Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Monday, February 26, 2018

Association Council Meeting

We had the joy and privilege of hosting the annual Council meeting of our North American Association of Dominican Monasteries on February 19-23. They members came from all points of the USA and Canada--New Jersey and New York, California, Vancouver, Canada.

left to right: Sr. Mary Jeremiah (TX); Sr. Mary Catharine (NJ); Sr. Maria Christine (CA); Fr. Walter Wagner (NY); Sr. Marie Tersidis (Van, BC); Sr. Mary Rose (TX)

Monday, February 19, 2018

Monday of the First Week Of Lent

From the Gospel:
"Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers or sisters of mine, you did for Me." (Mt 25:40)

Every human being is a special creation and gift of God, no matter their size, ability or circumstances. When the most vulnerable and defenseless are harmed, no one is safe. Do we want to know why there are school shootings and heinous crimes?

We need only look into our hearts. Is there any resentment or anger, even a little impatience with others. Look at our society --  violence and using other people as objects/things are rampant. Lent is the time to root these out.

Offer a Hail Mary for the safety and protection of all human life and those most vulnerable in our society.

"Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, prayer for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen."

Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday after Ash Wednesday

From today's Gospel:

"The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast." (Mt 9:15)

Jesus is the Bridegroom of every soul. How do we treat him? Fasting is not about punishing ourselves, but opening ourselves up to the needs of others. Fasting need not be a 30-day marathon on bread and water. Depending upon your circumstances, it can be as simple as eating 1 piece of candy instead of 3, or 1/2 a piece of pie rather than the entire piece. These are little things everyone can do without attracting much notice.

Consider fasting today in some way or abstaining from a favorite activity, and pray that you will always be obedient to God's will.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Ash Wednesday & St. Valentine

Today is a "God-incidence". It is Ash Wednesday (the beginning of the season of penance and self-denial) and also St. Valentine's Day (a day to share loving thoughts).

Some people think they are an "odd couple", contradictions. But not really. They go perfectly together. In fact, a loving Heart is our Goal for Lent. Union with the pierced Heart of Jesus Christ Who died on the Cross for us sinners, the entire human race, is the purpose of our lives. Jesus offers us His Heart every day in Holy Communion. His love is faithful and enduring. Trust Him with your heart.

Each year the Dominican Family in the Southern USA Province offer a short reflection for every day of Lent. Today's is by Fr. Philip Neri Powell and is very powerful . Please check it out HERE.

It's Lent!

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of our 40-day pilgrimage to Easter--the Resurrection of Jesus and our own small resurrection to a new and deeper Christian life.

The first act is to receive the ashes on your forehead (or on top of your head, as in Italy), made from last year's palms, to remind us of our mortality, frailty, and dependence upon God.

Lent is a special liturgical season of discipline, purification, self-sacrifice, to help us grow in holiness and union with God, to grow in love and patience and generosity with everyone we meet.

As you begin this Lent, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. The 3 Great Works of Lent are Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving, taken from our Jewish roots. It is best to do one practice from each category: prayer, fasting or self-denial, almsgiving or mercy. Below are a few suggestions of practices you can choose from, or ask the Lord for special ones. 

  • Say a morning offering first thing in the morning (even before getting out of bed).
  • Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet every day.
  • Read a chapter or two of Scripture each day and try to memorize a verse (repeat it throughout the day).
  • Go to daily Mass, if possible.
  • Add 10 minutes of silent prayer to your day.
  • Pray the Stations of the Cross each Friday.
  • Pray the rosary each day.
  • Pray for each person with whom you come in contact.
  • Spend 10 minutes prayerfully thinking about the Scriptures for the day's Mass.


  • Give up TV and movies, including online.
  • Give up salt, pepper, and condiments.
  • Give up eating between meals.
  • Give up social media.
  • Avoid phone use after 8 p.m.
  • Only get news from a printed source.
  • Give up listening to recorded music.
  • Give up taking pictures.
  • Give up the snooze button.

  • Serve the poor once a week at a soup kitchen.
  • Give away some of your nice clothes to those in need.
  • Donate 10% of your income to the poor.
  • Write one letter of gratitude to a different person each day.
  • Give kind attention to one lonely or isolated person each day.
  • Whenever you start to say something negative, say something positive instead.
  • Visit the elderly or sick once a week

(The above bullet suggestions are courtesy of the Nashville Dominican Sisters)

Friday, February 9, 2018

The Lord has given them food...

Periodically we have someone come to speak to us about nutrition. The title of this post comes from Evening prayer on February 8. They were very striking and appropriate words because we had just come from an hour long session with Amy Wright, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator.

There was an instant bond between the community and Amy, and her mother, Nancy, who also joined us. The Sisters were full of questions and so we hope to have Amy return for a follow-up presentation.

At the end of Amy's talk, Nancy wanted to leave us with a gift of her own. We had a few moments of prayer and Nancy sang a beautiful worship song. Nancy not only has a beautiful voice, but directs an interdenominational choir in Jasper, a town about 55 miles southeast of us. A member of her choir happens to be one of our confessors, Father Ron Fosage, MS. Father is the pastor of St. Michael Church in Jasper; he is one of those people everyone seems to love.

We praise the Lord for these two new vibrant Christians in our lives.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

I promise obedience ...

On January 27, 2018, we had the great joy of witnessing the First Profession of Sister Mary Therese of the Divine Mercy. The occasion was extra special because all of her immediate family were able to attend and stay the weekend.

Niece Sophia reads from the Song of Songs
Sister's father reads from 1 John

Sister Mary Therese pronounces her First Vows

Father Lydon blesses her scapular
Nephew Sebastian looks on as Sister receives her black veil

The celebration extended over a period of several days for Sister and the Community:
      • Saturday - the actual day with guests
      • Sunday - the Community visits with Sister's family
      • Monday - Sisters in the Novitiate open her gifts from the Community
      • Tuesday - the Professed Nuns go to the Novitiate to see her gifts

Besides all this, Sister had the canonical 8-day retreat before her Profession as required by our Constitutions and Canon Law.

Now, Sister Mary Therese is energized and eager to begin a new phase in her Dominican religious life and have many new experiences. 

May she become like her patron, St. Therese of Lisieux,
"Love in the midst of the Church".