Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Historic Photo from Vietnam

Today we received via the Southern Province Facebook page a wonderful photograph of our new Master General, Father Gerard Timoner, OP surrounded by the four Dominican Provincials from the United States.

Pictured left to right: back row: Fr. Ken Letoile, Eastern Province based in New York City; the Master; Fr. Christopher Fadok, Western Province based in Oakland CA; front row: Fr. James Marchionda, OP, Central Province based in Chicago IL; and Fr. Tom Condon, OP, Southern Province based in New Orleans LA.

It is such a joy to be a member of the Dominican Family!

A first time

One never knows who or what is going to come to the Monastery!

Yesterday, we received a large leg of a pig that was roasted by our local Knights of Columbus. Sister is cutting it up for now and it looks like it will provide many future meals!

A few days before this, there was a dragonfly that spent the entire day clutching a branch by the Sister's door into our main building.

After the dragonfly was settled on the tip of the branch it would close its wings forward, as if to signal it was resting.

We have many of these critters that live down at the pond. During the summer they come up to the large grassy yard outside our refectory (dining room) to hunt for their own dinner. But then they are usually constantly flying around which is the only way they can catch their prey and eat it. This time we had a wonderful chance to really examine our insect-friend. In the second photo above, it almost looks like a person holding on to the twig, or maybe it's an "alien".

The Smithsonian Magazine has a fascinating article about these wondrous creatures. Here are a few nuggets:

Flying insects are usually annoying. Mosquitoes bite you, leaving itchy red welts. Bees and wasps sting. Flies are just disgusting. But there’s something magical about dragonflies.
1 ) Dragonflies were some of the first winged insects to evolve, some 300 million years ago.
3 ) There are more than 5,000 known species of dragonflies.
11 ) Dragonflies, which eat insects as adults, are a great control on the mosquito population. 
One thing we know is that this amazing creature is another sign of our constantly creative God!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

New Master of the Dominican Order

Last Friday on July 13, the Dominican Friars gathered in their triennial General Chapter held in Vietnam elected the 87th successor of St. Dominic.

His name is Father Gerard Francisco Timoner, III, OP; and he is the first Asian to be elected Master of the Order! Father Timoner is the former Provincial of the Province of the Philippines. He also served as vice-chancellor of the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. Father was one of the chaplains for the Dominican monastery in Cainta outside of Manila. We hear he has a love for the nuns of the Order. Praise the Lord! Before being elected, he served as Socius (Assistant to the Master) for the Asia-Pacific region of the Order of Preachers.

We look forward to meeting him. Masters of the Order are supposed to meet with every Friar (that's 5,000) during their 9 year term.
Please join us in praying for Fr. Timoner as he begins his term as Master of the Order of Preachers! 

Friday, July 12, 2019

Habemus Prioram = We have a Prioress

Yesterday afternoon under the Presidency of our Bishop, Joseph Strickland of Tyler, TX, we elected a brand-new prioress: Sister Mary Margaret, OP.

Sister was born in Aurora IL and originally entered the Dominican Sisters of Springfield IL. Shortly before her final vows she discerned her vocation to the cloister and came to Lufkin in 1972. Previous to being elected prioress, Sister Mary Margaret was our Sub-Prioress and in charge of our Print Shop. Sister is very talented artistically, as well as practically and spatially (i.e., she would have been a good engineer). Sister is also our Liturgist and principal organist. So please pray for her, she has her hands full! And pray for us as well. The rest of the community now awaits their new work assignments for the next three years.

We want to also take this opportunity to express deep thanks to Sister Maria Guadalupe who concluded her six years of totally selfless service to our community. God reward you, Sister!

Sunday, July 7, 2019

General Chapter 2019

Every three years the Dominican Friars meet in "General Chapter" to consider the state of the Order, make or change laws, and on the 9th year elect a new head of the Order, the Master General. All Dominicans, and especially the Nuns, are praying for the guidance of the Holy Spirit

Today, the General Chapter opens in Vietnam! Our Friars will also elect a new Master of the Order on July 13. Below is the logo for this important meeting.

The meaning of the symbolism: the design above is a lotus blossom, the national flower of Vietnam, as well as a common flower throughout Asia. The black below it represents the Dominican cappa, or mantle. The words indicate, in Latin, the General Chapter, and the city where it is being held, Biên Hòa, Vietnam, near Saigon, in the south.

The Friars come from all over the world representing the thousands back home. Each Province sends the Provincial and a delegate. We will post news of important events as they happen. The General Chapter will continue for about a month, concluding on August 7.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Early Summer

Our Summer so far has not been as bad as it could be, weather-wise. It seems we've been having a little rain one or two days a week. The plants have really been thriving. So we have a few pictures where you can see some of our lovely flowers.

Above is a photo of our "Baby Jesus" Shrine. We call him that because the statue arrived on Christmas Eve. If you haven't had a chance to visit Him, He's on the far right side of our building.