When in Rome...

Our blog has been a little quite lately, but if you’ve seen our last post (October Events) you know that it isn’t due to an absence of anything to post about! So what else has been going on?

Last month we had two extra sisters fly ‘home’ to Summit along with our Novice Mistress, Sr. Joseph Maria. They had been attending the Association’s Novice Mistress meeting at the monastery in Menlo Park, California. As you many know, our monastery belongs to the North American Association of Dominican Monasteries. The Association joins autonomous monasteries of the Order for the purpose of mutual support and collaboration. Every year the Association sponsors a meeting for the novice mistresses and this year it was held at Corpus Christi Monastery in California.

The two sisters who flew into Summit with Sr. Joseph Maria were Sr. Mary Rose, novice mistress from the Monastery of the Infant Jesus in Lufkin, Texas, and Sr. Maria Christine, the prioress of the hosting monastery, who were on there way (along with our Sr. Mary Catharine) to Rome.

The three sisters traveled to Rome to attend the Macro-meeting of Dominican nuns, held in response to the recent document Cor Orans, the ‘implementing instruction’ of the Apostolic Constitution Vultum Dei Quaerere on Women’s Contemplative Life. The new instruction will require updating our Constitutions, which means a lot of discussion and meetings! Sr. Maria Christine went in her function as our Association’s President; Sr. Mary Rose is the ICN (International Commission of [Dominican] Nuns) representative for our region and was attending as delegate for the monasteries in our region that do not belong to the Association; and our Sr. Mary Catharine had been elected by the Association monasteries as their delegate.

The Macro-meeting was held from 27 September to 3 October in the Order’s three official languages English, Spanish, and French with simultaneous translation. There was a massive amount of work to be done, and the nuns were warned they’d be staying until it was finished. Thankfully they were able to get through everything necessary in the allotted time, and still had time for a little sightseeing! It isn’t every day these cloistered nuns are in Rome, and so they were grateful for the opportunity to attend a Papal Mass, visit the Order’s ‘home-base’ for its Curia at Santa Sabina, tour the Angelicum, and of course enjoy authentic Italian gelato!

The sisters returned with hopefully more answers than questions, though we’re told that for some things the four canon lawyers attending each had a different interpretation!

One thing’s for sure: How good it is to be a Dominican!

October Events

We aren’t even halfway through October and already it has been full of events! This blog will be doing a little catch up.

On Tuesday, October 2nd, we had the official opening of our Jubilee Year for our monastery’s 100th Anniversary. Tuesday was the 99th anniversary, and so the beginning of our centenary year. The faithful were invited to Compline & Benediction with an address from our chaplain Fr. Gregory Salomone, OP. Afterwards we visited with the attendees in St. Dominic’s Hall.

Our Holy Father has given a decree granting a plenary indulgence in honor of our 100th Jubilee, to anyone who comes to the monastery and fulfills the conditions as posted in the vestibule of the chapel.

On Thursday, October 4th, the Feast of Our Holy Father Francis, we celebrated our monastery’s patronal feast day, Our Lady of the Rosary, which fell on a Sunday this year. There is a deep bond between Franciscans and Dominicans, and we think of ourselves as cousins. In the litany not only is St. Dominic addressed as “Our Holy Father Dominic”, but so is St. Francis! On the carved wood doors to choir can be found the Franciscan shield of the two arms crossing in front of a cross. So it was an appropriate day to move our celebration to! As usual we had a 10&4 day with snacks at 10 and ice cream and cookies at 4 (along with recreation), and ‘talking meals’ in the community room for dinner and supper. It was a lovely relaxing day to enjoy each other’s company.

On Sunday, October 7th, Solemnity of Our Lady of the Rosary, the faithful gathered in the afternoon for Rosary Sunday. It was the perfect way to participate in the Rosary Coast to Coast movement what happened to fall on the same day. Along with the rosary, benediction, and blessing of roses, there was also preaching by Fr. John Martin Ruiz, OP, librarian for the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C.

