Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Unexpected Surprises

This past Sunday afternoon about 1:20, two little puppies appeared at our Novitiate door, looking for someone to play with. They were very friendly and cute. Both females, they looked young and had lovely markings. One was light brown with four white feet and a white line on her forehead. The other, shyer one, was dark brown with dazzling, almost blue eyes.

Sister Mary Dominic took to the dogs right away. They looked like chihuahuas. Sister and her mother had had a chiweenie named "Peanuts". Sister set them up in one of our courtyards with a little house and some water until we were able to give them to the proper authorities about 3:00.

Since our buildings are more or less at the center of our property, it must have taken then some time to find us. They looked well cared for, but had no collar or tags.

About 5 or 6 Sisters saw them. Someone eventually called the Animal Rescue who came and picked them up. One of the people who came said she knew just the right elderly gentlemen for one of them.

The dogs had a great time "playing" ... or was it "praying"?!

Friday, June 8, 2018

70th Anniversary of Profession

First, we apologize that our last post did not go up sooner, explaining our preparations for this important Jubilee. It was scheduled to upload at midnight on June 2, but it must have "over-slept"! We just noticed it was not published. Well, the "silver lining" is that it gives us more time to put up the next one. 😁

We had a BIG day on Saturday celebrating the 70th Anniversary of Religious Profession of Sister Mary Veronica. She worked outside for many years so many of the people in the area know her. She decided just to send out a "few" invitations, mainly family. But with that, the chapel was overflowing.

We had over 80 guests, so some went to our Oratory which we empty and open so people can come in there. They are behind the glass behind the altar. It's something like a "cry room". The sound comes in, but we do not hear them. Some people said they went their so they could see the nuns! The bishop went to them when it was time to distribute Holy Communion. If you look closely you can vaguely see some people behind the wooden slats. Our sacristan made the beautiful flower arrangement.

The principal celebrant was Bishop Eduardo Nevares, the auxiliary bishop in the Phoenix Diocese. He originally came to Lufkin as a seminarian and was missioned here off and on for many years. He even served as Pastor. The bishop is flanked by two Dominican friars of our Southern Province: on our left is Fr. John Lydon, OP, our resident chaplain; and on our right is Fr. Brian Pierce, OP who was the homilist at the Mass. He was very good and regaled us with stories of Sr. Mary Veronica (SMV) when he was a simple student at Stephen F. Austen University (SFA) up the road in Nacogdoches.

The three priests to the right of the crucifix are left to right: Fr. Joseph, pastor at Immaculate Conception Church in Moral, a few miles from Nacogdoches, This was SMV's home-parish. Her parents are buried in the Church cemetery. Next, Fr. Ron Fosage, MS, a LaSalette priest, who is pastor of St. Michael Church in Jasper south of us and a monthly confessor for the nuns for over 25 years. The one closest to the grille is Fr. Francis O'Dowd, a true Irish leprechaun, who was pastor in Lufkin for a few years, but is now at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Daingerfield, north of us.

After a beautiful Liturgy we went to the "Gate Parlor" to visit with Sister Mary Veronica's family and friends. There was a little mix-up and some people ate lunch first, lovingly supplied by Sister's family. We have a few pictures of the gathering in the Parlor.

It looks like our community friend Loraine from Nacogdoches took center stage. The only others we currently remember is the man sitting on our left. He is a friend from Arizona, dressed in his Knights of Columbus uniform. The little girl on our right with her mother is one of Sister's great-nieces, Eliza, a very friendly 3rd grader.

As with most of our celebrations this one lasted more than one day. This occurred on Saturday, then Monday evening all the nuns gathered in a "circle" at recreation to share our memories from different perspectives. It was so good to see friends who had come from other states (IN, MS, AZ, etc.), as well of those just "down the road a piece". Sister received many beautiful, useful, and creative gifts. But, of course, as always, the "Greatest Gift is LOVE."

We close our brief survey of the Jubilee celebration with a fitting photograph. This is Sister Mary Veronica with one of her sisters, Catherine, from Pasadena, TX; and her sister-in-law, Dell from Sulpher Springs, TX.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Preparing for a Jubilee

We are currently, clearing rooms and moving furniture in preparation for a big Jubilee celebration later today. It is for Sister Mary Veronica who is our first local vocation that has remained throughout the years. This is only the second 70th Anniversary of Religious Profession that we have had in our monastery.

Chairs from the parlors and guest dining room have been moved to our long hall inside the enclosure to make room for food and sitting areas for our friends to have lunch after the ceremony, as well as seating for an overflow crowd for the Liturgy in the Chapel. We tease Sister Mary Veronica that she is related to half of East Texas!

Beginning at 10:00 am, we will have the Eucharistic Liturgy with the principal celebrant, Bishop Eduardo Nevares, Auxiliary Bishop of Phoenix, Arizona; and the homilist, Fr. Brian Pierce, OP, currently of Irving, Texas. After Mass, we will all visit in our "Gate Parlor" then break for a lunch provided by the family.

Check in with us tomorrow for pictures of the grace-filled event.

You are most welcome to join us for this special time
of praising God for His love and fidelity!

Friday, June 1, 2018

May Crowning 2018

Every year on the Feast of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth (May 31), we conclude the day, the month of May, and our special May Devotions with the Crowning of Our Lady. Usually this is the privilege of the younger Sisters

This year, Sister Mary Therese (temporary professed) made the crown and crowned Our Lady; while Sister Bernadette Marie (solemnly professed) was the crown-bearer during our procession and Litany.

First, we line up outside the community room in the hallway. When the prioress sees that all is ready and everyone is there, she gives a "knock" and we begin processing to our outdoors shrine.

The shrine has been very beautiful this year with many kinds of flowers. We usually have not finished singing the Litany and do that at the shrine. Then the prioress prays a special consecration she has composed for the occasion dedicating the Community to Our Lady. Afterwards we sing a Marian Hymn while the youngest Sister crowns the statue of Mary with the homemade crown.

The crown this year is made from a white jasmine bush from the Novitiate. It has a wonderful aroma, but unfortunately will not last long in our Texas heat, which has been in the 90s.