Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Our Lady of the Rosary

Although today is celebrated as the 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time, it is also (though not celebrated this year) the feast Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.

Our Lady of the Rosary giving the rosary to St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena
in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at Santa Sabina.

It is also the travel day for Sister Mary Rose to return home from Italy and the important meetings she attended. We share with you a few concluding photos of this important event.

A group picture of those attending the International meeting of Dominican Nuns.

The English-language group at the Macro-Meeting.

Sister Mary Rose "officiating" at the organ for the Liturgy.
Spiritual Power-House -- Dominican Nuns take to the streets!

A peek into a courtyard at Santa Sabina (Dominican Headquarters).
According to tradition, St. Dominic brought the orange tree  to Rome from Spain.
Many places throughout the world now have cuttings from "St. Dominic's Orange Tree"... including ourselves.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Dominican Nuns' Meeting in Rome Conclusion

The International Meeting of Dominican Nuns concluded on October 2 with a tour of Santa Sabina, the headquarters of the Dominican Order, which included the Church, St. Dominic's cell, and other areas.

Then they joined the Community of Friars there for Mass and Vespers, followed by refreshments in the cloister.

Here is a photo of (right to left) Sr. Maria Christine, Sr. Mary Catharine, and Sister Augustine from the Dominican Monastery in Bocaue, (Bulacan) Philippines, touring Santa Sabina.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Dominican Nuns' Meeting in Rome Part 3

We have received some photos of our Sisters at the special meeting in Rome, which will soon be over.

Our Master General, Fr. Bruno Cadore, OP

The Promoter General of the Dominican Nuns, Fr. Cesar Bajo Valero, OP

President of the Association of North American Dominican Monasteries, Sister Maria Christine, OP

Lufkin Sister Mary Rose speaking with Fr. Cesar.

Sister Mary Rose of Lufkin speaking to the Assembly of Nuns.

Sister Paola of Italy, a member of a new monastery near Turin.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Dominican Nuns Meeting in Rome part 2

We received a video of the meeting room for our Dominican nuns in Rome. It opens with a shot of Fr. Cesar Valero Bajo, OP. He is Spanish and the Promoter General for the Nuns in the world. Then the camera moves to the right. There is later a nice shot of our American Nuns. Sister Mary Rose has a laptop open taking notes, to our right is Sister Mary Catharine and Sister Maria Christine. From 0:52-48 is Fr. Bruno Cadore, the Master of the Order of Preachers. He is French. You can see our three American nuns here--- 0:09-:07, also Sister Mary Rose is at 0:39-37.

There are 31 Dominican nuns from throughout the world meeting in Rome to discuss in depth the new Vatican document on enclosure, Cors Orans. In addition to the plenary meeting there are language group meeting: 1 English, 1 French, 3 Spanish.

Stay tuned for more news!

Annual Retreat 2018

One of the nuns has a private conference with Father.

Last week we had our annual retreat preached by Fr. Marty Iott, OP. He is currently the Prior of Holy Rosary Priory in Houston, TX. He graciously drives up to our monastery once a month to hear confessions of any Sisters who wish to take the opportunity.

The theme of the retreat was the Beatitudes. It was very insightful. We love retreats. They give us space to set aside our work and focus more time on prayer and reading to nourish our spiritual lives.

Each year we have an 8-day retreat, once a month we set aside the First Sunday as a retreat day, and also each month each Sister may have a day of personal retreat. Each Sister has a 3-day private retreat for the anniversary of her Religious Profession.

These special times are not only important for us, but for everyone. In our frantic world everyone needs to stop and step back in God's presence for a period of time and take stock of how one's life is unfolding.

Try it, you'll like it!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Dominican Nuns in Rome

Dominican Nuns from all over the world have been called to Rome for a special meeting concerning the new Vatican rules about the Enclosure.

From the United States, we are represented by the President of the North American Association of Dominican monasteries, Sr. Maria Christine, OP of Corpus Christi Monastery in Menlo Park, CA (on the left); the representative to the International Commission of Nuns, our own Sr. Mary Rose of our Monastery of the Infant Jesus in Lufkin TX (on the right); and, Sr. Mary Catharine, Vice President of our Association from the Monastery of the Holy Rosary in Summit NJ (in the middle).

We received news today that they visited the Angelicum yesterday... and we have some photos! The Angelicum is the nickname for the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, that is the Dominican university in Rome. It was originally built in the 16th century by Saint Pope Pius V to house the Dominican Nuns moving from their original buildings where St. Dominic (+1221) set them up.
The nuns in front of St. Albert the Great, OP, one of the patrons of the university.

The nuns in front of the university.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Religious of the Diocese Pray and Share Together

On the Memorial of the Queenship of Mary most of the religious of the diocese gathered at our monastery for an afternoon of prayer and sharing. Above is the front of the program for the day. We also received a holy card of the picture of St. Maria Goretti with a prayer on the back with which we concluded our prayer service.

We had heard rumors for about a week, but didn’t know for sure what was going to happen and if we needed to do anything. But, our Sisters who care for our Guests went into action, making small sandwiches and tea for refreshments, and setting up chairs for visiting, etc.

The special day arrived shortly after the news of the sex abuse crisis in the USA Church, so that became the theme of our prayer time. The afternoon began with Fr. Gavin Vaverek giving a half hour talk, followed by an hour of quiet prayer. Confession was available during that time.

