Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Goodbye, Bishop Corrada!

 Bishop Corrada and Sr. Mary John

Bishop Alvaro Corrada del Rio, SJ, bishop of Tyler, TX (the diocese we live in), was recently named Bishop of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. We are so sorry to lose him, but know he will do much good for the people of Mayaguez! He came today to pay us a farewell visit and celebrate Mass for us one last time.

After Mass, we had a visit with Bishop Corrada in our community room. Sr. Mary Margaret listens as the Bishop speaks.

Bishop Corrada presided at the solemn professions of eight of our sisters! He has also presided over such monastery events as our prioral elections, funerals, jubilee Masses, and other things, always with his usual grace, dignity, and holiness. He has been our bishop almost 11 years and it will be hard to see him go when he leaves our diocese officially on September 12!  But we are confident that the Holy Father will appoint the right man to be our new Bishop. We are praying for both Bishop Corrada and the new Bishop of Tyler--yet to be named!

Friday, July 22, 2011

St. Mary Magdalene

This image is taken from a fresco by Fra Angelico, the Dominican artist, and depicts Mary Magdalene in the garden of the Resurrection, trying to hold on to Christ. Because she first thought he might be the gardener, Fra Angelico shows Christ carrying what looks like a gardening hoe over his shoulder! St. Mary Magdalene is one of the patronesses of the Dominican Order, and according to legend spent the rest of her life as a hermit in France. As such, she is both a model for active men and women (because she was the first to announce the Resurrection to the apostles) and for contemplatives (because of her life of prayer). You can see our meditation from 2010 here. May we all grow to be great women and men of prayer through her intercession!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Last Look at the MTS 2011

Here are some more photos from our two weeks of Monastic Theological Studies Program, 2011!
Sr. Maria Teresa (Summit, NJ)

Sr. Mary Frances (Farmington Hills, MI), Sr. Mary Thomas (Lufkin) and Sr. Mary Gabriel (Lufkin) share a laugh during the break

 Dr. Teodora Rossi, Sr. Mary Jeremiah (Lufkin) and Dr. Margherita Rossi 

Sr. Mary Amata (Summit, NJ)

Sr. Mary Rose, Sr. Mary Dominic, and Sr. Mary Amata during a break

Sr. Joseph Maria (Summit, NJ)

A funny moment during Sr. Mary Thomas's presentation!

Sr. Anna Marie (Elmira, NY) and Sr. Mary Frances (Farmington Hills, MI) relax after the presentations.

Sr. Mary Jeremiah joins in the fun as Sr. Marie Augustine and Sr. Mary Giuse listen. (All three from Lufkin, TX)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Theology Presentations!

This week we had our theology seminar, conducted by Sr. Anna Marie, O.P. from the Monastery of Mary the Queen in Elmira, NY and based on the classes we took last year with Fr. Bryan Kromholtz, O.P.
 Sr. Anna Marie (Elmira, NY) explains a theological point to the seminar class

Sr. Joseph Maria (Summit, NJ)

Sr. Mary Dominic (Lufkin, TX)

Sr. Mary Frances (Farmington Hills, MI)

Sr. Mary Thomas (Lufkin, TX)

 Sr. Maria Teresa (Summit, NJ)

Sr. Marie Augustine (Lufkin, TX)

Sr. Mary Gabriel (Lufkin, TX)

Sr. Mary Giuse (Lufkin, TX)

Sr. Mary Rose (Lufkin, TX)

Sr. Anna Marie (Elmira, NY) gives some closing thoughts

All the presentations enlightened us about theological matters and showed the tremendous amount of work the sisters put in over the past year. We are so grateful for this wonderful opportunity!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Monastic Theological Studies Program 2011: St. Thomas Aquinas

The study of St. Thomas Aquinas is very important to Dominicans! We are privileged to have Dr. Margherita Maria Rossi, director of Thomistic Studies at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum) in Rome, teaching us about St. Thomas this week.

 Dr. Rossi is very animated in her presentations and difficult to capture in a still camera shot!

Dr. Rossi took us on a whirlwind tour of the theology of St. Thomas, focusing on his Biblical commentaries (which happens to be her field of expertise). 


But you can't have a course on St. Thomas Aquinas without speaking about the Summa Theologiae! And so we did...


Dr. Rossi also gave us a lot of solid information about the way St. Thomas lectured, disputed, and preached. This gave us tools for reading St. Thomas more effectively and easily, which we all really appreciate!

We enjoyed her classes so much! 
 Left to right: Sr. Joseph Maria (Summit), Sr. Mary Amata (Summit), Sr. Mary Dominic (Lufkin), Sr. Maria Teresa (Summit), Dr. Margherita Rossi, Sr. Mary Frances (Farmington Hills), Sr. Mary Thomas (Lufkin), Sr. Mary Gabriel (Lufkin). Kneeling: Sr. Marie Augustine (Lufkin) and Sr. Mary Christine (Lufkin)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Still Smiling after the First Week...

