A New U.S. Citizen!

Sr. Irma Marie is now an American citizen!

Complete with sash, hat, flag, and certificate

Sr. Irma Marie, a native of Puebla, Mexico, has been a member of our monastic community for some time. She began working on her citizenship papers about five years ago, and on Tuesday all her hard work paid off as she was officially sworn in as a United States citizen.

Of course, we had a little party to celebrate the great day!

The festive table

Sister’s card, signed by everyone in the community

The happy new citizen with Sr. Mary Margaret

Now that she is a citizen, Sr. Irma Marie looks forward to getting a driver’s license and registering to vote. We are very proud of Sr. Irma Marie and all her hard work to achieve this goal, and we are grateful to all the people who helped make it happen–and there are many who helped! Thanks to all of you!

On an additional note, although several of us were down with a cold bug for Thanksgiving, we still managed to have a good time!

Delicious!

The majority of our dinner was donated, and as always we are very grateful to all who made our wonderful Thanksgiving meal possible. Thank you so much!

We are overwhelmed by the blessings God has granted us over the last week or so. May he continue to provide faithfully for us, and may we remain faithful to him!

Vocation Visit

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.

Sr. Mary Margaret’s Feast Day, 2022

Wow–how time flies! It’s been a while now since we celebrated Sister’s feast day, but we’ve just been super busy. We had a nice, laid-back kind of day, with gifts in the morning, an ice cream treat in the afternoon, and a little entertainment in the evening. The entertainment included a short play pondering what might have happened if St. Margaret of Hungary (Sr. Mary Margaret’s patron) had gone on a talk show. To give you a hint, the play was entitled, “I’m Your Mother, and I Don’t Want You To Be a Nun!” Don’t worry–it has a happy, monastic ending!

We would like to share some pictures from the gift opening in the morning. All the gifts you will see here were made by the sisters. Sr. Mary Margaret uses these lovely handmade items as gifts for benefactors and prizes in our popular summer raffle.

Everyone gathered around the feast day table to see the gifts…and Sister’s reactions!

A darling hat and scarf set.

The ever popular sock animals!

A nice warm poncho.

It fits–can I keep it??

Possibly a future raffle prize?

The next day, Sunday, we enjoyed a movie together as a community to conclude our celebration. Sr. Mary Margaret had a great time and so did we all!

The Gang’s All Here

Wow! We’ve had a busy time recently, with Sr. Mary Margaret’s feast day celebration and several women visiting to learn more about our cloistered Dominican life on Lotus Lane! In fact, one of our aspirants graciously took this group photo of the community which we’d like to share with you all.

There are a few sisters in this picture who aren’t on our website Community page yet, but we’ll post them soon!

If you’re interested in finding out more about our community and our Dominican way of life, please visit our website and consider writing (or calling) our vocation directress. We’d love to hear from you!

Happy Birthday!

We celebrated not one, but two birthdays this week! The first was a long-awaited party for Sr. Mary Annunciata, who turned 90 on August 15.

Sr. Mary Annunciata’s cat themed birthday cake
She loved it!
Getting ready to blow out the candles…
A happy day for everyone!

Then, on Thursday, we celebrated Sr. Maria Guadalupe’s 80th birthday! (This was the actual date.)

You know we’re in Texas because we’re having cake and Blue Bell ice cream.
Sr. Maria Guadalupe received this lovely cake as a gift, but we added the “80”.

Sr. Maria Guadalupe making a wish…
Another happy and delicious day for the community!

You may remember that we only have birthday parties for the 80th, 90th, 100th birthdays…but on the years following a sister’s 80th birthday we do have cake and ice cream on her special day in the refectory for dessert. We have a lot of octogenarians born in August, so this has been quite a month!

Sr. Mary Annunciata and Sr. Maria Guadalupe are both former prioresses of our monastery, and we are so blessed to be able to celebrate these milestones with them. May God grant them both many happy, healthy years!

St. Dominic’s Feast Day 2022

We had a low-key but joyful feast of St. Dominic this year. Of course, we began the day with prayer, followed by solemn high Mass in honor of St. Dominic. Our chaplain, Fr. Ian Bordenave, presided, and Deacon Jesus Reyes, who is a member of the Dominican Laity, served.

Fr Ian, Deacon Jesus, and friends

We had a mostly free morning, with an optional movie screened for those who wished to see it, and then we had a delicious dinner in the community room. This meant a talking meal, and talk we did!

To our great joy, Sr. Martin Marie was able to come for Mass and dinner. It was wonderful to have her with us, and we plan to bring her again.

Sr. Marie Augustine, Sr. Mary Margaret, and Sr. Martin Marie

In the afternoon, we enjoyed more recreation along with delicious Mexican fruit drinks. The mango and pina colada were especially popular!

In the evening, we celebrated Sr. Mary Dominic’s feast day. She actually had the Mass for her intentions on August 6, which happens to be the day St. Dominic actually died, but we waited to have her song until the 8th.

Singing with all our hearts
Greeting Sr. Mary Dominic on her special day

Following our song, we played several games of Domingo!–which as you can probably figure out is bingo with a Dominican twist. We had time for several people to win, and although there were no actual prizes we were happy just to be together enjoying ourselves on this day which is so dear to Dominicans everywhere.

Domingo!

And of course, we prayed for all of you on this solemn feast. May our Holy Father St. Dominic intercede for you!

Our Renewed Prioress

Things have been very busy here at the Monastery, and one thing we’ve been working on is the election–or we should say, re-election–of our prioress, Sr. Mary Margaret of the Cross Gyovai, O.P. Our community vicar, Fr. Ed Ruane, O.P., came to preside over the election and confirm it.

Still smiling after three years in office!

After the election, we shared some recreation time in our community room. We invited our chaplain, Fr. Ian Bordenave, O.P., to join us–and later he and Fr. Ed stayed for dinner in the community room, too!

The happy end of our election procedings

The following day, Fr. Ian and Fr. Ed concelebrated a Mass in honor of an abbess–with slight adjustments made to accommodate our situation. Traditionally, Dominican nuns have always had a prioress, a nun who is first among equals, rather than an abbess as the head of their communities.

The Fathers are wearing their lovely Dominican vestments

Usually, when a prioress is elected (or re-elected), she has to change job assignments around. This is because once you change one thing, everything else needs to be changed as well! We’ve all been cleaning our various departments and trying to organize things in preparation for a new sister-in-charge, if that happens. So we expect there will be some upheaval in the days to come. However, one thing that never changes is our commitment and devotion to God witnessed through our prayer life and our continual openness to His will. Whatever the future may hold, we know God will be there, and that is good enough for us!

Please do keep Sr. Mary Margaret and all of us in prayer as she embarks on this new three-year term!