Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sister Miriam's Golden Jubilee

Today Sister Miriam of the Precious Blood, OP had her Mass celebrating 50 years of consecrated life as a cloistered Dominican nun!

Pinning on the jubilee corsage...

 Sr. Mary John, our prioress, and Sr. Miriam 

Of course we had the votive Mass of the Precious Blood, and Bishop Alvaro Corrada del Rio, SJ (our bishop-administrator) and Fr. Paul Philibert, OP (our chaplain) concelebrated.

Sister Miriam renews her vows as Fr. Philibert and Bishop Corrada look on

Presenting the gifts to Fr. Philibert and Bishop Corrada

Several members of Sister Miriam's family, including her sister, were able to be present, which made the day especially meaningful for her.

We will be bringing you more of Sister Miriam's Golden Jubilee celebration soon, as it hasn't stopped yet! Today was the Mass--a public celebration--but in May we will have a community celebration of Sister's life and vocation. May God grant you many more years as a cloistered Dominican nun, Sister!

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Yesterday we were surprised by a sudden hailstorm. It was not as bad as some we have been hearing about, thank God. It melted quickly, but while it was falling it was extremely noisy and frightening!

We are still very dry here so we are grateful for moisture in any form!

Through the providence of God, we were spared serious damage. Only our plants seem to have been affected.  Our prayers are with all those who suffered from the hailstorm and with all those who experience extreme weather in any form.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Blessed Sybillina, OP

We think Blessed Sybillina is among the women at the bottom of this famous rendition of Dominican saints and blesseds by Fra Angelico!

Blessed Sybillina (1287-1367) was orphaned at a young age and went out to work as a servant, although she had to give this up when she became blind.  She became a Dominican tertiary. Her great devotion to St. Dominic encouraged her to pray to him for a miraculous cure for her blindness. St. Dominic came and told her, "Here, you must suffer darkness so that you may one day behold eternal light." After this experience, she decided to become a recluse in a small cell attached to the Dominican church in Pavia, Italy. It is somewhat unusual for a Dominican to become a recluse--Dominicans are famously community minded, following the example of their founder, St. Dominic--but after all, the Order of St. Dominic is a "broad and joyous garden", as St. Catherine of Siena writes, and there is a place for everyone! She had a small window in her cell that was her only contact with the outside world--but through this tiny opening she encountered people of all walks and classes of life, begging for her assistance. She prayed for them all and provided them with wise counsel. She had a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and followed all the Masses and Offices in the Church for the 67 years she lived as a recluse.

Blessed Sybillina was beatified by Pope Pius IX in 1854. We remember her today especially because we have a sister in our community named for her! Happy feast day, Sr. Mary Sybillina!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter Egg-citement

We have had some exciting times already this Easter season! First came our raffle...maybe you didn't hear about it? Well, the tickets were sent out with our winter issue of Monastery Bells. We only send Monastery Bells via snail mail at the current time...if you'd like to receive it for free, please send us your name and address here. (We never sell our address lists!) Anyway, we got a huge response to our huge that to make our drawing fair we used our big dryer to shuffle the tickets thoroughly!

It's like the lottery...sort of...

We had several winners from various places, including Texas, Connecticut, and Ohio, and they were all delighted to win their prizes, which included afghans made by the nuns and other special things!

Sr. Mary Agnes draws a winner!

We also had our annual Easter egg hunt, in which fun was had by all!

Sr. Mary Christine is a champion egg finder, but does she see the egg right behind her??

Our winners!! Sr. Mary Rose, Sr. Mary Christine, Sr. Mary Sybillina, and Sr. Mary Giuse

Monday, April 9, 2012

Who's Watching Who?

We've written before about the variety of bird life here at the monastery. Birds seem to consider our monastic enclosure a sanctuary. Recently we became acquainted with a bird many of us had seen flying through the woods or perched on a tree, looking for bugs--a pileated woodpecker! Compared to the birds we usually see (mockingbirds, cardinals, etc) this bird is huge!

 Actual picture of our pileated woodpecker!

It's also very friendly...for a bird. It enjoys clawing its way along the windowsill, peering in the refectory at the nuns who are trying to eat their breakfast (or dinner, or supper) in peace. It has also been known to fly into the crepe myrtle tree outside the refectory window and swing upside-down from the branches, providing much entertainment! These woodpeckers are supposed to be common in east Texas. We kind of wish this one would go out in the woods and take care of some of the bugs in our trees! At the same time, though, we enjoy watching him watching us...or something like that. 

And yes, we are still visited by the cardinal. He taps on windows all over the monastery, but has a special affinity for the refectory window, too. (What is it about that refectory?) We looked up cardinals in the bird book and found they can live as long as 15 years...could this be the same bird, or is he passing his dubious talent down to his offspring?

A little blurry of the bird, but you get the idea...

Check out our previous posts on birds:
Bird Watching
More Bird Watching
Farewell to the Hummingbirds

May God be praised for all his wondrous creation!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Triduum Schedule 2012

 If you are in the Lufkin area, we would be happy for you to join us in celebrating the Triduum.

Holy Thursday: Mass at 7:15 PM

Good Friday: Liturgy at 3:00 PM

Holy Saturday: Easter Vigil begins at 9:00 PM

Easter Sunday: Mass at 10:15 AM

Wherever you are, we hope you will attend Mass and join in this most sacred time of the year!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Palm Sunday 2012

"Most of Christ's earthly life was hidden. He was hidden in his mother's womb, he was hidden in Egypt and in Nazareth. During his public life he was hidden often, when he fled into a mountain to pray...Today he is hidden in the Blessed Sacrament, in Heaven, and in his Mystical Body on earth. But in his passion he was exposed, made public property to the whole of mankind....All his secrets were out. Every detail of his Passion revealed something more of his character as man--not only his heroism and his majesty but his human necessities, and the human limitations which he deliberately adopted as part of his plan of love in order to be able to indwell us as we are, with our limitations...He was not only simulating our humanness outwardly but feeling as we feel; not only feeling his own grief, fear, compassion, need of sympathy, and so on, as man, but ours; not only knowing every nerve and fiber of his own love for us, but that of each one of us for one another."
 --Caryll Houselander, The Way of the Cross

See our meditation on Palm Sunday from 2011 here.