Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Fall Picnic Fun!

Every year around Columbus Day we have our big fall picnic. This is not to be confused with our Fourth of July Picnic, which is always held on the 4th of July when it is too hot to go outside and do anything. No, the Fall Picnic Day is a day for getting out and exploring the farthest bounds of our extensive property--while doing a lot of snacking and picnicking too!

Much of the community gathered for the flag raising 

Cloe raises the flag, assisted by Sr. Mary Gabriel

An intrepid group of sisters prepare to go on an adventure in the golf cart. Sr. Mary Gabriel (with red ribbon on hat), Sr. Mary John (in sunglasses), Sr. Mary Regina (passenger) and Sr. Mary Margaret (driving)

The wild side of the monastery grounds

Driving through a tree-lined path

 Meanwhile, the novitiate sisters tried a different path...through the door in the wall!

 Cloe poses atop our old pedestal, from the front of the monastery grounds

An easier route was taken back, with a pause to pray before our statue of Mary. 

 In the evening, we played some card games. The canasta table! Sr. Mary Jeremiah, Sr. Mary Sybillina, Sr. Mary Margaret, Sr. Mary Regina 

And in this corner...Rummikub! Sr. Maria Guadalupe, Sr. Maria Cabrini, Sr. Bernadette Marie, and Sr. Marie Augustine. Looks like Sr. Maria Cabrini just won!

It was a great, relaxing it's back to work!! We thank God for all His many blessings which make such beautiful days possible!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

St. Louis Bertrand Surprise!

Yesterday, October 9, was the feast of St. Louis Bertrand--a Dominican saint who is the patron of novice masters and novice mistresses. Accordingly, the novitiate had a little party during noon recreation, where they played a fun Dominican themed game designed by our postulant Cloe. But as they say--wait, there's more! When the novitiate sisters went to evening recreation, a big surprise awaited them! Sr. Mary Gabriel wheeled in a large dolly containing three large boxes, all wrapped and festooned with bows. Sr. Mary Rose and our two sisters in formation (Sr. Bernadette Marie and Cloe) opened them with great joy. 

Cloe, Sr. Mary Rose, and Sr. Bernadette Marie opening the packages while the professed sisters look on.

To the surprise and delight of the novitiate, it was a set of the Ante-Nicene and Nicene Fathers! This is a venerable series of books that contain writings of the Fathers of the Church from the first centuries of the Church. The professed have an older version of this series in their library and the novitiate sisters had to borrow them when they needed them, but now they have their own set! These are especially useful since the novitiate (and others) are still having a class in patristics (that is, the study of the Fathers of the Church). What a wonderful surprise and excellent gift! Thank you so much!!

 Cloe, Sr. Mary Rose, and Sr. Bernadette Marie with a few of the many volumes the novitiate library has now acquired. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fall 2015 Monastery Bells!

We just mailed out the Fall 2015 issue of "Monastery Bells"...but you can read it right now on our website! It's right here. This issue is all about hospitality which fits in well with recent events, as you can see from previous posts! As always, if you would like to receive "Monastery Bells" by mail, just let us know and we'll add you to our mailing list! Sorry, we can't mail them overseas because of the cost but you can read it online! 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Visiting Friars: Fr. Jorge Rativa, OP

We had a pleasant surprise this afternoon...Fr. Jorge Rativa, OP, the socius and vicar provincial of our Dominican province of St. Martin de Porres (aka the southern province) stopped by with a member of the Dominican Laity, Sandy Sanchez. They had just been giving a retreat in Houston and wanted to come by and meet the nuns before returning to their home in New Orleans! Lufkin is not actually on the way from Houston to New Orleans, so we like to think Fr. Jorge and Sandy just wanted to come and meet us. And it was a truly delightful visit! Several of us crowded into Peace Parlor (it's supposed to hold about five nuns, but we managed to squeeze in eight) and of course Fr. Jorge and Sandy had plenty of room on their side of the enclosure. Naturally we got a picture of the happy event: 

Sr. Maria Guadalupe (standing), Sandy Sanchez, OP, Fr. Jorge Rativa, OP, and Sr. Mary Rose and Sr. Mary Giuse (kneeling)

Our visit was only supposed to last a short time but easily stretched into an hour. We had to say goodbye when the bell rang for Rosary and Midafternoon Prayer. However, we are hoping to see Fr. Jorge again soon...details will most likely come in the weeks ahead! 

We are always so happy to welcome members of our Dominican family here at the monastery! If you are in the area, please feel free to stop by and visit with us! Actually, we welcome everyone to our monastery--not just Dominicans. Our monastery and chapel are "a house of prayer for all peoples" (Isaiah 56:7). If you are visiting Lufkin you are welcome to come in the chapel and pray...or just sit outside and pray. We look forward to seeing you! 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Monastery Decorations

We recently added some decoration to the monastery in the form of some Dominican plaques which were given to us! Two are made of granite and were installed outside on the breezeway, and the other is a marble square from the chapel of our Dominican monastery in Camden, NJ which had to close a while back. Each of our new decorations has a meaning which goes beyond simply being attractive (although we think they are very nice!). 
Sr. Mary Rose is standing next to the first, an image of St. Dominic, the founder of the Dominican Order. He holds a walking staff (in the shape of a cross) in one hand and assorted books and scrolls in the other. He seems to be silently encouraging us to walk forward and onward, guided by the Cross and carrying the intellectual treasures that will help to renew the Church in our time. 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the breezeway, Cloe is standing besides a plaque that has a prayer to St. Dominic written on it. This reminds us of the need to pray always--and to ask for our holy father St. Dominic's intercession, which we know to be powerful!

Just outside the doors of our chapel, Sr. Mary Rose and Cloe stand by this marble square with a cross on it. This brings many images and ideas to mind, but we would like to remember especially the many years of service and prayer and love that our sisters in Camden, NJ dedicated at their monastery. 

We have many other reminders and images on our walls here at the monastery--hopefully we can bring you some more pictures of these! Many thanks to our friends who donated the plaques and helped us put them up!