Inspired by our refectory reading—"Life And Death in a Venetian Convent: The Chronicle and Necrology of Corpus Domini, 1395-1436" by Sr. Bartolomea Riccoboni, OP (trans. Daniel Bornstein) we've decided to change our blog header. As any of you who are using the new blogger know, the html templates are now a total mystery and difficult to change according to ones specifications. Anyone know what "widgets" are?

"Life and Death in a Venetian Convent" is a translation of the chronicles and necrology of a monastery founded by Bl Giovanni Dominici, OP which was one of the first monasteries of the reform of Bl. Raymond of Capua in Italy. Also part of the necrology is the account of the Great Western Schism from the point of view of the nuns who were living at that time. It certainly does put all of today's problems in the Church in the proper perspective! Imagine what it was like living under 3 "popes" with your government telling you to which one you were to give your obedience! The monastery was divided and yet to maintain the unity which is a precious gift of the Order the nuns of the "opposing" pope would defer to the nuns of the pope the government decided was the "true pope" by not being hebdomadarian for the week during which they would need to pray for the pope by name outloud.

As a Christmas present we also recently acquired another new book about the history of our monastery in reformation Germany: Nails in the Wall: Catholic Nuns in Reformation Germany by Amy Leonard. These monasteries were also part of the reform and because of the fervor of their monastic observance were able for many years to continue functioning as monasteries and even receive novices although under mitigating circumstances.

From beginning to end these small books provides for us Dominican nuns during our Jubilee Year an opportunity to praise the Lord for the lives and holiness of the many nuns who have gone before us and encourages us today to "walk faithful in the love we had at first".

Both books are not inexpensive. Published by University of Chicago Press they are available from regular booksellers. Click on the links for more information about each book.

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