Cloistered Dominican Nuns Corpus Christi Monastery

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Corpus Christi…Deo Gratias!

This year, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi also happened to be the hottest day of our current heatwave.  Though little air moved through the open windows and doors, our chapel was still filled with joyful friends, family, benefactors and our Dominican brothers, sisters and laity, who were present to celebrate with us our patronal feast.  Our principal celebrant and homilist this year was Rev. Justin Gable, O.P., prior of St. Dominic Priory in San Francisco and associate professor of philosophy at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley.  Concelebrating was Rev. Stephen Maria Lopez, O.P., vocations director for the Western Dominican Province, and Rev. Eugene Sousa, O.P., our former chaplain.  Rev. Br. Thomas Aquinas Pickett, O.P. served as deacon and our novice brothers stepped forward as servers and acolytes.

At the end of Mass, we had a procession of the Blessed Sacrament; the friars then processed with the Blessed Sacrament into the nuns’ choir where we celebrated Benediction.  The public festivities concluded with reposition of the Blessed Sacrament in our monstrance and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament continued throughout the afternoon.

We also want to give special recognition to someone else.  Our regular visitors may notice the beautiful flowers (and Christmas trees) that decorate the altar, sanctuary, and nuns’ choir on certain high solemnities, particularly Christmas, Easter and the solemnity of Corpus Christi.  These flowers and the Christmas trees are generously donated each year by benefactors of our community.  And for the solemnity of Corpus Christi, every year, one man provided the abundant bower of gladiolas and stargazer lilies.  A quiet and kind man spent many hours in our chapel praying and adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.  A few months ago, he passed away after a long, tough battle with cancer.  This year, the flowers were donated for the last time in his honor.  We especially remembered him and his loved ones during our Corpus Christi celebration.  Eternal rest, grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.

To all of our friends, family and benefactors, to Dominican laity, and to our Dominican brothers, in particular Father Justin, thank you for contributing to the joy and beauty of this blessed feast day!

A Tale of Two Professions

The month of May was incredibly busy for us!  The highlights of the month were our two Masses of profession of vows.

Sister Mary Isabel of the Angels, O.P. professed solemn vows on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima (May 13th).  The Most Reverend Salvatore Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco, was the principal celebrant and homilist for the Mass.  We were blessed to be joined by so many of our Dominican priests and brothers, who also assisted by serving at the Mass, taking photos, and singing in the schola.

While Sister’s solemn profession marks the end of her initial formation, the adventure continues!

Sister Marie Dominic of the Incarnate Word, O.P. professed first vows on the Solemnity of the Ascension of our Lord (May 28th).  Fr. Mark Padrez, O.P., vicar of the Master of the Order for our community and prior provincial of the Western Dominican Province was the principal celebrant and homilist.  Again, we were blessed to have some of our Domincian priests concelebrate the Mass.  And serving as deacon (for the first time after his ordination!) was Rev. Br. Thomas Aquinas Pickett, O.P.  Our novice brothers helped with singing in the schola and several of our other brothers came as servers, photographer, and so on.

Sister will have a total of five years of initial formation under simple vows before she may request to profess solemn vows.

Both sisters faced substantial obstacles and discouragements in their journey.  But both are testament to the fact that, in time, God’s grace and mercy will provide in great abundance.  On these two occasions, our two sisters and community was simply overwhelmed with joy and generous support from our friends, family, and local community.  To our Dominican brothers, sisters, laity and all our family and friends, we thank you and remember you with gratitude in our prayers.

Both sisters were also featured in the latest issue of Catholic San Francisco!  A .pdf of the current issue is below, or read them directly on the Catholic San Francisco’s website.

Catholic SF June 8 2017 issue

 

OP Nun Joy No. 2:  Receiving the Fruits of our Brothers’ Contemplation

 

In an earlier post we spoke about one of the greatest joys in the life of a Dominican nun.  Here is another greatest joy: to have our friars share with us the fruits of their contemplation!  Br. Lupe Gonzalez, O.P., one of our cooperator brothers, spent a morning giving us an interactive presentation on Dominican spirituality and in particular the pillars of prayer and study, part of a program he is developing for Dominican laity.

In the end, we were left with a wonderful tool for better understanding Dominican spirituality as well as practical suggestions for integrating study and prayer.  It was a wonderful, highly entertaining journey and when the bell rang, we wished we had more time to continue.

Thank you, Brother!

 

OP Nun Joy No. 1: Shared Mission and Fraternal Communion

One of the greatest joys as a Dominican nun is to have a friar visit the monastery after he has been ordained to the priesthood, to see him celebrate Mass, to receive a first blessing and to visit with him in the parlor.  Why is this?  As Dominican nuns, our life of prayer and penance is dedicated in a particular way to the mission of the Order: to not only contemplate the mysteries of God, but to share with others the fruits of contemplation for the salvation of souls.  The structure of our Order arises from this mission and fraternal communion, so most of our friars are ordained to the priesthood, as we walk with them from their novitiate through their studentate years and beyond their ordination.

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This year, we had the joy of a visit from one of our newly ordained from the Eastern Dominican Province: Father Thomas Davenport, O.P.  His family is rooted on the East Coast, but he was a grad student at Stanford University when he began to discern his vocation.  Our chapel was one in the area that he frequently visited to pray to know God’s will.  We were blessed last week with a visit from him: he celebrated Mass for us during our Pentecost retreat, then returned on Pentecost Monday to visit with the community.

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We also had the great joy of seeing one of our Western Dominican Province friars serve at the altar as deacon for the first time!  Rev. Br. Thomas Aquinas Pickett, O.P. was ordained to the transitional diaconate with three other friars on Saturday, May 27th, then served his first Mass as deacon on Ascension Sunday.  This also happened to be the Mass of Sister Marie Dominic’s first profession of religious vows.  The graces of God are certainly abundant!

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An Invitation to Celebrate Patronal Feast Day with the Nuns!

2017.06.02 CC Sunday Invite for social media