A Life for the World: Sr. Mary Thomas, O.P.

How did you find out about the Monastery?

I was a Texas History teacher, and I got assigned to a new classroom. I was hunting through some old Texas travel magazines and found an article on the Monastery.

How did you decide to become a nun?

I was teaching in an inner city school, lots of problems. I wanted so much to help but nothing really worked. I realized that I could help them more by praying for them in the Monastery. That’s one of the special charisms of the Dominican nuns–we pray for those preaching in the world, and that includes teaching.

What is the best thing about being a nun at the Monastery of the Infant Jesus?

Aside from the wonderful prayer life, I have to say I was very attracted by the diversity in our Monastery. We have sisters from the United States and from all over the world. It really makes you aware of the universality of the Catholic Church, and our place in it as nuns.

What advice would you give to anyone discerning a vocation right now?

Pray a lot! And, do research on religious communities, by going online, by reading, by visiting and talking with the communities. There’s such an incredible variety out there, each one with a unique spirit and a special charism. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you. Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone.

A Life for the World: Sr. Mary Rose, O.P.

Sr. Mary Rose graciously agreed to share some insights with us! Read on for more!

How did you find our about the Monastery of the Infant Jesus?

My parents knew the nuns. I grew up here in Lufkin, and we often visited the monastery.

How did you decide to become a nun?

When I was a little girl, I always wanted to be a nun…but when I got into high school, I thought maybe I’d rather get married instead! I went to college and worked for a while, and met someone I really liked. But I realized there was a desire in my heart that only God could satisfy. So I entered the monastery, and I’ve been here ever since.

What are some of the best things about being a nun at the Monastery of the Infant Jesus?

First I have to mention the fact that we have adoration of the Blessed Sacrament every day. That’s a great privilege. The nuns here have a joyful spirit, and we take our Dominican life very seriously. And of course, the grounds are beautiful!

What advice would you give to anyone discerning a vocation right now?

Spend time in prayer. I have a special devotion to the rosary, but you can pray any prayers you like. Go to daily Mass if possible. A retreat can be a good opportunity to get some quiet time alone with God and listen more closely to His voice. And, of course, visit monasteries! Looking at social media and reading literature is great, but there’s nothing like coming for a personal visit. You really get to know the community and experience their unique spirit and the way they live their particular charism.

Intrigued? Want more information? Please contact us by email, phone, or snail mail–all the info is here on the blog!

A Question for You

First we want to address young women.

Have you ever considered a religious vocation? More specifically, to the cloistered monastic life?

And then for everyone else:

Do you know a young woman who might make a good cloistered nun? Have you ever considered asking her about this?

Although some lucky people know almost from the beginning what they want to do with their lives, many of us here at the monastery were influenced by someone who suggested the idea of a cloistered vocation. That doesn’t mean we were necessarily happy to hear it, at the time! Our society definitely looks askance at people who voluntarily give up good jobs, prospects of marriage and children and a sense of independence to become cloistered nuns. And yet, many of those who were asked inquired–and tried it out–and liked it–and stayed. True, it’s not a call for everyone, but there are probably many people who are unaware God is calling them. (Or they’re trying not to listen, but that’s another story!)

Dominican cloistered religious life is a radical way of serving God and our fellow human beings. Instead of tending the sick, teaching, working for social justice, and other good causes, we devote our lives to prayer for the salvation of the world. While these active ministries are good and necessary, there needs to be a balance of concentrated prayer to help all those working in the world do their jobs better. And there are so many people in the world who don’t pray, who don’t know God, who have never encountered Christ. We pray for them to be led to the truth according to God’s plan for them.

We plan to have a series on Dominican cloistered vocations, which will include special topics of interest as well as interviews with Dominican nuns. We hope you will pray for us to make this series happen! Please pray, too, that the Holy Spirit will touch the hearts of young women and encourage them to investigate further. We have some good prospects right now, and we’d love to add more! Know that we are always praying for you, our readers, too. Thank you for your support!