Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Angelic Life

 Today is the Feast of the Great Archangels. It is so important to pray for their help, intercession and protection during these days of world conflict and turmoil. Saint Michael is a special patron for the spiritual warfare that is taking place in our world. Let us pray...
          St. Michael the Archangel, 
          defend us in battle. 
          Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. 
          May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, 
          and do thou, 
          O Prince of the heavenly hosts, 
          by the power of God, 
          thrust into hell Satan, 
          and all the evil spirits, 
          who prowl about the world 
          seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

 The consecrated life is often called the"Angelic Life". It is not because we are perfect spirits or something different than other human beings. It is because the consecrated, and especially the monastic, life is focused completely upon God. The life of the angels is one of worship and praise of God. We join them at every Sunday Mass when we say or sing, "Holy, holy, holy..." The monastic life is one adoration, worship, praise, intercession and reparation. In this way we share in the angelic life.
Whether we are at home in our monastery chapel or away on business, as the nuns above in the photo at the Motherhouse of the Nashville Dominican Sisters chapel, we are always going about the Opus Dei, the Liturgy of the Hours or Divine Office. In this picture we are praying the Hour of Morning Prayer, but we return to chapel seven times throughout the entire day, every day to sing God's praises.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Returning Home

Our three travelers to the Association Assembly in Nashville TN returned home safely on Friday evening after a 12 hour drive. Everyone was celebrating, even the car!
Now that we have more time, we will try to put up pictures of all the Nuns at the Assembly. First, from Lufkin: Sister Mary Rose, novice directress; Sister Maria Guadalupe, prioress; Sister Mary Jeremiah.
The other southern monastery in Marbury AL was represented by Sister Mary of the Sacred Heart and Sister Mary Jordan.
     Now, swinging over to the west coast, we have two Dominican monasteries. One is in Los Angeles, located under the famous "Hollywood" sign. There was one participant, Sister Mary Angela, the novice directress.
    Then, heading north, is the monastery at Menlo Park. On the right is Sister Maria Christine, our Association President, and then Sister Joseph Marie, novices directress.
Heading back toward the east coast, Farmington Hills MI is the home of our founding monastery. They sent four participants to the Assembly: Sister Mary Thomas; Sister Faustina Marie; Sister Rani, novice directress; and Sister Mary of the Sacred Heart, prioress.

The "newest" monastery in Springfield IL which moved from Elmira NY sent two nuns: Sister Anna Marie, novices directress; and Sister Miriam, prioress.

Finally, we reach the east coast and find several monasteries. Sister Mary Veronica, prioress, came from the Dominican monastery in Lancaster, PA.

We had four nuns from the monastery in Summit, NJ: Sister Mary Catharine, novices directress; Sister Mary Martin, prioress; Sister Denise Marie; and Sister Mary Magdalene, Assembly news and media person.
Going across the Hudson River we find the only contemplative monastery in Manhattan, the Dominican nuns in the Bronx, with Sister Mary of the Sacred Heart, prioress, and Sister Marie Grace.

As a finale, the Canadian Dominicans Nuns--

 in Quebec, Canada, represented by Sister Julie, prioress.

As well as the west, in Squamish, British Columbia: Sister Mary Magdalen; Sister Marie Tersidis, prioress; and the inset, Sister Mary Columba.

Thursday, September 22, 2016


 On Tuesday, September 20, the Assembly held its election for the New Council members for the next four years. Below is the new Council:

Left to right: Sr. Mary Rose (1st Councilor and Secretary, Lufkin TX); Sr. Marie Tersidis (2nd Councilor, B.C., Canada); Sr. Mary Jeremiah (3rd Councilor, Lufkin TX); Fr. Walter Wagner (Priest-Assistant, Manhattan NY); Sr. Maria Christine (President, Menlo Park CA); Sister Mary Catharine (Vice-President, Summit NJ).

On Wednesday, September 21, the Assembly members had a "field trip" to the Dominican Sisters Retreat House a little over a hour away. There they had a tour, walked in the forest, celebrated Mass, ate a picnic lunch, rested, some went swimming in the large pond, etc.


Monday, September 19, 2016

JOY Joy joy

Saturday evening many of the Nashville Sisters cam to recreate and personally meet the nuns. It was a wonderful experience to put name to faces and discover where people came from. In fact, one of the nun found out she was related to one of the Nashville Dominican Sisters! The President of the Nuns' Association gave the hosting community a beautiful new Marian chasuble (with matching, stole, chalice veil and burse). There are about 12 different panels beginning with St. Luke and illustrating the joyful mysteries of the Rosary. In the photo below, Mother Ann Marie, the Prioress General of the Congregation, is starting to hold it up for all the Sisters to see.


