Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Saturday, March 17, 2018

A Castle Visit

In mid-week we enjoyed an interesting visit with Fr. Nathan Castle, OP of Holy Name Province in the western third of the United States. He was home visiting family and friends in the Groves, Texas area near the Gulf of Mexico. Some of the Sisters have known Father Nathan and members of his family for many years.

Although much of his ministry has been with young adults on College campuses,  he is now assigned to itinerant preaching, which involves many different audiences. He told of us the many kinds of retreats he gives: to prison inmates, those struggling with addictions, healing of memories, etc. We teased him that he was "auditioning" to give us a retreat.

He even gives a retreat on the classic film, The Wizard of Oz. For example, his retreat of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is called "The Red Slippers" after the sparkling shoes that Dorothy clicks together to take her home. In fact, he has written a book on the spirituality of Oz, And Toto, Too: the Wizard of Oz as a Spiritual Adventure. His main goal is to find new ways to reach out to those who have no religious affiliation.

May God bless Father Nathan and his preaching
for the Kingdom of God!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent

From the Gospel:
 "The works that the Father gave me to do, and that I perform, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me." (John 5)

The work of Our Lord for which the Father sent Him is the salvation of souls.

Pray the Our Father for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, while meditating on the gift of eternal life.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Wednesday of the 3rd Week of Lent

From the Gospel:
"... whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven."  (Mt 5:19)

It important to respect the Ten Commandments, because they are the basic "law" given by God to the Jewish people through Moses, and passed on to Christianity through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

And yet, the Ten Commandments are not a property of any religion. They are part of the natural law written into the human heart by our creator, God almighty.

Consider each of the Ten Commandments and make a firm amendment to change a habit in your life that leads you to sin.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

A Musical Visit

As the Sisters from the Association Council were leaving us, we welcomed another Nun from a Dominican Monastery in Guadalajara, Mexico. Sister Leticia, OP, was in Albuquerque, New Mexico, visiting her mother who recently had surgery. She wanted to stop by for a visit since we are the closest Dominican monastery to them. She brought with her a lovely statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe with vigil lights. You can see it on the TV tray in front of Sister Leticia and our prioress, Sister Maria Guadalupe.

Sister had previously spent three years in the United States, so her English was fairly good. All the Sisters could understand her. The past few years she has been studying music. The evening before her return to Mexico Sister wanted to serenade us. She played a few solos on the violin and piano, but also played with the two others Sisters from "South of the Border".

Tet -- the Year of the Dog

We celebrated the Lunar New Year on the evening of the First Sunday of Lent. Normally Lent is not a celebratory time for us with treats. But in the Liturgical calendar, the Sundays of Lent are not strictly considered Lent. This is because every Sunday is a "little Easter" commemorating the Resurrection.

First step is to pick up some snacks of Vietnamese treats: young coconut (we had some home made this year), jack fruit, lotus seeds, sesame seed cakes, ginger candy, nuts  (peanuts or cashews), and good old American popcorn. Then we take a "lucky envelope" off of our special yellow Vietnamese tree.

Sr. Mary Therese reads us the character traits of "dog" people.
You can see our Vietnamese tree and the red envelopes behind her

We then enjoy a beautiful dance, usually performed by the Sisters in the Novitiate. This year they carried candles in each hand and it was very beautiful. Sometimes they use umbrellas or hats or other objects.

The envelope contains real money given us by friends and relatives. With the money we were able to "buy" tickets to play the various games. Each year the games are different because they are made up to fit the theme of the New Year. But the last game is always the same, and the most difficult.

We have a large (6 inch square) "die" with animals on the 6 sides. After the cube is thrown up in the air and crashes, if our tickets match the animal on top, we win. Finally, with our accumulated tickets we redeem them for prizes.