"Thy had no other Master to teach them..."

Bl. Jordan of Saxony said those words about the first nuns of Prouilhe and St. Dominic but they could well be applied this week as over 70 nuns from our monasteries in the USA and Canada are in retreat with our Master General of the Order of Preachers: Fr. Carlos Aspiroz Costa, OP. Fr. Ed Ruane, OP, Socius for the Master for North America and Fr. Manuel Merton, OP, Promoter for the Nuns worldwide are also there helping with confessions and spiritual direction.

This retreat is historical in so many ways. It's the first time the nuns of our region have come together for retreat. It's the first time a Master of the Order has preached a retreat to our North American monasteries and it's taking place as part of our 800th anniversary celebrations. The "Bethany" of this time with the Lord is the Weber Center on the Motherhouse grounds of the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan who so generously gave the full use of their retreat center (along with meals and airport pickup) as a gift to their Sisters! May God reward you all, dear Sisters!

The "Sacred Hearts" (as in Sr. Mary of the Sacred Heart) from 5 different monasteries—Bronx, Menlo Park, Marbury, Farmington and W. Springfield.

Meanwhile, back home at our monasteries, the "skeleton" crews are doing the best we can in keeping the monastery going—praying the Office, cooking and cleaning, filling host orders, answering doors and phones. Our own monastery is blessed to have the generous help of our novitiate sisters including Deepa Kingry, our new aspirant who was courageous enough to arrive the day before our 5 sisters left! She's enjoying the experience and in less than 24 hours was helping in the kitchen, sewing snaps and buttons on new habits and even ringing the bells for meals! She also plays a mean game of croquet!

We look forward to having our sisters back home and life in the monastery back to "normal". However, we are so grateful to God for this opportunity for our Sisters to come together with our Father Master and know that the graces they have received from this retreat will flow over in abundance in our monasteries back home!