Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Saints Peter and Paul, 2014

Today we celebrate the solemnity of these two great saints, Peter and Paul. The Preface of today's Mass says it best: "Peter, foremost in confessing the faith, / Paul, its outstanding preacher, / Peter, who established the early Church from the remnant of Israel, / Paul, master and teacher of the Gentiles that you call." Two saints, so different, so complementary, both so needed in today's world! 

People sometimes ask, "How do you celebrate a solemnity? What makes it different?" Our main celebration is liturgical, with Mass and singing of the Liturgy of the Hours for the day. But there are usually other little signs that make the day special. One example is that we have a little treat for meals. Sr. Marie Augustine made a special fruit plate for today's dinner (or lunch, as you may refer to it!).

Sister has several different kinds of fruit here: cantaloupe, honeydew melon, watermelon, and pineapple. We usually have fruit of some kind at our meals but it's not usually this fancy! 

A solemnity is a day to meditate on the saint (or on our Lord or the Blessed Virgin) and pray for a deeper conversion, to imitate those who have gone before us in faith. But it's also a day to celebrate our faith and give thanks for all the graces we have been given. Saints Peter and Paul give us a lot to ponder, pray over, and celebrate today!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Immaculate Heart of Mary, 2014

This memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a complement to the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (celebrated yesterday) and is an encouragement to all of us to imitate Mary. She continually pondered on the mysteries of her Son's life: his incarnation and birth, his presentation and later his being found in the Temple, his hidden years at home, his public ministry, and finally his passion, death and resurrection. May we, like Mary, remember all these things and reflect on them in our hearts, until they become part of us!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Sacred Heart of Jesus, 2014

God of unfathomable mercy, embrace the whole world and pour yourself out upon us through the merciful Heart of Jesus.
--St. Faustina Kowalska, Diary #1183

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Nativity of St. John the Baptist, 2014

John the Baptist is unique among saints, in that we celebrate his birthday and not just his date of entrance into heaven. He shares this privilege with only two others: Our Lord and the Blessed Virgin Mary! The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this for us: "John surpasses all the prophets, of whom he is the last. He inaugurates the Gospel, already from his mother's womb welcomes the coming of Christ, and rejoices in being the 'friend of the bridegroom', whom he points out as 'the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world'." (523) May this holy man, who said of himself, "He must increase, while I must decrease", be an example to us today and every day as we strive to follow Christ more closely and point out his way to all!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Fortnight for Freedom, 2014

Today begins this year's Fortnight for Freedom! Our bishop, Bishop Joseph Strickland (Tyler, TX) has recommended praying an Our Father, a Hail Mary, and a Glory Be each day of the fortnight. What could be easier? It only takes a couple of minutes, but the impact can change the world! We hope you will join us in praying for religious freedom for all and the freedom to serve the poor and vulnerable. There are some good resources and more information on the fortnight at the website here.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

What's Cooking?

Tamales, to be exact! Sr. Marie Augustine teamed up with our wonderful kitchen helper Diana and Sr. Irma to learn the art of tamale making...check out the results!

We don't have pictures of the actual tamale making, but here are the finished products!

Sr. Marie Augustine adds the tamales to a large pot where they will cook. You can see some tamale wrappings (corn husks) in the background

We're sure they will taste as good as they look! Everything Sr. Marie Augustine cooks is delicious!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Trinity Sunday 2014...and More

Wishing you a blessed Trinity Sunday! It's also Father's Day here in the United we offer many prayers for all our fathers, living and deceased. Thanks also to all our priests and the men who have been like fathers for us. You are all a great help when we try to comprehend the relationship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the mystery of the Trinity! 

Update on Pentecost...It seems the most popular gifts from the Holy Spirit this year were "Fear of the Lord" and "Wisdom". Since "fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom", we hope to have a wise community in the coming year!

And...Sr. Bernadette Marie is home from the MTS program held at Summit this year! We are so happy to have her back, and looking forward to hearing all about her adventures after she has a chance to rest and recover from her travels.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

MTS 2014, Week 2

We saw this picture of the sisters enjoying a break between classes at Summit and remembered the days when we had the MTS here in Lufkin. We went through a lot of snacks!! Of course you need to keep your strength up during such an intense program. At least that was our excuse! It's nice to see that the tradition continues at Summit, as we see Sr. Bernadette Marie here snacking on something. We pray that this week's round of classes (theology with Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP of our own southern Dominican province) goes well. Please do check out Summit's blog to see more great pictures and news.

Monday, June 9, 2014

More of the MTS 2014

Looks like Sr. Bernadette Marie--and other sisters--are making good use of their cameras while at the MTS program in Summit! We enjoy seeing the pictures on Summit's blog but we hope to see some of the MTS from Sr. Bernadette Marie's perspective when she returns home...and hearing about all the things she learned too.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Pentecost 2014

Blessed Pentecost to all!

May the Holy Spirit descend upon you in sevenfold gifts today! 

Please join us in praying for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the whole world! We will have our usual drawing of "gifts" and "fruits" from the Holy Spirit later today...pray that the Spirit gives each of us what we really need at this time. (Actually, the Spirit always does this, but pray that we will each recognize and acknowledge our needs!!) For anyone who is unsure what we are speaking about, we each draw a holy card with a gift and a fruit of the Holy Spirit printed on the back (for example, Fortitude and Peace, or Wisdom and Self-Control, etc., etc.) and that is supposed to be the special gift/fruit of the Holy Spirit for each sister to guide her through the coming year. So do keep us in prayer, and know that we are praying for all of you as well!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

MTS News...

Looks like Sr. Bernadette Marie is enjoying her philosophy class with Fr. Brian Chrzastek, OP! We hope she shares all the fruits of her study when she comes home...

Check out Summit's blog for more info!

Four good years...

This is our fourth anniversary!  Hard to believe we've been doing this four years already! Thanks to all who read and/or follow this blog and know that you will be in our special prayers today. God bless you!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Check out the MTS!

You can see some great pictures of the MTS program (including some pictures of Sr. Bernadette Marie) on Summit's blog, here. Please check it out! And keep checking here for updates on life here in Lufkin!

Sr. Bernadette Marie looks happy here on a tour of the monastery!