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!

Prioral Feast Day

We’ve been meaning to post this for a while…things have been a little busy! It all happened back in September, on the feast of the Holy Cross, to be exact. Sr. Mary Margaret’s actual feast day (for St. Margaret of Hungary) falls on January 18, which is too close to Christmas and Epiphany for a big day, so we celebrate it on her “mystery” day — she is Sr. Mary Margaret of the Cross. We had a fun-filled two days of games, refreshments, and a movie! Our theme for the feast was “Monastic Olympics”–but instead of doing the usual kinds of Olympic feats, our sisters competed in various monastic fields such as sweeping floors, bowing in choir, and other events.

For the Olympics, you’ve got to have medals!
Singing the feast day song to start everything off

As you can see, Sister received lots of homemade gifts to give away–just what she asked for!

Ice cream floats in the afternoon

We all had a great time, and we enjoyed the movie the next day, too!

75th Jubilee Mass!

We’re celebrating our 75th Jubilee! Finally…after postponing it a year (thank you COVID) we’re having our Mass of thanksgiving for 75th years in the Piney Woods of East Texas, praying, praising and interceding. If you’re in the Lufkin area on November 9 at 10:00 AM, you’re welcome to join us! We do ask that you wear a mask. If you can’t be with us in person, please join us in prayer!

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!

Happy Birthday, Sr. Mary Annunciata!

Sr. Mary Annunciata recently celebrated a big birthday! She is now 89 years old and going strong. A good friend sent her this lovely bouquet of yellow flowers–yellow is Sister’s favorite color.

Sister still comes to community exercises, including prayer, adoration, meals and recreation. She is especially delightful at recreation, where she keeps her companions laughing with her unique sense of humor!

Sr. Mary Annunciata is a wonderful example of the way a nun’s vocation flowers over time, becoming more and more open to God’s love and grace, so that she is able to give to the world a glimpse of the unending beauty of Jesus Christ. We wish you many years, Sr. Mary Annunciata!

St. Dominic’s Day 2021

We always celebrate the feast of St. Dominic with special solemnity, but this year has been extra-special as we also celebrate the 800th anniversary of Dominic’s dies natalis, or “birth into heaven”. The theme proposed by the Order for this year is “At Table With Dominic”, and uses the image above as its visual presentation–the mascarella table, a painting of Dominic and his friars eating a meal together. The actual date of Dominic’s death is August 6, but since the Transfiguration now falls on that date, we celebrate Dominic on August 8.

We began the day with a lovely Mass celebrated by our chaplain, Fr. Ian Bordenave.

Fr, Ian in the beautifully decorated sanctuary of our chapel
Sr. Mary Rose did her usual excellent job as lector

Following Mass, breakfast, and prayers (we can’t omit these important things!) we all gathered in the community room to play Domingo!–which is, of course, a Dominican themed bingo game, using famous events, places, people and so on instead of numbers. A good time was had by all, and everyone won a prize!

We were delighted to have the whole Dominican family present at Mass, including our local chapter of the Dominican Laity and our good friends, the Dominican Sisters of Fatima.

The sisters brought us many lovely gifts, including this plant!

We had a delicious treat of milkshakes in the afternoon, and in the evening we watched the movie “Dominic: Light of the Church”, by the Dominican province in the Philippines. It was very good!

The day concluded with our usual prayers of Compline. At the end of Compline, we always sing a hymn to St. Dominic–most days, this is “O Lumen Ecclesiae”, “Light of the Church”. May Dominic light the way for the Church and for all people for many more years to come!

Sr. Mary Regina’s Funeral

As our chaplain, Fr. Ian, reminded us, a death in the monastery is always bittersweet. We mourn the loss of our sister, and yet we rejoice that she has gone home to God. In the spirit of hope and expectation, we celebrated Sr. Mary Regina’s funeral on Tuesday. The bishop of our diocese of Tyler, TX, Bishop Joseph Strickland, was on hand as main celebrant and he was joined by Fr. Ian our chaplain, Fr. Tom Edelen, and Fr. Ron Foshage, M.S.

We are fortunate to have our own cemetery within our enclosure, and that is where Sister was laid to rest. After the funeral, we met briefly with Bishop Strickland in the community room. The rest of the day was spent in much-needed rest (most of us had spent time throughout the night in vigil with Sister’s body) and ended with a circle recreation at night, as we all reminisced about Sr. Mary Regina, remembering her many talents and good qualities, the things she did as part of our community, and her steadfast devotion to prayer, especially in the last years of her life. May you rest in peace, Sister Mary Regina!