A lovely group of young women came to visit us from St. Thomas University in Houston, TX. Fr. John Sica, O.P., a friend of the community and doctoral candidate at the University, helped organize the visit and gave the girls a great talk on Dominican spirituality. We gave some other talks on prayer and monasticism, and showed them our slide show and parts of our documentary (you can see our documentary on YouTube!). They had great questions, which we tried to answer–with the Holy Spirit’s help! Please pray that God will inspire many young women to consider a vocation to the cloistered life.
We recently concluded our ten-day annual retreat, and it was really something special! Our retreat master this year was Fr. Jim Marchionda, O.P., provincial of St. Albert’s Province (or the central province of the U.S.) and a well-known preacher and composer of liturgical music. Father brought our keyboard into chapel to play and sing his own songs as part of the retreat, and he strongly encouraged us to sing along with him! To make things even easier, he brought along songbooks for each sister, which he allowed us to keep. So we may be integrating more of our brother Jim’s music into our liturgies in the days to come–we’ll see!
Our one regret was that Father could not stay the full ten days with us. We were glad to have him when he was available, though, and we do understand how difficult it is for a provincial to get away from the province! But we did have several fruitful days of silent retreat, and we came away renewed in our commitment to prayer. Good thing, too, because the world certainly needs it right now!
Thank you so much, Father! We hope to see you again someday!
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 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!
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!
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!
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!
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).
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.
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!
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!