Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Annual Retreat 2014

An image from the wooded area inside our monastic enclosure

This evening we begin our annual community retreat! Our retreat master this year is Fr. Mark Padrez, OP, provincial of the Dominican Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus (also known more informally as the Western Province). We are excited about his coming as we have never met him before, but we have heard many good things about him and look forward to his retreat conferences! Please check back to find out more about the retreat and other news of what's happening here!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Visit with Mother Susan Catherine

Recently we were delighted to welcome Mother Susan Catherine, superior of the new community called the Daughters of Divine Hope, to our monastery. Mother Susan Catherine officially established this community in our home diocese of Tyler, TX in 2011 and is already preparing for the first vows of her novices! Mother Susan Catherine herself just made her final vows on September 14th of this year. We have known Mother Susan Catherine for many years and are so happy that she is following God's call in this way. We encourage women who may be interested in active religious life to check out her community's website: We wish Mother Susan Catherine and her novices all the best, and we hope they will flourish in our diocese and--who knows--elsewhere, too, as God wills! 

Mother Susan Catherine and Sr. Mary John in our large parlor. Sr. Mary John helped Mother Susan Catherine with advice on religious life in the early days of planning and establishing the Daughters of Divine Hope.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Novitiate Renovations

Our novitiate building is lovely...but the floor is not in good shape. This is hardly surprising, since it was installed over 40 years ago and many a novice has traversed the floor since then. As you can see...

...there are a lot of bad spots, not to mention places where tiles were replaced over the years.

But, as we read in Ecclesiastes, "there is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens" (3:1). We are about to replace the entire floor in the novitiate! Of course, to prepare for this great event, we had to clear out stuff. A lot of stuff! All the books in our substantial novitiate library were packed away neatly and stored; all the pictures and statues and crucifixes came down. And a lot of furniture had to be removed. Some of it we could do ourselves, some was moved by our trusty workmen, and the bulk of the furniture was moved this morning by our faithful Knights of Columbus!

Arriving in the novitiate

Shelves from the novice directress's office

It fit through the door...just barely!

Sr. Mary John watches carefully as the Knights move a filing cabinet

Much of the furniture was moved to our Chapter Hall for the time being. 

The Knights in the Chapter Hall

Sr. Mary John and the Knights of Columbus after finishing up!

We are so grateful to the Knights for their hard work and for taking time from a busy Saturday to help us. And they plan to return and help us move everything back in, too! What a great group of Catholic men! Thank you so much for everything! 

We will keep you posted on our novitiate renovations as they continue, so be sure to check back in for updates!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Visiting Friars: Fr. Al Lopez, OP

Last night we were all enjoying Sunday night recreation when suddenly guests arrived! It was Fr. Al Lopez, OP, in town to preach at St. Andrew's parish for Food for the Poor. He was accompanied by Fr. Joe, the pastor at St. Andrew's. They had just finished Mass and wanted to stop by and visit--of course we were happy to have them, although it was a little late for nuns!

Fr Al Lopez with Sr. Maria Cabrini, Sr. Mary Gabriel and Sr. Mary Margaret.

Fr. Al gave us a wonderful talk on St. Rose of Lima, the topic of his doctoral dissertation and a favorite saint of his. We learned many interesting things and numerous pious legends were put to rest! Fr. Al is a Dominican of the province of St. Albert the Great (the central province) and originally hails from Tuscon, Arizona. The relative lateness of the visit reminded us of St. Dominic's famous late-night visit to the nuns to preach and teach, and yes, occasionally bring friars to visit, too. So Fr. Al's visit was definitely in keeping with Dominican tradition!