Christmas Unwrapped

As always, there’s been a lot going on! We’d like to share some of the highlights of this Christmas season with you. Yes, the Christmas season lasts until the Baptism of the Lord and that’s not until January 9, so for us it’s still Christmas!

We had a beautiful Christmas, with many lovely decorations by our talented sisters and thoughtful gifts from our benefactors.

Tree and nativity scene in our community room

One of our benefactors had these great bags made–one for each of us! Note the Dominican shield!

Everyone loves puzzles!

Fr. Ian gave us a chime to ring at the epiclesis during Mass and at Benediction–much nicer than our old bell.

What could this be? Maybe something to eat?

I think this one’s popcorn…

Might need some help getting this one open.

On December 30, feast of the Holy Family, our bishop Joseph Strickland came to offer Mass and enjoy a visit and “family” meal with us. We were also privileged to have Br. Christopher Kalan, O.Cist., from Our Lady of Dallas Abbey, staying at our monastery for his priestly ordination retreat–so Br. Christopher served as our deacon at Mass and joined us for dinner afterward, as did our chaplain, Fr. Ian.

Bishop Strickland is always so kind and friendly to us, a true spiritual father.

We presented him with an afghan one of our sisters crocheted.

Brother Christopher is a tall man…

…or maybe we are just kind of petite?

We also had a delightful parlor visit with Br. Christopher. (Hope he got enough retreat!) He will be ordained in February, and we hope he will come back to celebrate Mass for us and give us his first blessing.

All together, Christmas has been a season of many blessings. There have been some serious events too, but everything balances out and we are filled with joy and gratitude as we welcome the New Year 2023, when Sr. Mary Therese will make her solemn profession (January 21) and we are expecting some new faces at our monastery!

A New U.S. Citizen!

Sr. Irma Marie is now an American citizen!

Complete with sash, hat, flag, and certificate

Sr. Irma Marie, a native of Puebla, Mexico, has been a member of our monastic community for some time. She began working on her citizenship papers about five years ago, and on Tuesday all her hard work paid off as she was officially sworn in as a United States citizen.

Of course, we had a little party to celebrate the great day!

The festive table

Sister’s card, signed by everyone in the community

The happy new citizen with Sr. Mary Margaret

Now that she is a citizen, Sr. Irma Marie looks forward to getting a driver’s license and registering to vote. We are very proud of Sr. Irma Marie and all her hard work to achieve this goal, and we are grateful to all the people who helped make it happen–and there are many who helped! Thanks to all of you!

On an additional note, although several of us were down with a cold bug for Thanksgiving, we still managed to have a good time!

Delicious!

The majority of our dinner was donated, and as always we are very grateful to all who made our wonderful Thanksgiving meal possible. Thank you so much!

We are overwhelmed by the blessings God has granted us over the last week or so. May he continue to provide faithfully for us, and may we remain faithful to him!