Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Congratulations, Sr. Mary Rose!

Our sisters are home from the Assembly, and we are delighted to announce that our own Sr. Mary Rose was elected to the Association Council!

 Sr. Mary Rose serves as bursar (treasurer) of our community, and includes playing the organ for the Liturgy and Mass among her many other talents.

The entire new council, from left to right: Sr. Mary Catharine from Summit, NJ  (Councilor), Sr. Mary Thomas from Farmington Hills, MI  (Councilor), Sr. Mary Rose from Lufkin, TX (Councilor), Sr. Anna Marie from Elmira, NY (Vice-President) and Sr. Maria Christine from Menlo Park, CA (President)

Congratulations to all the newly elected officers and many thanks to all who made the Assembly so successful. You all are in our prayers!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

New Bishop for Tyler Diocese!

It's official...after over a year of waiting our diocese has a bishop!

 It's Msgr. Joseph Strickland of our own Tyler diocese!

We are filled with joy! 

You are in our prayers today and every day!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Monastery Bells

It's that time again! Our latest issue of "Monastery Bells" went out in the mail this morning. If you want to get a sneak peek at the contents, or just read it on line, you can do it HERE. Just choose the link for "Fall 2012". If you are living in the United States and wish to receive "Monastery Bells" in your mailbox--and this free subscription includes extras like our novena slips and other things--you can give us your address HERE. We never sell or distribute our mailing list to anyone! Sorry, we can't send to foreign addresses because of the expense. However you decide to read it, we hope you enjoy "Monastery Bells"!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What do nuns do at recreation?

People ask us this question all the time. We pray a lot, we work a lot, and yes, we do have time for what we call "recreation"--basically the chance to talk freely to each other and have a good time for about an hour twice a day. But what exactly do you do? Well, it all depends! We play games on Sunday nights. Sometimes we sit in a big circle and discuss things as a community--usually this happens when we have a guest or a new postulant and we all want to ask questions, or when the prioress or another sister has news she wants to share with the entire community. Mostly we sit around at tables in the community room and talk--that's a lot of fun for us, since we spend so much of the day in silence! Several of the sisters like to do handwork while they are talking... Sr. Mary Jeremiah who recently completed this lovely macrame owl! We also enjoy crocheting, knitting, cross-stitch, quilling, and almost any other kind of handwork you can think of! Some sisters like to go to a corner of our community room and listen to music, and sometimes we work on puzzles. Occasionally we all go to the parlor for a visit with someone (or some people) who come to visit us, whether friends, relatives, or groups who would just like to meet the nuns! We laugh a lot, and always have a good time. It is truly "re-creation"--a chance to deepen our relationships with our sisters and relax after an intense day of prayer and work. We always end recreation with a special prayer to our provident God, Who has brought us all together and sustains us in our Dominican way of life. We  have much to be thankful for, and we are thankful!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Growing on Lotus Lane

Our monastery is located on Lotus Lane in Lufkin, TX (hence the name of this blog). However, there are no lotus plants on Lotus Lane that we know of. Recently this changed when Sr. Mary Christine brought us some lotus plants. Many of us were excited and expected them to look something like this: 


But they don't. They actually look like this right now: 

Yes, you can see pine needles floating in the water along with the lotus plants--that's how you know we're located in East Texas!

Still, we are not disappointed, because this whole situation can be seen as an example of God's working in us. From small and humble beginnings, God creates something great and beautiful in each of us--so long as we cooperate with Him in His work. Just as the lotus plants need mud and water to grow, we need humility and sometimes tears in order to flower in God's eyes. And we need the light of His grace to grow in holiness every day! We pray that the lotus plants will achieve their full beauty someday, but most of all we pray that each sister in our monastery--and each of the readers of this blog--will also develop and bloom with God's help!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Our Lady of La Salette

Today is the memorial of Our Lady of La Salette, the anniversary of the apparitions in France in 1846. We always celebrate this memorial for two reasons: first, the congregation of the Missionaries of La Salette were an important part of the missionary activity in Lufkin for many years, and second, Sr. Mary Veronica celebrates this day as her feast day! We are so grateful to all the La Salettes who served in Lufkin when they had a parish here, and grateful also to the La Salettes who still come to say Mass or hear confessions, particularly Fr. Maurice Linehan, MS and Fr. Ron Foshage, MS. You all have been faithful for many years, and we thank you for it! It is impossible to name here all the many wonderful La Salettes who have helped us over the years, but we remember you all in our prayers. Thank you, thank you all, and may God grant you many more years of missionary work and abundant vocations to your congregation!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sr. Mary Agnes' Birthday: The Big 90!

