Christmas, Unwrapped!

Since we usually wrap Christmas presents to go under the tree prior to the big holiday, we thought this could be our “unwrapping”–showing you all what’s been hiding under the paper!

We were blessed to receive special visits from two sets of people–Santa and Mrs. Claus on December 23, and a bunch of Santa’s elves a few days before that.

Santa and Mrs. Claus also brought along their parish priest, to remind us of the reason for the season
The incredibly generous elves who brought special gifts for each sister! Thank you so much!

On Christmas Day, we had our traditional Christmas dinner cooked by the faithful Knights of Columbus. We are so grateful to the Knights for all they do for us–as one of the sisters said, “They are our Knights in shining armor!”

The grill
Cooking–a family experience for all of us
Recreating with the Knights and their families before dinner
We love to see all the young families and children

“Picking up” our delicious Christmas meal–steak, baked potatoes, green bean casserole, salad, rolls…
Sister Mary Christine’s amazing Jell-O creation

After dinner and a good nap, we came to the community room to open the community gifts (lots of puzzles, treats, and various and sundry useful items) as well as a personal gift for each sister.

Opening the elves’ gifts…
“I’m sure they’ll fit you, Sister!”

We have creches set up all over the monastery. Here are a few of them:

Refectory
Gate Parlor
Infirmary

On December 29, the bishop of Tyler, our own Bishop Joseph Strickland, came to say Mass for us. Our chaplain, Fr. Ian, concelebrated with him.

Bishop Strickland chose to commemorate St. Thomas Becket–very appropriate for a bishop

After Mass, we visited with the bishop and Fr. Ian, then all had dinner together in the community room. We had a great time!

It’s truly been a blessed Advent and Christmas season! We pray you continue to enjoy this beautiful season, and we wish you a very Happy New Year 2022!

Classes with Fr. John Sica, O.P.

Recently, Father came to our monastery to fill in for our chaplain while he had to be away–and while he was here he gave us some very good courses on the virtue of hope. This is especially appropriate for Advent, when we wait in hope for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Of course, we had to have a parlor visit with him too!

Father is getting used to nuns now!

Father John is working on his doctoral dissertation now, having finished his classes. We pray it will go smoothly for him, and he will finish up with some great work! It is always a pleasure to meet with one of our Dominican brothers, and especially to enjoy the fruits of their contemplative works. Thank you, Father John!

Jubilee Pictures!

Wow! We apologize for being so long in getting this up. All we can blame it on is “the monotony of the cloister”…you know, nothing ever happens at the Monastery…But without further ado, pictures!

Fr. Tom Condon, our provincial, with all the active Dominican sisters who joined us!
All our religious guests–the Dominican sisters, friars, and friar-novices, plus two diocesan priests and Bishop Eduardo Nevares of Phoenix, AZ
Receiving line after Mass
Enjoying lunch in the Large Parlor
Enjoying recreation with everyone in Gate Parlor

It was a most wonderful and blessed day, and we are grateful to God for all the many graces He showered down! May His name be forever praised!

Jubilee Mass!

One of the priests who attended (and concelebrated) our 75th Jubilee Mass recorded it, and you can see it here (it starts about 9:07) https://www.facebook.com/stpatrickslufkin/videos/1025853264863968/

We hope to have more pictures and other good things to post next week! It’s been busy (as usual) here but it will happen!

Visit with the Nashville Dominicans

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!

Dominican Friars…and Sisters

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).

From left: Sr. Maria Francisco, Sr. Mary Rita, Sr. Maria Benedicta, and Sr. Maximilian Marie

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.

The alumnae of Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts

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!

Visiting Friars: Fr. Marty Iott, O.P.

Our chaplain, Fr. Ian, was away recently, so Fr. Marty Iott, O.P. graciously came to celebrate Mass for us and hear our confessions.

Father Marty is currently stationed at Holy Rosary Priory in Houston, TX, just a couple of hours from Lufkin, so it’s easy for him to stop by occasionally. We had a fun recreation with Father on Friday night–his jovial ways and infectious laugh kept us all laughing, too!

We are grateful to all our Dominican brothers and sisters who are so good to stop by and see us when they are in the area (and sometimes make a detour just to see us!). There are members of the Dominican family all over Texas–in Houston as we mentioned, but also in Irving, Lubbock, El Paso, San Antonio, and many more, but we are the only monastery of cloistered Dominican nuns in Texas. It is our joy to intercede for the world from this small corner of a big state.

Thanks again, Father Marty! Come back soon!