Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Friday, June 29, 2012

Peter, Paul and Dominic

St. Dominic was not one to speak much about his inner spiritual life, but there is possible evidence that on a few rare occasions he confided some experiences to a companion. One such event was the vision of Saints Peter and Paul, which probably occurred in 1217 while St. Dominic was in Rome. The chronicler tells us that while Dominic was at prayer, he saw Peter and Paul coming toward him. Peter gave him a staff and Paul handed him a book, and they said, "Go and preach, for God has chosen you for this ministry." The vision continues with a scene of Dominic's sons, the friars preachers, "scattered throughout the world, going off two by two to preach to the people the word of God." According to the historian M.-H. Vicaire, OP, Peter and Paul are symbols of the Roman Church. Peter's staff is the official sign of God's messenger, while the book Paul gives Dominic represents doctrine. In this vision, Dominic received his inspiration: first, "to make his order coextensive with the world", receiving his message directly from Rome; second, to separate preaching from defense of the faith, and finally, that his brothers might be allowed to preach in every diocese in the world. (cf. Vicaire p. 230) Dominic may not have had an imaginative vision as portrayed above, but something certainly happened with God's grace, and inspired him as he founded  the Dominican Order. May Saints Peter and Paul continue to inspire us today as we strive to preach the word of God to all peoples!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

New Website Coming...Again

We've decided to make some major changes in our website, for reasons too numerous to expound here. We've even got a new domain name! We'll be keeping you up to date on when our new website goes live and hope you will enjoy visiting it. It has been completely redesigned, with different pictures and many new features. Stay tuned for further updates!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sr. Mary John's Feast Day Celebration

We observe Sr. Mary John's official feast day on December 27 (because her patron is St. John the Evangelist) but we celebrate her feast day at another time not so close to Christmas! This year the date we chose was June 23, vigil of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.

We had a really fun filled day, beginning with a festive song and dance in honor of Sr. Mary John.

Sr. Irma plays the drum while Sr. Mary Margaret unrolls the feast day banner! In the background you can see Sr. Mary John greeting the sisters.

We played a variety of fun games in the morning. All of them were centered around finding treasure, so we had two different kinds of scavenger hunts! It was really enjoyable and designed so that everyone could participate in some way. One of the hunts was made a little more complex because each team had to solve a riddle before going to find the item in question. For example: 
With arms outstretched
Young face serene
Beneath his feet 
Find something green.

It was our statue of the Infant Jesus, of course!

 There were many such fun clues to ordinary things around the house.

Sr. Bernadette Marie, Sr. Irma, and Sr. Mary Rose having a good time!

In the afternoon Sr. Mary John opened her many gifts, mostly handmade by the sisters, which will be used for a future bazaar or raffle--who knows?? 

 Sr. Mary John seemed pleased with everything!

In the evening, we had a delightful trip around the world via DVDs of various exotic locales. We were entertained in between segments by our sisters, who performed lively dances typical of some of the countries we visited. In all, a wonderful day! Thanks to all the sisters who worked so hard to prepare everything, the community who participated so enthusiastically, and thanks to Sr. Mary John for being a great prioress!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sacred Heart of Jesus 2012

Grant, we pray, almighty God, 
that we, who glory in the Heart of your beloved Son
and recall the wonders of his love for us, 
may be made worthy to receive 
an overflowing measure of grace 
from that fount of heavenly gifts. 
--Collect for the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus 

Today is a feast celebrating God's love for us, as well as our love for God, expressed through the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The "heart" is a symbol which stands for the totality of what God is--a symbol we can perhaps more easily identify with, because trying to wrap your mind around God in all his glory is basically impossible! The Sacred Heart is shown surrounded by flames to indicate the intensity and purity of God's love. And the thorns remind us of what Jesus suffered for us, because he loves us so much. Today let's try to return that love which God gives us so freely, not only through prayer and worship but also through love for our neighbors.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Corpus Christi 2012

Corpus Christi is the solemnity when we especially honor the sacred Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, truly present in the Eucharist. It is a special feast for us here at the monastery because we have adoration of the Blessed Sacrament every day--we have a great devotion to this sacred mystery. In honor of this great feast we would like to remember the traditional hymns of Corpus Christi, which were written (the words, not the music) by our own Dominican brother, St. Thomas Aquinas.

St. Thomas had a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Pope Urban IV asked him to compose the Office for what was, in the 13th century, the new feast of Corpus Christi, and the hymns are still sung today (often in shortened versions) by Catholics and Protestants alike. These hymns include the Sequence for the Mass (Lauda, Sion), and several other hymns: Pange, Lingua, Verbum Supernum, and Sacris Solemniis. Many of these hymns are best known for their concluding verses, which are often used at Benediction--like Tantum Ergo and O Salutaris Hostia. And most of us are probably familiar with Panis Angelicus! Today, consider taking a moment to thank God for His continued presence among us in the Blessed Sacrament. Truly the bread of angels has been given to us!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Blessed Diana,OP, Blessed Cecilia,OP and...?

Blesseds Diana and Cecilia with companion receive a blessing from St. Dominic

Blessed Diana d'Andalo (1200-1236) was converted to a religious way of life by Blessed Reginald, OP, and she confided her desire to become a nun to St. Dominic, who encouraged her and established the monastery of St. Agnes in Bologna, Italy for her. Blessed Cecilia (1204-1290) also became a Dominican nun through the influence of St. Dominic. She entered religious life in Rome, but ended up prioress of St. Agnes in Bologna.

Diana is also remembered for the correspondence between herself and Blessed Jordan of Saxony, OP (the first successor of St. Dominic as head of the Order). Unfortunately, we don't have any of Diana's letters, but Jordan's are wonderful. In one of these he writes to Diana, "Do you therefore, beloved, more and more flee to [God]; then, no matter what hardship or sorrow may befall you, your heart will be established upon so solid and firm a foundation that it will never be moved. Think often of this and impress it deeply upon your heart, and urge your sisters to do likewise." (Letter 46) 

In her old age, Cecilia dictated a series of anecdotes about St. Dominic to another nun in her monastery...these have come down to us as the "Miracles of St. Dominic". In one of these Cecilia gives a description of St. Dominic: "He was slender and of medium height. His face was handsome and somewhat ruddy. His hair and beard were reddish and his eyes beautiful. From his brow and eyes emanated a kind of radiance which drew everyone to revere and love him. He was always cheerful, except when he was moved to compassion at the sight of someone's affliction." 

Tradition holds that there was a third Dominican nun honored on this day--Blessed Amata--but she has been dropped from the calendar on the grounds that she probably never existed. That's why there are three nuns in the picture above! Anyway, we ask these holy Dominican nuns to intercede for us all today!

Monday, June 4, 2012

2nd Anniversary

It's hard to believe it's been two years since we started this blog! Thanks to all the many people who helped us get going and help us keep going. And especially thanks to all our readers and followers! We are so grateful to you all for your prayers and support. You are all in our prayers, too!