We are blessed to have a group of the Dominican Laity located here in Lufkin. They are not associates of the monastery itself, but full members of the Dominican Order according to their lay state of life. They make promises similar to our vows and strive to live the Dominican pillars of preaching, prayer, study and ministry. We had a group of six make promises on February 12, which is a blessing for all of us. Three made temporary promises, for three years, and three made permanent promises.
After the ceremony, which took place within our usual daily Mass, the newly professed, other members of the OP Laity, and their families met in the Gate Parlor for breakfast and a little visit with the Sisters.
Dr. Brian Carlin joined his wife Virginia and his daughter, Sr. Mary Rose, in the Dominican order through his profession.
The Dominican Family, as we often refer to our order, is made up of many groups: friars, nuns, active sisters, laity, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Dominic, and the Dominican Youth Movement just to name some of them. We are so happy to have three branches of the family here in Lufkin: the monastery (nuns), a friar (our chaplain) and the St. Thomas Aquinas chapter of the Dominican Laity. We hope someday we will have active sisters and other groups.
Although we’re a bit late, we wanted to share some of our St. Dominic\’s Day festivities with you.
We began the day with the most important matters: the Liturgy of the Hours and a wonderful Mass in honor of our Holy Father Saint Dominic.
Father John Lydon, OP, our chaplain, with some of the members of our Dominican Laity and two religious from the Dominican Sisters of Our Lady of Fatima. We promise, after this picture everyone put their masks back on and started practicing good social distancing!
Our two Dominican sisters were able to spend most of the day at our monastery. Several sisters from their community, which has its motherhouse in Puerto Rico, serve in our diocese of Tyler.
Meanwhile, the cloistered sisters helped in the kitchen, mindful of the decorum due on such a special day and being appropriately subdued. Well, maybe not so much!
When the kitchen was in good order, we all gathered in the community room to sing a feast day song–“Dominique”. We sang it in English since none of us speaks French. (Now, if it had been in Spanish…)
We spent the rest of the morning playing “Domingo”, which is, of course, \”Bingo\” with a Dominican theme. Instead of numbers, we have names of saints, important places, writings, things like that.
The sisters who organized the feast day this year thought up a unique–and welcome–prize. Instead of more “things”, we got the gift of time! Every winner (and fortunately, we all won in the end) received a Golden Ticket. This provides her with one full day of freedom to do whatever she wants to (within reason). The other sisters will even take her duties for her! No wonder Sister looks pleased in this picture.
We all had a long siesta time, and came back in the afternoon for a milkshake treat. Finally, we ended our great day with a movie, enjoyed by all.
Truly, how good and how pleasant it is when sisters live in unity!