Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Blessed William Arnaud, OP and Companions

The martyrs of Toulouse--Blessed William Arnaud, OP and his companions--are celebrated today as an optional memorial.  We had a sister in our monastery who was named for Blessed William (Sr. Mary William, OP +2004) and since she held the offices of prioress and novice directress more than once (at different times over the years!) we always used to celebrate this day with special joy.

Blessed William and his companions were martyred in 1242--ten years before St. Peter Martyr (d. 1252), who is considered the "first" Dominican martyr. They were actually martyred by the Albigensian heretics in a church where they were seeking sanctuary. Those were difficult times!


Today we remember these holy martyrs, and we also remember our Sr. Mary William, who was an great model for generations of Dominican nuns, in Lufkin and beyond. May God send us many more good and holy Dominican vocations, and may we all have the fortitude and faith to endure whatever may come!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Consider the Lilies...

Last Easter, Sr. Mary Christine (our sacristan and an able gardener) decided to plant many of the Easter lilies she used to decorate the chapel around the statue of the Infant Jesus in our infirmary garden. She planted the bulbs, watered them faithfully, and asked the Lord to make His garden bloom. And this year it has--in abundance!

This one lily plant has an amazing 13 blooms on it!

Some of the lilies are growing taller than the Infant Jesus--and taller than Sr. Mary Christine, too!

May God be praised for all His goodness to us! And thanks to Sr. Mary Christine, whose faith helped produce such a beautiful garden!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Pentecost 2013

The Spirit of the Lord has filled the whole world!

Today we celebrate the great solemnity of Pentecost, which brings the Easter season to a close. Today we ask for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit, for the grace of repentance, for the courage and strength to go out into the whole world and proclaim the Good News! We pray that all Christians--and all people of good will--will experience today the blessings of the Spirit in the way God chooses to manifest himself to them. May you receive all the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit to enrich you and guide you on the way to God!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ascension of the Lord, 2013




"He led them out as far as Bethany, raised his hands, and blessed them. As he blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to heaven. They did him homage and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and they were continually in the temple, praising God." -- Luke 24:50-53

On this solemnity of the Ascension (celebrated on this Sunday in most dioceses of the United States of America) we look forward in hope to Christ's return in glory, and like the disciples, we remain in the temple (our monastery), praising God continually and thanking Him for all his many gifts. May you be blessed by God in a special way today!

We also want to give a thanks as big as Texas to all our mothers, living and deceased, since here in the United States today also happens to be Mother's Day! God bless all our mothers! And a special thanks also to our spiritual mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary over the Order of Preachers, 2013





Today we celebrate the Patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary over the Order of Preachers (also known as the Dominican Order). Today we renew our consecration to Mary and pray for her intercession for the Order in all its many forms. We also pray for the Master of the Order, Fr. Bruno Cadore, and all his assistants at the Curia at Santa Sabina in Rome. May God continue to grant us new vocations and perseverance in the life of the Order through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Generator Update

We're delighted to announce that our two generators are up and ready to run! You may be asking, two? Well, we are still in the process of purchasing one and the other was a very generous donation. So when we have a power outage again (and hurricane season is coming!), we will have some power in both our main building and our dormitories. Which is a tremendous blessing!

The first generator. This one is next to our laundry building (we have a lot of separate buildings that make up our monastery) and will power the dormitory building and the novitiate building.

Working to install the second generator! It was quite a job, as you can see.

But finally it was all completed. 

The generator for our main building. For those who know our monastery from the inside, it's located right outside the back door to the community room. Thanks to this generous donation, we will have lights and some air conditioning (in the infirmary and kitchen).

We are so grateful to all who have helped us--and continue to help us--with this project. We have been extraordinarily blessed by God through the many people who have contributed in our time of need--small and large donations alike. We are almost there, but we still need a little more to help pay off the whole amount. May God bless all who have helped us, financially and spiritually and through various acts of charity, in our time of need! We remember you every day in our prayers!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

May Novena 2013


It's May, and that means it's time again for our May novena! If you receive "Monastery Bells" via snail mail, you got a novena slip which you can mail back to us with your prayer intentions, but if not, we still encourage you to send us your intentions here. We always remember the intentions of our blog readers in a general way, but perhaps you have some special prayer intention you would like us to keep in mind in a particular way this May. A big part of our novena is our procession out to the statue of Our Lady of the Pines each night, singing the Litany of Loreto as we go. We pray especially for the intercession of Our Lady, Queen of the most holy rosary, for you and all your intentions during this beautiful month of May.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Joseph and Jeremiah

Today is the memorial of St. Joseph the Worker. In addition to his many other patronal duties, St. Joseph, the husband of Mary and the foster father of Jesus, is the patron saint of workers. This memorial was established to counter the Communist celebration of work on May Day (May 1), and it's a good opportunity to meditate on the ways we can sanctify our work and also allow work to lead us to holiness.


In the Orthodox Christian calendar, it's the feast of Jeremiah the prophet.


"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, 
whose hope is in the Lord!
He is like a tree planted beside the waters
that stretches out its roots to the streams; 
It fears not the hear when it comes, 
its leaves stay green. 
In the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit." 
Jeremiah 17:7-8


May you be blessed today in your labors and always keep your trust fixed on the Lord!