Opening of our Centenary Jubilee!

October 2nd marks the 99th anniversary of the founding of our monastery and the beginning of its 100th year! All are invited to celebrate the opening of our Centenary Jubilee year:

Tuesday, October 2nd

Compline & Benediction

Refreshments follow in St. Dominic’s Hall
(entrance through gift shop)

SAY IT WITH ROSARIES!-Our Jubilee Commemorative Rosary
18296 - Domincan Nuns - Monastery of our Lady of the Rosary.jpg

October 2, 2018 will be an historic day here at the monastery because on this day we will officially begin a year of celebration, giving thanks and praise to God for the founding of this Dominican house of prayer, a “holy preaching”, by Mother Mary Imelda and the 14 foundresses on October 2, 1919. When you are a 100 years old you need a whole year to celebrate!

What better way to commemorate this special jubilee year of a monastery dedicated to Our Lady and her rosary than by commissioning a unique rosary!

For the past year Sr. Mary Catharine has been working with the Italian company, Ghirelli Rosary, to create a unique rosary for our monastery. Thanks to their wonderful craftsmanship which reflects their love of Our Lady’s rosary we now have this beautiful rosary available for you to purchase from either our monastery gift shop or our online store.

There are 2 styles. One with a beautiful blue Lucite bead and the other a carved Italian wood bead that reflects the rosaries we wear on our belts.

The “Pater bead” is a round medal. One side is an image of the monstrance in our chapel and the opposite side is the Marian logo that is carved in the altar of Our Lady’s side altar. The centerpiece is an image of the Madonna and Child triptych in the rear of our chapel which is beloved by so many who come. The reverse is the image of the bas-relief of Our Lady giving the Rosary to St. Dominic which is above Our Lady’s altar.

Because the Great Crucifix is in our Choir and can’t be seen by those in the chapel we weren’t sure what to use for the Crucifix. On a whim Sr. Mary Catharine suggested Fra Angelico’s St. Dominic at the foot of the Cross and the designers produced a beautiful and unique Crucifix for our Jubilee Rosary.

Jubilee Rosary Dominican Nuns

Finishing off the rosary is a small reproduction of the medal struck in 1921 on the occasion of the FIRST Rosary Pilgrimage here at our monastery when it was not even 2 years old. To this day each nun wears this medal on her habit rosary.

 First Rosary Pilgrimage- May 22, 1921

First Rosary Pilgrimage- May 22, 1921

We are truly excited to offer this rosary to you for two reasons. First to commemorate this beautiful anniversary and second, to offer a beautiful instrument of prayer especially during these times when we need more than ever to invoke Our Blessed Mother’s powerful intercession through her rosary which must be her favorite prayer!

Both styles of our Jubilee rosary are available in very limited quantities so we suggest you don’t delay in getting yours!

Welcome, Sr. Lauren!

There was an extra special gift this year for Our Blessed Mother's birthday...a new postulant!

Lauren Potter entered the enclosure to begin her year of postulancy shortly before Vespers. Sr. Lauren is originally from South Africa, but was living and working in Australia when she began discerning a Dominican contemplative vocation.

Unfortunately, neither South Africa nor Australia currently have a monastery of Dominican Nuns! While there had been a Dominican monastery in Senekal, South Africa for 28 years, it relocated in 2013 to Zambia due to a lack of vocations. The Dominicans have been slowly increasing their presence in Australia, and while there are now both Friars and Sisters, a monastery of Nuns has not yet been possible.

Sr. Lauren has entered at an exciting time for contemplative nuns as we begin to implement the changes mandated by the new instruction Cor Orans. One of the areas of change is in the initial formation of nuns, and one of these changes is the length of postulancy. So instead of our usual 9 months, postulancy will now be a full 12 months.

Below is a slideshow from Sister's entrance.