Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Friday, September 15, 2017

Retreat in the Desert

The Nuns aee making their annual retreat from September 13-20. Many people laugh when they hear the nuns are going on retreat. "Aren't you in a perpetual retreat?!"  Well, yes. But we do live in community, and sometimes we need more solitude than we normally have; as well as extra silence and time for prayer, reading, and simply resting.

We usually have a "preached" retreat in which someone preaches to the entire community twice a day on aspects of the spiritual life, plus the homily at Mass ties in with the theme of the retreat. Another kind of retreat might be a "directed" retreat, in which a person might meet daily, or every other day, with a Retreat Master and share privately what he or she has been praying about.

 In the photo above, Fr. Emmerich is explaining where he obtained his white rosary.

Our retreat Master this year is Father Emmerich Vogt,OP, from the Western Province headquartered in California. We had never met him before so when he arrived Tuesday afternoon we arranged to visit with him, before "going into the desert" Wednesday morning. Although Father Vogt is originally from Connecticut, he has lived most of his life in California. He has had various ministries: parish work, Provincial, chaplain for our nuns in Los Angeles, and now giving retreats and workshops throughout the country, and world.

The theme of our retreat is "Liturgical Asceticism".  We are enjoying the retreat and Father Emmerich's very thought provoking reflections. He is funny yet profound.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Chaplains - Old and New

Our new chaplain, Fr. John Lydon, OP, began his ministry with us on August 1. He comes from Philadelphia, but is quite acclimated to living in Louisiana and Texas. Most of his ministry has been in the area of Campus Ministry. It's easy to see that he must have done well. He is down to earth and loves people. We thoroughly enjoy his daily homilies and never know what to expect.

By co-incidence, just yesterday our previous Chaplain, Fr. Marcos Ramos, OP, successfully defended his doctoral dissertation in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Ad multos anos!!
That's more or less, Latin for "Congratulations".

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Hurricane Harvey

The recent hurricane to charge through Texas was not as windy as some, but it was very cruel none the less. We are praying for our many friends and benefactors along the coast who have been flooded by the overabundant water.

During the Hurricane itself we received many phones calls from friends and relatives to check on us to see if we were OK. Yes, we are fine and thank you for your love and concern. We only had a light rain for over a week that amounted to about 2 feet, but fortunately no flooding. Our pond did fill up as you can see.

During Hurricane Rita about 12 years ago, there was a great deal of wind and we lost over 40 trees. However, because there was not much wind we only lost one tree. It looks like it fell over due to water-logged soil.

Since Hurricane Harvey left the area, many evacuees have come up to Lufkin and other towns, from what in Texas is called the "Golden Triangle", that is, Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange. It is called golden because of Spindletop that brought much wealth to the region. Spindletop was the first oil well along the Gulf Coast and issued Texas and the USA into the oil boom age. Now the area is populated with refineries.

Lufkin has almost 2,000 evacuees and some places have run out of food. So we sent down some food (they wanted cooked meals). In the photos below you can see our latest donations: healthy chicken soup and nourishing Texas white beans.

We pray for all who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey. May the Lord send you the Good Samaritans you need, and  the Lord embrace you with His compassion and courage.  

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Feast of Roses

On August 23, Dominicans around the world celebrate the feast of St. Rose of Lima, the first canonized saint of the Americas. But that day is also the feast day of our own Sister Mary Rose, the Novice Mistress of our monastery. Because of her office, or duty, the sisters in the novitiate always make it a special celebration. This year it was magnificent!

Here is the Guest of Honor-Sr. Mary Rose-as she enters the Novitiate

Sister Mary Therese devised two fun and exciting Dominican games. In the first one the Sisters scoured the Novitiate building for clues on the back of Dominican shields telling them how to find the grand prize. After that there was a more "sedate" card game. Sad to say, our honoree did not win any of the games.

Here, Sr. Mary Dominic, Sr. Mary Rose and Sr. Mary Therese are playing the 2nd Dominican game. It was a card game as you can see with all the Dominican shields.

The Sisters enjoyed hamburgers for dinner and in the afternoon watched a movie, "The Secret of Ronan Inish".

There were cupcakes galore (twice as many as seen in the photo), and each one was different!!!

After Vespers, the party sisters returned to the Novitiate for a special supper prepared by Sister Mary Dominic who helps in the Novitiate. She cooked a delicious chicken dish with wine, which turned the chicken purple!

 The recipe goes back to 4-5th century Rome!!!

 After the meal it was time for Sister Mary Rose to open gifts.

Here's an unusual gift: a knitted crocodile that also functions as a scarf. I bet a little boy would like that one.

Looking on as Sister opens her gifts: Sister Mary Dominic and Sister Bernadette Marie.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Peace Be with You

"Peace be to your homes!"  (Psalm 122)

Please join us in praying and sacrificing for peace in our world, our country and in the hearts of all people.