Today the Nuns had several sessions with Fr. John Paul Walker, OP, pastor at St. Mary Church in New Haven CT. He spoke on Joy and the New Evangelization and used stories from the Lives of the Brethren, a book about the early Dominicans.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Statutes, Directory, laws, texts, votes, ....

Today we worked very hard on numerous proposals to our Association Statutes and Directory.

Father Walter Wagner, OP, our Assistant, kept us on track and we actually finished the work proposed for the day. Tomorrow there will be another guest speaker--Fr. John Paul Walker, OP.
 See you then!

The above photograph is of the Assembly representatives with FrCésar Valero Bajo, OP, the Promoter General for the Dominican Nuns throughout the world.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The JOY of a Co-Operator Brother Vocation

The theme of the Assembly is The Joy of St. Dominic, and today the guest speaker was Brother Herman Johnson, OP of the Southern Province of St. Martin de Porres. Brother Herman lives in New Orleans LA. He is the first co-operator to be elected the Prior at the St. Anthony of Padua Priory; usually Rome required the prior to be a priest, but St. Dominic himself thought the Brothers would be good superiors. Brother Herman has taught Spanish for many years at Xavier University founded by St. Katherine Drexel.
Brother Herman shared with the nuns the history and life of a Co-operator Brother. It is the vocation for men who want the religious life but not ordination. He also revealed his deep love and admiration for our "greatest" Brother, St. Martin de Porres of Lima Peru, by giving a 13-minute presentation as if he were St. Martin himself. All the nuns were truly inspired.

A Day of Dialogue

Today was dedicated to discussing Pope Francis' Apostolic Constitution on the Contemplative Life with our General Promoter of the Dominican Nuns throughout the world, Fr. César Valero Bajo, OP.  He will be returning to Rome tomorrow. It has been a very special grace to have him with us. We were so involved that we decided to have an extra hour session.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

2016 General Assembly of the North American Association of Dominican Monasteries

Four of our Sisters set out early on Monday Morning, Sept 12, to drive from our Monastery in Lufkin, Texas to the Motherhouse of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville, Tennessee, to take part in the third General Assembly of our Association of Monasteries. The drive was long but uneventful, There was a divided highway from Lufkin to Texarkana, the I-30 to Memphis and I-40 to Nashville and the Convent was just to our left when they exited the freeway. The Sisters are very warm and gracious, and the view from their property is breath-taking. It is on a hill which is the highest point in the city and the 360-panoramic view is amazing. Nashville itself is beautiful with trees EVERYWHERE.

In the photo above some of the Nuns enjoying the outdoors. The Nuns on the left of the statue of St. Dominic are from Summit NJ (Sr. Mary Magdalene and Sr. Mary Catharine; on the far right is our own Sr. Mary Rose and behind her is Sr. Anna Marie from the Monastery in Springfield IL.

Last evening everyone was welcomed by Sr. Maria Christine the Association President, Mother Ann Marie, Prioress General of the Dominican Sisters, Sr. Mary Reginald, Prioress of the Motherhouse and Sr. Marian the Guest Hostess.

The Assembly officially  began today with a Day of Recollection on September 14. There were two very profound reflection and a homily at Mass by Fr. Walter Wagner, OP, Pastor of St. Vincent Ferrer Church in Manhattan, NY. The theme was taken from the liturgical feast of the day--The Triumph of the Holy Cross. It is only through embracing the Cross that our lives can be transformed by the power of God. It is the paradox of the Christian life: in our weakness is God's strength; in our poverty is God's love and mercy. God is in control, not ourselves. We only cooperate with him. The message of the Gospel that we proclaim by our hidden lives of silence and solitude is the opposite of what the world and culture tries to make us believe. You, too, can find happiness in in giving your live over to Jesus our Lord and Savior.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sor Ana Cristina, OP!

Sor Ana Cristina from Dominican Monastery in Monclova, Mexico, near Monterrey has been with us for the past two months. Sister is a very talented seamstress and baker. She has been making delicious cookies with pecans for us. I can smell them now! We will probably have them at dinner today! Sister is learning English and some of us are brushing up on Spanish. It's a good exchange. In the photo, Sor Ana and Sister Bernadette Marie are catching up on news. Sister Bernadette Marie likes to keep her Spanish up to par.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

We're Back for More of Dominican Life on Lotus Lane

We are back on the blog!!  Due to many technical difficulties we have been "into deep silence".

Our most recent event was a Lovely Mass and homily with Fr. Jonathan Norton who was ordained last year from the Diocese of Indianapolis. He is the grandson of some dear long-time friends. After Mass we visited with him in our Large Parlor. He is very dynamic and we were all impressed with the experiences he shared. Father Jonathan gave each of us a souvenir card of his ordination and Divine Mercy cards he brought from the World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland. Besides working in a parish, he is preparing to be a Navy Chaplain.