Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Visit from Bishop-Elect Strickland

Bishop-elect Joseph Strickland came out to the Monastery this afternoon to celebrate Mass for us and stayed for a lovely visit afterwards. He shared with us about his recent retreat in Subiaco, Arkansas with the Benedictine monks there and discussed the new coat of arms which he will use as bishop. 

Bishop-elect Strickland with Sr. Mary Margaret and Sr. Mary John

He will be ordained on November 28. We hope to see his ordination on television, and we look forward to seeing him come again soon--this time as Bishop! Thank you so much for your continuing service to the Church and especially to our diocese of Tyler!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Year of Faith

Today is the first day of the Year of Faith, proclaimed by our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI! It's also the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. And the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism. And there's a synod of bishops convened to discuss the New Evangelization. There's a lot going on, and a lot to pray for! In his apostolic letter Porta Fidei, the Pope writes that this year is "a summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the one Savior of the world." (6) He also writes, "It is the love of Christ that fills our hearts and impels us to evangelize. Today as in the past, he sends us through the highways of the world to proclaim his Gospel to all the peoples of the earth." (7) These are words that resonate with us in a special way as we try to proclaim the Word and our love for Christ through this blog! Because, as the Holy Father continues, "It is faith that enables us to recognize Christ, and it is his love that impels us to assist him whenever he becomes our neighbor along the journey of life." (13) We cannot keep this Good News about Christ to ourselves! Even from the cloister we must proclaim it! This is part of our vocation as Dominican women, and we are glad to preach in our own small way. 

Our prayer is that this Year of Faith will be a blessed one for all the people of the world, that they may grow in faith, hope and love and be strengthened in their lives as sons and daughters of God.

Check out the official website of the Year of Faith HERE.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pray the Rosary!

October is the month especially dedicated to praying the rosary, and here at the Monastery we pray the rosary together every day except Sunday (when we have a different schedule so we pray it privately). The Rosary is a powerful prayer--in fact, today's feast, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, commemorates the great victory at Lepanto in 1571. Pope Pius V (a Dominican Pope) encouraged Christians to pray the rosary for victory, and Don Juan's Christian forces successfully defeated the Islamic Turks. Today we are still fighting all kinds of battles, and while action is often necessary, there is great wisdom in this advice: 

As contemplative nuns, that's what we do when faced with difficulties--our first option is always prayer. With everything that's going on in our nation and the world today, consider taking 15 minutes each day to pray the rosary, or some other prayer of your choice. Prayer can change the world, starting with you!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

St. Francis and St. Dominic 2012

St. Francis and St. Dominic are both great saints who are kind of misunderstood. We might think of St. Francis primarily as a proto-hippie, preaching to birds and petting wolves, and while he did these things, he also received the stigmata as a sign of his love for the crucified Christ. We might think of St. Dominic as more the "establishment" type, rooting out heretics and preaching against sin, and while he did these things, he is also known as the "joyful friar" who went on his travels through Europe singing hymns. When we look beneath the surface, we see the connection between them, and we see why the Church needs them both. They are two types of holiness for the faithful to imitate, both mendicant friars, both determined to change the Church and the world through a return to Gospel living. They accomplished their tasks in very different ways, and yet there was a common thread running through both their lives, a love of evangelical poverty, a desire for martyrdom, love and respect for the Pope...the list goes on. Here at our monastery we have several statues of St. Francis in addition to a few of St. Dominic (it's easier to find a statue of St. Francis, since he's infinitely more popular than St. Dominic) and we gladly honor him as our "Holy Father St. Francis". May he intercede for all the Franciscans--and Dominicans--today and every day!

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Rose from St. Therese

You may be familiar with the pious concept of praying to St. Therese for something and asking her to send a rose as confirmation that God has heard your prayer and will hopefully grant what you are asking for in the way you ask for it! (Because God doesn't necessarily answer our prayers the way we expect Him to.) We have a sister in our community who once made this request in a halfhearted way, not really expecting anything to happen...and then she received a dozen roses! She's a believer now!
In honor of St. Therese, a website called Imagine Sisters is proposing that you should offer a rose today to a young woman you think might have a call to the religious life. We think that's a great idea--we need more sisters in the world! And very often a woman interested in religious life is waiting for a "sign" of some kind--a word of encouragement from a friend, from a priest, a special passage of Scripture that suddenly speaks to her heart, circumstances mysteriously arranging themselves to make religious life possible. Even if you don't want to offer a rose, you can still encourage a young woman to consider religious life--maybe direct her toward a website like the Imagine Sisters project website, which has some nice information on vocation discernment, or maybe direct her to OUR website! 

May St. Therese intercede for all of us to find our vocation in life as she found hers at the heart of the Church!