On September 15, Sr. Mary Agnes turned 90! It's quite a milestone, so we celebrated with a party and a treat of ice cream and cake in the community room. (It actually took place on Sunday night so we were dispensed from the fast!) 

 Sr. Mary Agnes' cakes and ice cream, plus some treats from Trinidad brought by Sr. Mary Ann. You can see Sr. Mary Agnes' plate is ready to go!

Sr. Mary Agnes contemplates 90 years of life while the community sings "Happy Birthday"

Blowing out the candles!

The happy nonagenarian with her cake and ice cream! 

We are so blessed that Sr. Mary Agnes is such an active part of our community. She still answers letters and creates enrollments in the Guild, and keeps up with a variety of other activities, including crocheting beautiful hats and scarves and playing a fierce game of canasta! Many more years, Sr. Mary Agnes, and may God give you good health for all of them!

You can see Sr. Mary Agnes' 88th birthday celebration here.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Assembly 2012

Left to right: Sr. Mary Rose, Sr. Mary Ann, and Sr. Mary John 

Sr. Mary John (our prioress), Sr. Mary Rose (our delegate), and Sr. Mary Ann (the prioress of our Dominican monastery in Trinidad) left Lufkin this morning for the 2012 Assembly--a gathering of Dominican nuns belonging to the Association of Monasteries of Nuns of the Order of Preachers which is held every four years. They will be electing a new President and Council for the Association--and we just have to say, we are so proud of our own prioress, Sr. Mary John, who has served two consecutive terms as President of the Association! And special prayers are being offered for Sr. Mary Rose, who in addition to serving as a delegate will be accompanying  Mass and Morning Prayer on a keyboard instrument yet to be determined! (We know you'll do great!)

The Assembly is being held at the motherhouse of the Springfield Dominican sisters in Springfield, IL. This will be an important meeting for the nuns, for various reasons, and the Master of the Order, Fr. Bruno Cadore, will be coming for a few days as well. Please keep all the Dominican nuns in your prayers during these days when we try to discern and plan for the future!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Exaltation of the Cross 2012

"Do not be afraid to welcome the cross of Christ into your life! It gives full value and meaning to life's joys and sorrows, helping every person to make his own life a gift of love for God and neighbor." --Blessed Pope John Paul II 

Today we celebrate the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. Today also begins our monastic fast--which lasts from September 14 until Easter. Fasting is done at each sister's discretion (we don't just serve bread and water for meals!), but we usually have some corporate fasting as well, such as giving up dessert. Giving up dessert may seem like a small thing to do, when we want to do big and spectacular things for God, but we each do what we can. And little things add up to a lot! Think of St. Therese and all her "little" sacrifices which cost her so much! We especially feel the need for extra prayer and sacrifice with all that is going on in our nation and in the world today. We hope you will join us today in trying to give up some little attachment, or some little indulgence, or even some "little" sin--it will make a big difference, in your life and in the life of the world!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Anniversary of Deceased Friends and Benefactors

Dominicans, like all religious and all Christians, try to welcome guests to their houses as Christ himself. We were reminded of this in today's special Mass reading from Matthew 25:31-46: "I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me...Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brethren of mine, you did for me."

Today we are celebrating the anniversary of our deceased friends and benefactors. All those people who come to our monastery for Mass, to join us in community prayer, or to just sit a while and pray before the Blessed Sacrament...all those people who contact us via letter, email, phone call...all those people who help make our Dominican monastic life possible through their friendship and also their financial support. We are so grateful to them and this is why we remember them today, both living and deceased. We have been especially blessed this past year both in friendships and in gifts from our benefactors, and we thank you for all your generosity to us, spiritual and temporal. Please know you are in our prayers always--in life and in death!