Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

MTS 2013, Continued

We've really been enjoying Fr. John Vidmar's classes on Church History this week!

Fr. Vidmar lectures on monasticism

The students are taking notes diligently!

Some important councils...

We also have a few more presentations to bring you!

 Sr. Joseph Maria (Summit) gave a fantastic presentation on St. Ephrem using PowerPoint--which unfortunately made for a dark picture!

Sr. Maria Teresa (Summit) gave an interesting talk on St. Athanasisus

Sr. Mary Thomas (Lufkin) speaking about St. Gregory Nazianzen. Why are her eyes closed??

Sr. Mary Gabriel (Lufkin) shares a rare happy moment in the life of St. John Chrysostom

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Monastic Theological Studies Program, 2013

We have just completed the first day of our current year of the Monastic Theological Studies Program, and we wanted to get some pictures up in a timely manner!

Fr. John Vidmar, OP is teaching us Church History this week. We are enjoying him both in class and last night in the parlor, where he really made us laugh! His classes are a nice combination of traditional lectures and PowerPoint presentations. Hopefully we will have some pictures of him teaching soon!

And here are some of our patristics presentations...

 Sr. Mary Amata (Summit) speaks on Tertullian while Sr. Mary Rose takes notes!

Sr. Mary Giuse (Lufkin) tells about Origen

Sr. Mary Rose (Lufkin), Sr. Mary Amata and Sr. Maria Teresa (Summit) and Sr. Mary Jeremiah (Lufkin, under the crucifix) listen intently.

Sr. Marie Augustine (Lufkin), Sr. Mary Dominic (Lufkin) and Sr. Mary Francis (Farmington Hills) are also intrigued by the presentation.

Check back soon for more pictures, presentations, and news!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Welcome, Fr. Art Kirwin, OP!

Our summer of substitute chaplains has come to an end as we welcome Fr. Art Kirwin, OP as our chaplain here at the monastery for the next two years. Fr. Art is a Dominican priest of the province of St. Martin de Porres (aka the southern province) and his ministries prior to coming to our monastery include a great deal of preaching and chaplaincy work, especially in prison ministry. Fr. Art will serve our community in a variety of ways, mostly by celebrating Mass for us daily, and he will also work with our local chapter of the Dominican Laity. We hope Fr. Art will be able to continue his work of prison ministry in between the times he helps us--and he plans to do some preaching, too, with his work for CFCA (Christian Foundation for Children and Aging), a wonderful program that helps children and elderly people in developing countries through sponsorship. Check them out here. Thanks so much to Fr. Art for taking on this role! We are grateful to have you with us!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A New Prioress!

Yesterday we held our prioral election, and the community elected Sr. Maria Guadalupe, O.P., as prioress of our monastery for the next three years!

Sr. Maria Guadalupe has served the community in many capacities over the years, and in recent years served terms as subprioress and then novice directress. We are confident she will be a great leader for our community over these next three years. Please keep Sr. Maria Guadalupe and all of us in your prayers as we begin a new term of office! 

Sr. Maria Guadalupe standing with our bishop, Bishop Joseph Strickland (diocese of Tyler, TX) shortly after the election.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Visiting Friars, Summer 2013: Fr. Marty Iott, OP

We promised we would get a picture of Fr. Marty Iott and we did!

Fr. Marty Iott, OP began and now ends our summer of visiting friars. We have really enjoyed his beautiful celebration of Mass and his inspiring homilies. We hope he will be able to visit us again soon--he doesn't live too far away, so hopefully that will be possible! Many, many thanks to ALL our visiting friars who have made this summer so enjoyable and have kept our daily celebration of the Mass going. Ever since our monastery was founded in 1945 we have always had daily Mass and we are so grateful to all the priests over the years who have helped make this possible. It is a privilege and a joy for us! We look forward to welcoming our new chaplain later this week--stay tuned for a post about him soon!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Visiting Friars, Summer 2013: Fr. R.B. Williams, OP

We're almost at the end of our summer of visiting friars, because our new chaplain will be arriving next week! But in the meantime, we were happy to enjoy the celebration of Mass and great preaching by Fr. R.B. Williams, OP. Father is an old friend of our community (we won't say how old!) and it is always a pleasure to welcome him and renew our friendship with him. Some readers may remember that he gave us a community retreat back in 2010 (called "Pictures at an Exhibition") which we all benefited from a great deal. We look forward to seeing Father again soon--actually, he'll be back for a weekend stay next month! If you would like to experience Father's preaching for yourself, check out his website: He's available for parish missions and other preaching engagements!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Visiting Friars, Summer 2013: Fr. Thomas Condon, OP

After Fr. Austin Green, OP left us, we were delighted to welcome Fr. Thomas Condon, OP for a brief visit to our monastery!
Fr. Tom is the socius and vicar provincial of our province of St. Martin de Porres (also known as the southern province of Dominicans). That basically means he's the second in command to our provincial. We all enjoyed Fr. Tom's engaging homilies and his Tennessee accent (or lack thereof). Hopefully he will come back sometime soon and visit us again! Thanks, Fr. Tom and we keep you in our prayers!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries

You never know what a day will bring in the cloister...and on July 3, as we were in the midst of preparations for our annual 4th of July picnic, we were happily surprised with a huge amount of cherries! All hands were called on deck, and everyone got to work sorting, washing, cutting up and even cooking some of the cherries to make a delicious cherry sauce. We are always so grateful to people who remember us with donations, whether of money or food or anything else. As Dominican nuns, we are also mendicants (that's a fancy way of saying we beg for our needs) and we do not receive any stipends or regular support from Rome or our diocese. We are happy to accept anything that is given to us, and this summer alone we have received many welcome gifts of produce of various kinds. Blessed be God (and all our benefactors whom He inspires)!

Sr. Mary Lucy happily poses with some of the fruits of our cherry labors! Sister just turned 89 on the 4th of July, making her the oldest sister in our community. She also received a beautiful flag-decorated cake as a gift for her birthday celebration--and it was delicious, thanks so much for it!