Cloistered Dominican Nuns Corpus Christi Monastery

Celebrating 38th Year as the Spouse of Christ!

Our Sister Maria Christine of the Cross, who is also the Superior of our monastery, is celebrating her profession anniversary today. Please join us in grateful prayer for the past and for God’s continuing blessings on Sister!

2016.05.20 SMChristine (web)

Below is Sister’s vocation story. Please read and share!

As far back as I can recall I always wanted to be a nun. Where did this come from? I will never know. My family was not devoutly religious – Sunday Mass was an exception rather than a way of life. I do know that God’s divine providence placed me under His mother and grandmother’s protective care, and that it began with the rosary. Praying the mysteries of the rosary nurtured my vocation. Then there was the annual parish novena to good St. Anne: the entire neighborhood would save the 10 days of July to gather together on the hot summer nights, to be spiritually nourished by the singing, preaching, and sacraments provided by the Redemptorist Fathers.

In the late ‘60s when religious life was in turmoil and communities were rapidly changing, and sometimes disappearing, I remained confident that God was calling me. My childhood fantasy of life as a nun, fed by Hollywood with movies like The Bells of Saint Mary, A Nun’s Story, and The Sound of Music gradually grew into deep roots of faith all through high school. I spent every summer as a volunteer, working with the sisters at our local Catholic hospital. At one point, I was firmly convinced that God was calling me to a missionary life of nursing and caring for others.

But, as things continued to radically change after Vatican II, I decided to take a step back and see where God would lead me. In retrospect, I now understand how the next 10 years were filled with God’s gift of patience to nurture my faith, establish a career and develop skills that would become valuable building blocks in His divine plan for me. I worked full time in a demanding position with a certified public accounting firm, yet I was never distracted from God. I discovered the Dominican Order, became a professed member of the Dominican Laity, studied apologetics and church history and was active in the local parishes.

I gradually came to recognize that my inner yearning for an active religious life was changing, and more and more I was being drawn to a contemplative life. Though I attended Mass regularly at the local Carmelite Monastery, the Dominican Monastery twenty miles away, kept drawing me back. The chapel of Perpetual Adoration felt like home and all the allurements of life and the world began to take second place. I knew that participating in the aspirancy program – a 30-day experience of living within the cloister – was my next step.

My friends would all agree I was definitely a night person. During my “aspirancy” I found the early morning alarm for Office was jarring to my body and soul. A definite negative in my book! The days were long and structured, but after Night Prayers I fell into bed and wanted to keep reading every book in the library. Every hour, during the night, I could hear the rattle of rosaries in the dormitory hallway as the nuns silently replaced each other and kept the nocturnal adoration. I thought, “Do they ever sleep?” In those days, the community was nearly 50 strong, and personal space was at a premium. The meals were meatless, plain and simple. Manual labor was plentiful since it was harvest time and we all loved the garden fresh vegetables. We prayed fervently, studied with enthusiasm and worked with all our strength. Religious life is a voluntary poverty and all was offered to God with exuberant uplifted hands and hearts.

None of the allurements of the world could compete with or deter my resolution to return and follow God’s invitation. The radical simplicity of the life was a treasure and on the feast of St. Vincent de Paul, my Dominican vocation crossed from the world to the monastery. Since I entered, many things have changed. With the advent of microwaves, pagers, computers and the new digital means of communication, our methods for accomplishing some tasks have adapted; but the essentials of religious consecration have remained the same. With faith and the knowledge of God’s ultimate love for us, the little sacrifices we make become our personal gifts of love.

Nurtured with the Bread of Life and the power of daily Eucharist, the sacraments, prayer, adoration, work, study, and community living, we all strive to be living instruments in the hands of God – forever.

2016.05.20 SMCChristine in Choir with Crucifix DSCN0054

Congratulations on your Profession Anniversary, Sister Maria Christine, O.P.!

Thank you, for your witness of faith, generosity, and love! May God grant you many more happy years as the spouse of Christ!

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