From left to right, back row: Sr. Mary of the Savior (Farmington Hills, MI), Sr. Mary Dominic (Lufkin), Sr. Marie Augustine (Lufkin), Sr. Barbara Green, Sr. Mary Frances (Farmington Hills, MI), Sr. Mary Rose (Lufkin), Sr. Mary Gabriel (Lufkin), Sr. Mary Thomas (Lufkin), Sr. Mary Amata (Summit, NJ)
Front row: Sr. Maria Teresa (Summit, NJ), Sr. Joseph Maria (Summit, NJ), Sr. Mary Giuse (Lufkin), and Sr. Mary Christine (Lufkin). 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Philosophy Presentations!

Last year at the MTS program, we studied philosophy under Fr. Brian Chrzastek, O.P. At the end of the class, each student chose a philosophical topic or a particular philosopher to study during the year and present this summer. Now the time for sharing the fruits of our studies has come!
Sr. Mary of the Savior, O.P., from the Monastery of the Blessed Sacrament in Farmington Hills, MI is leading our seminar. This is a historic moment as it is the first time a Dominican nun has led a seminar for Dominican nuns at a study program in the United States!

Sr. Mary Frances (Farmington Hills, MI) presented on the topic "What is Philosophy?" 

Sr. Mary Giuse (Lufkin, TX) chose to address the topic, "The Emergence of Religion from Philosophy: Buddhism and Christianity" 

Sr. Mary Gabriel (Lufkin, TX) spoke to us about the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes.


Sr. Mary Dominic (Lufkin, TX) gave a fascinating Power Point presentation on the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre.

Sr. Mary Thomas (Lufkin, TX) gestured emphatically while discussing the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. Sr. Mary Frances (Farmington Hills, MI) and Sr. Mary Gabriel (Lufkin, TX) are listening! 

Sr. Maria Teresa (Summit, NJ) explains to the seminar about the "Materialists, the Idealists, and the Reconciled" while Sr. Joseph Maria (Summit) and Sr. Mary John look on.

Sr. Mary Rose (Lufkin, TX) explains some of the philosophy of Wittgenstein using monastic examples.
Sr. Mary of the Savior seems pleased with our year of work! 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Monastic Theological Studies Program 2011: Scripture--Psalms

We've been having a wonderful week of Scripture classes--focusing on the Psalms--with Sr. Barbara Green, O.P.

 The students, with Sr. Anna Marie (Elmira) in the background


Sr. Barbara is a member of the Sisters of St. Dominic, Congregation of the Most Holy Name (San Rafael Dominicans), from 1964 to the present. Sr. Barbara has been teaching at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in California for twenty years. Before that she taught religious studies at Dominican College in San Rafael and was responsible for their Humanities Program.

Sr. Mary Giuse and Sr. Joseph Maria (Summit, NJ) listen intently

 Sr. Barbara is a dynamic teacher who captivates the class and draws the students into the exploration of the Psalms! We have been learning both techniques for analyzing Psalms and also their spiritual interpretation. It's fantastic!



Sr. Barbara lectures while Sr. Mary Dominic and Sr. Mary Amata (Summit, NJ) take notes

The students will each choose a psalm to analyze, critically and spiritually, and then present it to our class next year in seminar (as we are doing this year with our philosophy and theology from last year--pictures are coming!). Sr. Barbara has certainly made our task easier by giving us tools and at the same time more difficult by opening for us the complexity of the Psalms! But the Psalms are an essential part of our life, so we're delighted to have this opportunity to deepen our understanding.

Farewell to Father J.D. Logan

Our chaplain of three years, Fr. John Dominic (or J.D.) Logan, O.P., is moving on to a new ministry in Ponchatoula, LA. We are sorry to see him go!


Father J.D. came for a six month trial period--three years ago--and we have enjoyed having him as our chaplain. We were inspired every day by his homilies and Masses. 

Fr. J.D. celebrating Mass for us during Lent

On a historical note, Father J.D. is probably the tallest chaplain we have ever had! He is 6 foot 7 inches tall! 


Dear Father J.D., we wish you well in your new ministry! Please know that we keep you always in our prayers!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Fourth of July!

We've just started the second year of our Monastic Theological Studies Program, bringing together sisters from Dominican monasteries around the country--well, from Michigan and New Jersey, and our professor this week came from California. More about that later, though! Today we celebrated the 4th of July. We had classes in the morning--but we couldn't let the 4th of July pass by without having our traditional flag raising and picnic!
Sr. Bernadette Marie and postulant Thuy raise the flag with a little help from Sr. Mary Margaret while Sr. Mary Thomas looks on

Hats are a good idea in the East Texas sun! Sr. Mary Christine, Sr. Maria Teresa (Summit, NJ), Sr. Joseph Maria (Summit, NJ) and Sr. Mary Dominic leave the flagpole area.

Happy Birthday to Sr. Mary Lucy, who celebrates her 87th year today!!