Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Very Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone!!

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the USA, and around the world where there are Americans. But we want to wish everyone, wherever you are, may you have a Blessed Day filled with Thanksgiving to God for all His blessings and graces.
At the Office of Readings today we had a beautiful refection from Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman. We include a portion for you below:

Let us look at all we have as God's gift, undeservedly give, and day by day continued to us, solely by His Mercy, in a spirit of total dependence upon His providence, thankfulness and a careful remembrance of all He has done for us.
He gave us all we have: life, health, strength, reason, enjoyment, conscience, whatever we have good and holy within us; whatever faith we have, whatever loved toward Him, whatever power over ourselves. He gave us relatives, friends, education, training, knowledge, the Bible, the Church, our home and family. All comes from Him.
Let us humbly and reverently attempt to trace His guiding hand in the years which He has allowed us to live. Let us thankfully commemorate the many mercies He has given to us in time past, the many sins He has not remembered, the many dangers He has averted, the many prayers He has answered. Let us dwell upon times and seasons, times of trouble, times of joy. How He has cherished us as His very own children. How He has kept our hearts faithful. He has been all things to us. He has brought us thus far, in order to bring us further, in order to bring us to the end. He will never leave us or forsake us; so that we may boldly say:
"The Lord is my helper; no evil will I fear."

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Bishop Comes for Dinner

Our Tyler Bishop, Joseph Strickland, has been to our monastery a number of times, but never for a lengthy visit. The big day finally arrived last week and he planned to be with us from 4-8 pm. After arriving, the prioress and sub-prioress drove him around outside in our golf cart to see our spacious grounds. He enjoyed this, having grown up on a large farm in northeastern Texas.

Then at 5:00 it was time to go to Chapel for Vespers (Evening Prayer). After that we went to the Refectory (dining area) to pick up our meal and take it to the Community Room where we could eat and talk more freely. After supper, all the Sisters formed a circle to ask the Bishop questions and get to know him on a more personal basis.

Bishop Strickland's birthday was on Halloween, so we presented him with a number of gifts for himself or places in the diocese. For example, we had a beautifully carved statue of St. Peter made from a tree trunk in Vietnam, which he wanted to put in the Chapel of Sts. Peter and Paul in Tyler. Our evening with the Bishop concluded right on time at 8 pm, when he drove back to Tyler and we went to Chapel to pray for his safety and Compline (Night Prayer).

Sunday, November 6, 2016

A Poetry Reading

We had an afternoon of culture with the visit of two Incarnate Word-Blessed Sacrament Sisters from Corpus Christi: Sr. Lou Ella Hickman and Sr. JoAnne. Sister Lou Ella has been writing and publishing poetry for a number of years and wanted to share with us her first book of poetry on women in the Bible. Although there are many books about women in the Bible, hers seems to be the first book of poetry on the subject.

She: robed and wordless contains 70 poems on women in the Old and New Testaments. Our prioress, Sister Maria Guadalupe, open our culture-gathering with a prayer and we were encouraged to name our favorite women in the Scriptures. It was amazing how many poems Sister Lou Ella had written about almost everyone we mentioned. Among the "crowd of witnesses" were Old Testament women such as Eve, of "the first love song", and Hannah, the mother of the prophet Samuel, "the epitome of a pray-er."
They mingled with women of the New Covenant such as two from the Gospel of Luke: Elizabeth recalling her son John the Baptist "dancing within her in like a curtain fluttering in the breeze" and old Anna in the Temple to see the new-born Messiah, speaking of herself and Simeon, as, "we like old books were there."

You may purchase She: robed and wordless at Catholic gift stores or from

After the formal meeting we had a little photo-op. The first photo below has one of our own Corpus Christi Sisters, Sister Mary Gabriel; the second photo shows some of our poetry aficionados.