EPIPHANY!

If Christmas with the creche "belongs" to the Franciscans you might say that Epiphany "belongs" to the Dominicans! This feast of the Infant Savior being manifested ad gentes through the Three Kings has captured the hearts of Dominicans since the beginning. St. Dominic wanted his brethren to go to the four corners of the world preaching and bringing Christ the Light to everyone. St. Dominic himself wanted to go to the north to the Cumins to preach and be martyred but the pope asked him to stay in Rome and he was obedient.

We have precious little of the words of St. Dominic and one quote we do have is about this beautiful feast, "The Magi, those devout kings, entered the house and found the child with Mary his mother, Now it is certain that we have found him, too, God and man, with Mary his handmaid, so come, let us fall down and worship before God, let us weep before the Lord who made us." (2nd Way of Prayer)

Our community observes the custom of choosing 3 sisters to represent the 3 Kings and at evening recreation we "crown" them singing every verse of We Three Kings of Orient Are. Later, a Mass is offered for their intentions. How are they selected? A bean or nut is hidden in 3 muffins at breakfast!

We don't bless chalk or the doors because we found out that whatever our doors are stained with, we can't write with chalk AT ALL! It just doesn't work! As we are fond of saying, "Another mystery of Rosary Shrine".

2006 —A SPECIAL YEAR OF CELEBRATION

This year is a very special year for all the Nuns of the Order of Preachers for we are celebrating the 800th anniversary of the first gathering of nine women (all but 2 were converts) by St. Dominic in the little, run-down church of Our Lady of Notre Dame de Prouille. The traditional date is December 27, 1206. The Master of the Order has decreed that the formal celebrations will begin on the 1st Sunday of Advent 2006 and end on Epiphany Sunday, 2008. Many celebrations are being planned by the Nuns in North America and throughout the world. If you click on the jubilee logo to the right it will take you to the website of the Conference of Dominican Nuns. Here you will be able to get information as it becomes available. The Master of the Order has yet to determined the day on which all the monasteries will celebrate together.

In honor of this celebration our monastery is republishing TO HEAVEN WITH DIANA, the letters of Bl. Jordan of Saxony to Bl. Diana. The monasteries together are publishing a both a book of vocation stories and one of articles about Dominican monastic life. There is a calendar also in the works.

The highlight of the celebrations will be the retreat that Fr. Carlos, the Master, will be giving to the monasteries in July 2006. Approximately 80 nuns will gather at a retreat house in Michigan for this retreat. Three from our monastery are attending but we've not had the "name out of the hat" ceremony yet to find out WHO is going!

Why is this retreat so special? First, because it's the first time the nuns have gathered together for a retreat and with the Master of the Order. Like the friars the nuns have a unique relationship with the Master. They make their profession of obedience not only to the prioress of the monastery but also to the Master. No other Order in the Church has this sort of relationship.

We are told that the first nuns "had no other master (St. Dominic) to instruct them about the Order" and for 800 years the nuns have felt honored and privileged to have this relationship of daughters to their father in the person of the Master of the Order. We can be sure that this retreat with Fr. Carlos Aspiroz Costa will be one of many graces indeed.

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