We have some minor changes here at the Monastery…and on our website! We’ve uploaded the Fall issue of “Monastery Bells”, our newsletter, and you can view it as a PDF by going to https://lufkintxnuns.org/monastery-bells-newsletter. While there, you can also check out some of our back issues, which include news about our Jubilee, the infamous “snowpocalypse” of February 2021, and other things. As always, if you’d like to receive “Monastery Bells” via snail mail, just send us an email with your address and we’ll send it to you! No charge, and we never sell our address list.
The other change involves time–that is, the schedule. We’re trying something new to see how it works out. Most of the day–including Mass times–won’t be affected at all, but we will now have Compline followed by Benediction at 8 PM every night. This is just a trial, so we’ll let you know if it becomes permanent. If you’d like to check out the rest of our schedule, please visit our website. We’re always happy for people to come and join us for prayers, or adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, or just some quiet time in chapel. God bless you!
Most people don’t consider Lufkin, TX a crossroads in America–but it sure does seem like we get a lot of visitors! And we’re delighted to have them! Recently, these two sisters from the Dominicans Sisters of St. Cecilia, based in Nashville, TN, stopped by for a brief visit. They’re vocation directresses for the community, and they were busy driving to various spots in Texas to promote vocations. They promised to spread the word about us, too, which we appreciate. We’re always struck by the similarities in our habits–only the veil is noticeably different.
May God bless the Nashville Dominicans with many good and holy vocations, and may He send some our way, too!
We’ve been meaning to post this for a while…things have been a little busy! It all happened back in September, on the feast of the Holy Cross, to be exact. Sr. Mary Margaret’s actual feast day (for St. Margaret of Hungary) falls on January 18, which is too close to Christmas and Epiphany for a big day, so we celebrate it on her “mystery” day — she is Sr. Mary Margaret of the Cross. We had a fun-filled two days of games, refreshments, and a movie! Our theme for the feast was “Monastic Olympics”–but instead of doing the usual kinds of Olympic feats, our sisters competed in various monastic fields such as sweeping floors, bowing in choir, and other events.
As you can see, Sister received lots of homemade gifts to give away–just what she asked for!
We all had a great time, and we enjoyed the movie the next day, too!
We’re celebrating our 75th Jubilee! Finally…after postponing it a year (thank you COVID) we’re having our Mass of thanksgiving for 75th years in the Piney Woods of East Texas, praying, praising and interceding. If you’re in the Lufkin area on November 9 at 10:00 AM, you’re welcome to join us! We do ask that you wear a mask. If you can’t be with us in person, please join us in prayer!
If you’ve been following this blog, you know that we always love to get visits from our fellow Dominicans! Recently, we were blessed with two visits–one from the novices of the Province of St. Martin de Porres (the Southern Province) and another from the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, who recently opened a new house in Waco. So here are the stories!
These four young men came with their novice master, Fr. Francis Orozco, O.P., one afternoon. We had a delightful time hearing their diverse and interesting vocation stories, and we told them ours, too.
Please pray for the perseverance of these novices, and for many more vocations to the Dominican way of life!
A little later, we had a visit from the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. They are teaching at a Catholic high school in Waco, TX (only about 2.5 hours from Lufkin).
You may have heard of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist–a dynamic young community of teaching sisters based in Ann Arbor, MI. We have always felt a special connection with them (in addition to the natural Dominican ties!) because Sr. Maximilian Marie went to college with our sub-prioress, Sr. Mary Rose.
Just as we did with the brothers, we shared vocations stories and other tales with the sisters. It’s always remarkable to see how closely we are related, despite our different places in the Order–preaching friars, teaching sisters, contemplative nuns. But that is part of what makes the Dominican Order so great! We keep our sisters in prayer, that they may teach well and have many vocations–and we hope both the friars and the sisters will pray for us to have vocations, too!
There’s a story that St. Dominic and St. Francis actually met one time. Even if this is more pious fiction than fact, it’s true that the two founders had at least one major thing in common: their desire to found a new kind of religious order, a order that was grounded in evangelical poverty. These new kinds of friars were called “mendicants”, which is a fancy word for “beggars”, because that is what these early friars did to obtain the necessities of life. There are some significant differences between the two orders, of course–St. Dominic believed that education and study were necessary for preaching, while St. Francis believed in preaching “from the heart”. Still, because of their similar charisms, the Franciscans and Dominicans have always considered themselves “cousins”. In the Dominican Order, October 4 is a feast day (not just a memorial) and in our monastery, we sing an antiphon in honor of the two founders, both on St. Dominic’s Day (August 8) and St. Francis’s Day (October 4).
Our apostolic Father Dominic, and seraphic Father Francis, have taught us your law, O Lord.