Rest in peace, Sr. Mary Regina

Our dear Sr. Mary Regina died on August 4, 2021. She was 85 years old and had been professed 63 years.

Sister entered the Dominican monastery in Cincinnati, OH in 1955 and came to Lufkin in 1989 when that monastery had to close. We were privileged to live with Sister, who gave a wonderful example of patience, abandonment to God’s will, and fortitude during her last years.

We hope to have some more about Sister here soon, and we will have more information in the Fall issue of our newsletter, “Monastery Bells”.

Retreat with Fr. Vincent Davila, O.P.

There’s one word that sums up our annual retreat: fantastic!

Fr. Vincent Davila, O.P., a friar from St. Albert the Great Province (central) gave us several great conferences on “The Mystical Body of Christ in St. Paul”. Fr. Vincent was able to blend theology and moral encouragement (that is to say, he gently skewered many of our faults and failings in a way that made us laugh umcomfortably) in a manner that was inspiring to many sisters. In addition to his conferences, Fr. Vincent preached his theme of the Mystical Body during his homilies at Mass, providing further interesting commentary. We contributed by planning hymns for Mass and Benediction to fit his themes, which he appreciated. We\’ll have more news about Father and our retreat in the next issue of “Monastery Bells”.

It was hard to return to the everyday world today after such an excellent retreat, but we all feel refreshed, renewed, and ready to pray–and grow in virtue–with greater fervor. Thank you, Fr. Vincent!

Into the Retreat Desert

 

It\’s that time of year again! Tonight we begin our annual ten-day community retreat. This year our retreat master is Fr. Vincent Davila from St. Albert the Great Province (aka the central province). We\’ll have more to tell you after the retreat. For now, we just want to let you know that our schedule will vary somewhat in order to accommodate our retreat conferences. However, Mass tunes will still be the same: 7:20 Monday-Saturday and 7:00 Sunday. That\’s right! Our chapel is finally open to the public for Sunday Mass.

Please pray for us! We\’ll be praying for you!

Eleven Years…And Still Going

 

This blog has been running for eleven years now! Hard to believe! It seems like only yesterday Sr. Anna Marie, OP (from the Monastery of Mary Queen in Springfield, IL) helped us get started. We\’ve had many good times…and we hope there will be many more to come! 

May God bless you, and thank you for reading this blog! If you like it, please tell a friend!

Fraternal Visit

 The feast of the Visitation has been called a day for religious sisters to get together and, well, visit. This year we had a little twist on this theme–a visit from our brothers, instead! 

As you can see, we made quite a group! Most of our sisters were able to be present, and we had seven friars. Four are still in various stages of formation. Two of these four are novices–our own two novices from the province of St. Martin de Porres (aka the southern province)–and two student brothers, one from our province and one from the province of St. Albert the Great (aka the central province). They were accompanied by the novice master for our province and another priest, and our chaplain joined the fun.

And it was fun! We laughed and laughed at our brothers\’ stories, adventures, and incidents, all told with characteristically Dominican good humor. 

We thank our brothers for honoring us with a visit, and only wish they could have stayed longer! But they could only pray Vespers with us and have a quick dinner before heading back to Irving, TX. Still, that was wonderful. We are praying for you all–and for all our Dominican brothers around the world! Y\’all come see us!

A Visit With Our Sisters

On May 13, we were privileged to have a visit from the Dominican Sisters of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima.

Their motherhouse is in Puerto Rico, and these sisters are assigned to Sacred Heart parish in Palestine, TX. They brought us some delicious food for dinner–home-cooked! We really appreciated this great meal, and the lovely visit we had with them after dinner. The Sisters celebrate May 13–Our Lady of Fatima–as their patronal feast day, and we were honored that they came to spend the day at the Monastery, where they could have some time for prayer, quiet, and the opportunity for confession as well as our visit. Their house is not too far from our monastery, so we see them fairly regularly. It\’s always a pleasure! Please pray for Sr. Laura, their novice (in the white veil) who will make her first vows this summer in Puerto Rico.

Mother’s Day at the Monastery

The rains are over and gone, and it\’s time to report on our beautiful Mother\’s Day celebration! It all began with a special Mass in honor of all our mothers, living and deceased, as well as all the women who have been like mothers to us.

Before Vatican II, many congregations and monasteries called their superior or prioress “Mother”. Although we don\’t do that any more, we still honor Sr. Mary Margaret on this day, with a gift and a card bearing a “spiritual bouquet”–a gift of three days of prayers for her intentions from each sister in the monastery.

Then it was time for the special event–a lovely picnic under our carport! (We had it under the carport because we feared it would rain!)

Several sisters helped cook and prepare the delicious food.

Finally, we were able to sit down and eat and enjoy each other\’s company.

Hooray for our cooks!

In the afternoon, some sisters enjoyed the cool weather outside.

By evening, however, rain was falling! It actually flooded parts of the monastery, and knocked out the power for a brief time. We got seven inches in an hour!

We planned to have our May Crowning that evening, but it was so wet we moved it inside. Sr. Mary Therese crowned Our Lady this year.

We ended this great day with a circle recreation–an opportunity for all the sisters to be together and share what\’s been going on. Many thanks to Sr. Mary Margaret, our spiritual mother, and all our mothers, living and deceased, who so lovingly cared for us (and still do!).