Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Retreat in Springfield, IL

 These five happy sisters are going to a retreat for Dominican nuns in Springfield, IL!
L to R: Sr. Maria Cabrini, Sr. Marie Augustine, Sr. Mary Dominic, Sr. Miriam, Sr. Mary Giuse

Usually, we stay inside the cloister for our retreats! But the Dominican promoter of the nuns, Fr. Brian Pierce, OP, organized a special retreat for nuns at the motherhouse of the Springfield Dominican Sisters in Springfield, IL. There will be four presenters: Fr. Brian Pierce, OP; Fr. Donald Goergen, OP; Sr. Breda Carroll, OP; and Sr. Ann Willits, OP. We are sure our sisters will have a beautiful time retreating with the Lord and their fellow nuns (as well as some of the Springfield sisters), and we look forward to hearing all about their adventure when they return on Tuesday, July 9! We have to mention that in addition to our sisters who are participating, one of our sisters here made the booklets they will use for the Liturgy of the Hours. It was quite a job!

Meanwhile, the rest of us will be holding down the fort here in Lufkin! Pray for all of us!  

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Visiting Friars, Summer 2013: Fr. Austin Green, OP

We promised to let you know about some of our visiting friars, and finally we're able to do so! 

Our first visiting friar this summer was Fr. Marty Iott, OP, a great preacher and really nice man who stayed with us several days. We took a picture of him with some of the sisters but for some unknown reason the picture wouldn't show up on the computer--and hence, it won't appear here. Possibly a problem with our card? Anyway, he is supposed to return in July and we hope to get a picture of him then!

We do have a picture of our second visiting friar, Fr. Austin Green, OP.
 Father is 93 years old and still going strong! He celebrated Mass and had Benediction for us every day, and even joined us in the outside chapel for many hours of the Divine Office and for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Father is a wonderful preacher. We all enjoyed his humble and moving homilies. We did have to make some small adaptations in our chapel to make things easier for him, but Father has a range of motion many younger men (and women!) would envy. One thing will suffice: he can genuflect beautifully! Father is currently stationed at St. Anthony of Padua Priory in New Orleans, LA. If God wills, perhaps he will return some day! Thanks to Fr. Art Kirwin, OP who acted as his "travel agent" and Fr. Marty Iott, OP who picked Father Austin up at the airport and brought him to Lufkin. And thanks to Father Austin Green, for a great two weeks! We certainly enjoyed having you with us!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Making the Top 100 List...

We got an email yesterday telling us that this site chose our blog as one of the top 100 blogs by Catholic nuns and sisters. A lot of thoughts ran through our minds...mostly curiosity and bewilderment...but we decided to check out the site and it looks OK. Actually, it looks like a pretty interesting site if you're interested in Catholic dating--which we aren't personally, but we have no objections to people dating--unless you're a young woman and you think God might be calling you to the cloister! But since they include a list of nun blogs on their website, they seem to be open to all kinds of vocations, which is great. By the way, if you want to see our blog on the the link above and keep scrolling, scrolling, scrolling...we're #100. Seriously. But we're in some good company among the bloggers. There's a link to our blog and even a little screenshot. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Questions Answered

In this occasional series, we'd like to answer some questions which come up. If you have a question, feel free to ask! 

Q: How did you come up with the title of this blog? 
A: There are actually two answers to this question. First, the simple one. Our address is 1501 Lotus Lane so we are, in fact, living Dominican life on Lotus Lane. Now the more complicated one. Many years ago the sister who does most of the writing for this blog was assigned the task of creating and writing and printing a little newsletter for prospective vocations. Since she was in the novitiate at the time, she called it "Novitiate News". Maybe not the most original title, but it got the point across. Fast forward a few years. The sister in question graduated from the novitiate but was asked to keep writing her little newsletter. Since she was out of the novitiate and no longer had full access what was happening there (those of you familiar with religious life know that the professed sisters and novitiate sisters lead very separate lives despite their close proximity otherwise), she decided to call the revised publication "Life on Lotus Lane". In 2010, we started this blog and of course there was the question of what to call it. "Life on Lotus Lane" was suggested but rejected. But, someone queried, what if we call it "Dominican Life on Lotus Lane"? Somehow that name stuck. And it seems to be working. 

Q: Are there any actual lotus flowers on Lotus Lane? 
A: If there are, they are not on our property. We have tried to grow them, but conditions have never been favorable. We're not sure about the rest of Lotus Lane as it is actually a rather long street. Anything is possible.

You can leave a question in the comments section or email it to us. Our email address is on our website.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fortnight for Freedom, 2013

Today marks the beginning of the Fortnight for Freedom, a time dedicated to prayers for the protection of religious liberty and freedom.We invite you to join us in praying for this intention, which is so important right now! This suggested prayer comes from the United States bishops' conference, but any prayers would be good.

Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty

O God our Creator,
from your provident hand we have received
our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
You have called us as your people and given us
the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God,
and your Son, Jesus Christ.
Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,
you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel
to every corner of society.
We ask you to bless us
in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart
to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
give us courage in making our voices heard
on behalf of the rights of your Church
and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.
Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,
a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters
gathered in your Church
in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,
so that, with every trial withstood
and every danger overcome—
for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,
and all who come after us—
this great land will always be "one nation, under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Last Day of Spring

Things have been relatively quiet here at the much so we've had time to watch the grass grow...

and actually, it was getting so tall we cut it this morning! Flowers are blooming, too, despite the heat.

and of course, our friends the squirrels keep us entertained.

