an educator of vocations, without fearing to propose radical choices." Prayer is a vital and important part of vocation promotion, but prayer is only part of the equation. The other necessary element is the invitation. This invitation to consider religious life, especially cloistered contemplative life, is powerful when it comes from a trusted friend, a priest, a teacher, or a family member.

Here at the Monastery of the Infant Jesus, we are praying every day for more vocations for the Church and especially for our monastery, that we may continue the life of prayer, praise and sacrifice that has been going on since our monastery was founded in Lufkin, Texas in 1945. We need your help in promoting vocations to our monastery, and we have Sisters in final vows who are living proof that a personal invitation often marks the first step on the way to a life of total consecration to Christ! If you know a young woman who might be interested in our life--or if you are such a young woman yourself--we encourage you to contact us for more information, or simply check out our website, www.lufkinnuns.org. We know there are young women out there who would be great Dominican nuns--and maybe you know them, too!

Sr. Lou Ella...

...and Sr. Rosa, both Incarnate Word-Blessed Sacrament sisters from Corpus Christi, TX, are tireless in helping us promote our monastery and Dominican contemplative life!! Thank you so much for all your help and support!