Our visitors went to the Guest Dining Room for refreshments, then to the Gate Parlor to visit with the nuns. Not all the Sisters were able to stay for the visit, we do hope to be able to see them another time, and thank them for making the trip to pray with us. In the parlor, we were able to catch up on what the different groups were doing in ministry.

It was a wonderful afternoon being with the other Religious Women of the Diocese.

Loving God, many people are affected by the evil of abuse.
Grant courage to adults that they might step in
and help suffering children.
Grant courage to survivors of abuse
that they might reach out for help as they long for healing.
As Maria Goretti found the strength in Your love
to pray for the conversion of her abuser,
may we never excuse an abuser but beseech their conversion.
Please help me be an instrument of Your love and mercy
to those I meet who carry a wound from abuse.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

St. Rose of Lima

Today is the Feast of St. Rose of Lima - the first person canonized in the New World.

Unfortunately, none of our rose bushes are blooming right now because of the heat. But, we do have a special and unique rose.....

...our very own Sr. Mary Rose. Happy Feast Day!

She is standing next to what some of us thought was a cosmos, but it is just a weed. As you notice from the above photo is it very tall. In fact, it's about 8 inches beyond Sister's fingertips.   Can anyone tell us about this plant???

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Queenship of Mary

A great sign appeared in the heavens:
a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon under her feet,
and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.
Revelation 12

Today we celebrate the Queenship of Mary, for she is the Queen-Mother of Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe. It is also the Feast Day of our sister, Sister Mary Regina.

It was two weeks ago today on the Feast of our founder, St. Dominic. It was on that day that we held our annual raffle. Since its inception we had been holding our raffle on Easter Sunday. However, that is always a very busy time in the monastery so we thought to move the event to the summer and thus chose the Assumption of our Lady. We would like to announce the winners of our homemade prizes and the Sisters who drew the winning ticket …

  1st prize →→

                        Hubert Y in Nacogdoches

   2nd prize →→

             AJP in TX

 3rd prize →→

           Karen M in CA

    4th prize →→ 

         Karen P in CA

 5th prize →→

             Mari Lou in OH

  6th prize →→

 Susan L in Lufkin

Extra surprises →→       
  Sharon H. in Lufkin          Margie G in WV         Christine K in Dallas

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Knights of Columbus

We are still celebrating Sister Mary Veronica’s 70th Anniversary of Profession. This time the thoughtfulness comes from the Knights of Columbus – our local Queen of Peace Assembly, and the 4th degree Knights, in particular.

Sister says she does not know how they found out about her Jubilee, but they have been so kind in sending her a beautiful bouquet of flowers, as well as a monetary donation. Now, just a few days ago they gave her an original greeting they all signed and had specially framed and a photograph of themselves. One of the Knights even made the lovely frames. 

Ad Moltos Annos, Sister!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

A Big Dominican Day!

Each year near the Feast of St. Dominic on August 8, our local Dominican Laity Chapter of St. Thomas Aquinas has a special Mass at which various members move to the next stage in their formation. This year they had a big crowd, with people in each of the three categories.

Linda began her official time of formation as a "novice". She had already been attending the monthly meeting for quite a while.

Then 5 people concluded that first phase and pronounced their Promises to  live by their Laity Constitutions  for three years and further explore the Dominican way of life. From left to right, below: Brian, Bruce, Debbie, Maria, and Jose.

A father and son team (Deacon Jesus and his son, Chuy) concluded their initial formation as members of the Dominican Laity by pronouncing their Final Promises for their entire lives. The Laity Chapter President, Dr. Matt Rowley, stands as a witness.

We met with them briefly in our Gate Parlor after Mass so that we could congratulate them and meet members of  their families. After we left, they had a special breakfast together.

Sr. Mary Rose in the parlor with her parents who are now both members of the Dominican Laity.

Then, in the afternoon, we had a brief party with Sr. Ana Christiana. She had come to us a year or two ago and is preparing to return to Mexico on August 10. Sister is very talented in the areas of computer, crafts, sewing, and cooking. It has been a wonderful joy to have her with us.

In the photo to the right, Sister Ana is preparing to play a game especially created for her, using riddles to find the prizes.

Sister did very well - 
100% correct!!!

In the photo to the left Sister is modelling one of her prizes. A knitted cap made by one of the Sisters.

Vaya con Dios!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Some July Visitors

During the past month, we received various visitors. There are two events we would like to share with you.

In mid-July Father Emmerich Vogt, OP came for a long week end from the Holy Name Province based in California. He had been with us last year for our annual retreat. He gave about six lectures on different aspects of Community Life and how to create a spirit of peace and harmony. We found the talks excellent and very practical. Besides a lot of note-taking there was also a lot of laughing. He gave down to earth examples of how Jesus calls us to "die to ourselves" so that we may be more transformed into His radiant image.

Thank you, Father Emmerich. We hope to see you again. 

Then, two weeks later we had a delightful visit with the Pastor and members of the Altar Society of Most Holy Trinity Church in Trinity, Texas. The town of Trinity is about an hour's drive southwest of Lufkin through the Davy Crockett National Forest.

Our picture below looks a little strange because they were spread throughout the room and we couldn't get everyone in one photograph. As you can see the pastor, Father Carlos Rangel, originally from QuerĂ©taro, Mexico, came with half a dozen women to visit. They had many important and interesting questions. 

We hope they come to see us again, and we can learn more about them.