Despite the slowness of this pre-summer season, we are always kept busy with our prayers. We meet in chapel to pray the Liturgy of the Hours several times a day and each sister also keeps a time of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. In addition to these, we have daily Mass and rosary in common. Not to mention meditation twice a day and time for lectio divina

If you happen to be in the Lufkin area this summer, we hope you'll stop by and pray with us! Our chapel is open from about 6 AM to 8 PM every day, and yes, it's air-conditioned! We have the Blessed Sacrament exposed from 8 AM to 8 PM too. Please check our schedule page for Mass and prayer times. And if you're discerning a vocation this summer, we welcome you to send us an email, give us a call, or mail a letter the old fashioned way.

One thing we've learned is that these quiet times never last long. So we're enjoying it while we can! Keep checking back to learn more about the excitement that's coming later on!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Thanks to our Fathers

Today in the United States, we honor our fathers. Usually this refers to biological fathers, but we like to extend our thanks and praise to ALL fathers--fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, our holy father St. Dominic, the priest-fathers who have been so good to us, God the Father, and all the men who have been like fathers to us, in whatever way. May God bless you and keep you, and thank you for all your love, generosity, and providential care!

We have had an interesting summer regarding visiting friars, and we hope to bring you some pictures and tales soon. Our new chaplain doesn't arrive here until July 18, so we are having several of our brother friars visit to fill in the chaplain duties. We will be glad to get our regular chaplain installed, but meanwhile it is great to meet and reconnect with so many of our brothers! Thanks to all the friars who are coming this summer--we appreciate you!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Immaculate Heart of Mary

Today we celebrate the memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a companion to the celebration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (which we celebrated yesterday). This memorial has a lot to do with relationship to Mary. Because she was immaculately conceived--preserved from all taint of original sin--and her heart is completely pure, she retains a tremendous capacity both for joy and suffering. We tend to emphasize the sufferings and sorrows of Mary, but there is a chaplet devoted to the seven joys of Mary, too! This devotion can become very sentimental, but there is a strength here as well. We recall the promise of Our Lady at Fatima: "In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph." This is a reminder that despite all the sound and fury of the devil, God will always win.

Mary promised the conversion of Russia and a time of peace at Fatima. May these two events come to pass in our lifetimes! 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Sacred Heart, 2013

"The love of God is manifested no longer through actions alone but through a divine Person who, by the very act of his Incarnation in the nature of man, shows concretely the heights of this love. In Christ, God loves man infinitely and is loved by him...Through the revelation of his divine nature and through the acceptance of his supreme sacrifice, Christ opens man's eyes to the reality of God's infinite and pure love which to redeem us and return us to our former estate as his sons: 'did not spare his own Son, but offered him for all of us' (Romans 8:32). 'Christ...loved us and gave himself up in our place' (Ephesians 5:2)...Love is the most radiant novelty of the Gospel: it is pre-eminently the commandment which the Lord chose to call 'mine'." --from "The Heart of Christ: Center of the Christian Mystery and Key to the Universe" by Pedro Arrupe, S.J.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Three Years! and, a Season for Change

Today is the third anniversary of this blog--wow--it's hard to believe! As always we are sincerely grateful to Sr. Anna Marie, OP of our Dominican monastery in Elmira, NY who helped us get started on this adventure. And we are grateful to all our readers! Thanks for checking in to see what Dominican life is like on Lotus Lane in Lufkin, TX! 

Also today, our chaplain of two wonderful years, Fr. Paul Philibert, OP, packed his many bags and boxes and took off in his U-Haul for a three-day road trip to Providence, RI, where he will be holding a chair in Catholic Culture at Providence College. We are sorry to see him leave, but confident he will continue to do great things in his future assignments. We look forward to our new chaplain, Fr. Art Kirwin, OP, who will arrive on July 18. In the meantime, we have several friars who will be filling in, and we are happy to have them come to our monastery. More details as future events warrant! 

The famous passage from Ecclesiastes reads, "There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens" (Ecc.3:1) May we all be inspired to live through the changes that come with grace!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Keeping the Lights On

Many thanks again to all who helped us with our generator project! We had a short power outage this morning. Normally this would have left us groping in the dark for our candles, flashlights and kerosene lamps, but today--almost before we could say, "Oh, no!" when the lights went out--suddenly there was a great roaring sound. The new generator had begun its work! Power was restored! And then, as soon as the regular power service was back on, the generator shut off, just as it is supposed to do! We are so grateful to everyone involved in this project! Thanks for helping keep the lights on!

Corpus Christi, 2013

Today we celebrate the solemnity of Corpus Christi, which honors in a special way the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, truly present in the Eucharist. We are very happy that we have the privilege of adoring our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament each day in our chapel. In union with Pope Francis, we will also be having a holy hour this morning from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM to adore the Lord all together as a community. We hope you will unite your adoration and prayers with the Pope, with us, and with the whole world during this time.

May God be praised forever for His wonderful gift of the Eucharist!