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!

Good Christian Friends, Rejoice!

We\’ve been doing a lot of rejoicing around here! And why not? It\’s still the Christmas season, and we are still celebrating the wonder of Christ\’s birth. Now, it\’s time we shared some of our lovely inside Christmas decorations with you! This is our chapel–the picture was taken from our side of the choir, facing the altar. We are so grateful to the people who donated the tree, the wreaths, and the many poinsettias. 

Another beautiful donation: this Christmas arrangement to honor our crucifix

And now, without further ado, the creche scenes!

Our main creche in the chapel. Sister Sacristan did a marvelous job!

If you were able to visit us in person, you saw this one in the outside lobby

The community room

The Chapter Hall

The infirmary kitchen

The infirmary

The Print Shop (where Monastery Bells and our greeting cards are created, among other things)

The Guild, where letters are answered and enrollments are made

The Prioress\’ office

The carol mentioned in our title is traditionally attributed to the 14th century Dominican mystic, Blessed Henry Suso. One of the lines in the modern version found in today\’s hymnals says, \”Christ was born to save!\” We never forget that Christmas is a part of the Paschal mystery, and there is certainly an element of sorrow even in our joy (think of the Holy Innocents, for example). But on the whole it is a time when all of us can remember, or consider for the first time, the hope a newborn baby brings with it into this world. Let us rejoice this season as we remember that each one of us was born for a reason!

We Need A Little Christmas

 This song is so appropriate this year! It made its debut in Jerry Herman\’s Broadway musical Mame in 1966, when Mame sang it to cheer up her nephew and servants after losing everything in the 1929 stock market crash. We\’ve heard stories that many people are buying real Christmas trees and putting up extra lights and decorations as a way of cheering themselves up during this crazy year. And although we don\’t usually decorate until about right now, our workmen felt we needed a little Christmas and put up some lights both inside and outside the monastery this year! 

Front of monastery
Infirmary yard with Infant Jesus

Our Lady of Fatima

The hedge by the carport

Our bell tower

We also have some decorating going on right now, as you can see…

My, what big poinsettias you have!

Our Lady with Jesus and their decorator, Sr. Mary Giuse


We\’re still decorating, and we plan to bring you more pictures when we\’re finished! These may come after the actual date of Christmas (that is, December 25) but remember, the Christmas season lasts until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which is on January 10th this year. So during this year when we \”need a little Christmas\” in a particular way, remember you can celebrate for much longer than the secular world would have you believe! (In the old days, the Christmas season lasted until February 2, but even we think that\’s a little long.)

Christmas is always a special time for us here at the Monastery, since it is also \”our\” feast day. We are, after all, the Monastery of the Infant Jesus. We hope you will have a happy and blessed Christmas, and know that we are praying for all of you!