Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Tet 2015

On Sunday night we had our annual celebration of the Lunar New Year, or Tet as our Vietnamese sisters call it! For the Vietnamese people this is the year of the goat (in other countries it's the year of the sheep). Our celebration was actually postponed from the 15th due to an event we hope to post later. But this gave us more time to prepare our dance, performed by some of the younger sisters and choreographed as always by Sr. Mary Christine.

For more pictures of our dance, please check out our website gallery, here. There are 7 pictures in all!

We also played games and had delicious Vietnamese treats and lucky money provided by a generous benefactor. We thank everyone who made our celebration possible!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Lenten Companions: St. Polycarp

"O Father of The beloved and blessed Son, Jesus Christ...I bless Thee for counting me worthy of this day and hour, that in the number of martyrs I may partake of Christ's cup, to the resurrection of eternal life of both soul and body in the imperishablility that is the gift of the Holy Ghost."
--St. Polycarp

St. Polycarp is the first of our Lenten companions. He was a martyr who died about 155 and he is one of the "Apostolic Fathers", meaning that he received his teaching directly from one of the first disciples or apostles. In fact, he is supposed to have been a disciple of St. John the Evangelist. Polycarp was a contemporary and friend to many other well-known Fathers of the Church, including St. Ignatius of Antioch and St. Irenaeus of Lyons. He was captured and martyred during a persecution of Christians in Smyrna, where he was bishop. His final prayer, quoted above, shows a strong Trinitarian theology, and ends with a doxology. Polycarp is an excellent Lenten companion for us because he remained true to his faith in the face of persecution and martyrdom (and this is becoming sadly more common for Christians today), and he followed faithfully in the footsteps of Christ, which all Christians are called to do, regardless of their state of life or the way their lives end. May Polycarp inspire us today to be faithful and unafraid to follow Christ to Calvary and beyond!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lent 2015

Lent is here again! We've heard a lot of Dominicans telling us recently, "Instead of giving something up, why not do something extra for Lent?" This doesn't necessarily mean extra church services, extra prayers, or extra volunteer time (although all those things are good practices!). It can also mean strengthening the virtues, building up those that are weak within us. You could try putting Paul's reminder about Christians being ambassadors for Christ into practice (as another friar told us). And hopefully, by practicing a new virtue for the six weeks of Lent, it will become a new good habit that will carry you through the months and years to come! So this Lent consider striving to be more grateful, more loving, more patient...or whatever you most need to work on. If you are faithful to your practice it will bear fruit in your life at Easter--or even before!

With this in mind, we're going to bring you some "Lenten companions" to help you as we proceed through Lent. We did this for Advent, and it seemed to be helpful for many, so we will try again for this season! We hope to have at least one Lenten companion each week, so please check to find out who's being featured. And we will also be posting monastery news and other things!

Have a blessed and holy Lent! We'll be meeting you on the way!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Association Council Meeting

The Council of the Association of Monasteries of Nuns of the Order of Preachers in the United States (that's a mouthful, isn't it?) met at our monastery last week. They kept very busy with their meetings, so we didn't see a lot of them, but we enjoyed having them with us! We did have one recreation where we could all talk to each other!

From left to right: Sr. Denise Marie (Summit), Sr. Mary Thomas (Farmington Hills), Sr. Mary Rose (Lufkin), Sr. Mary Catharine (Summit), Sr. Maria Christine (Menlo Park), Fr. Walter Wagner, OP (priest consultant), and Sr. Anna Marie (Springfield). 

We are so grateful for all their hard work getting ready for the 2016 Assembly and other projects!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Winter 2015 Issue of Monastery Bells

We've got the winter 2015 issue of "Monastery Bells" in the mail! If you want to read it right now, just click here. 

We are also holding our annual raffle again this year! You can check out the prizes--we have seven, but two are not pictured as they are surprises--here. If you don't receive "Monastery Bells" by mail (and therefore do not get tickets for our raffle) we invite anyone in the United States (sorry, we can't mail prizes overseas) to enter just by sending us an email or contact form message with your name, address, and a way of contacting you! No donation is required, although we accept any donations gratefully. We hope to hear from you!