Pope Francis’ Consecration of the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Chapel at our monastery on the solemnity of the Annunciation

Pope Francis is consecrating the world–and especially Russia and the Ukraine–to the Immaculate Heart of Mary today. He’ll be doing this about 12:30 PM Central in the USA and you can watch it on the Vatican website. Today at Mass we made the consecration ourselves, led by Father Ian. Here’s where you can download it if you’d like to do the same! Let us all be united in prayer for peace in Ukraine and Russia.

A Work of Art

As part of our 75th Jubilee celebration, a dear friend of ours painted a lovely portrait of the front of the Monastery. We hung it in the lobby, and it looks fantastic!

Sr. Mary Margaret and Ada Jones, artist

We know Ada from our long association with a family in the La Porte-Beaumont, Texas area, the Polkers, who have been generously bringing us groceries of all kinds for 45 years. When Ada joined the fun, we became friends with her–and that led, eventually, to our beautiful painting.

Ada Jones is a Texas artist who specializes in natural scenes in a variety of mediums. You can see more of her artwork (or even purchase some) at her website, https://www.adavjones.com/

Please keep in mind that this painting, like all of Ada’s work, is copyrighted.

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!