Posts in Dominican Visitors
A visit from our brother, Bishop Christopher Cardone, OP

This afternoon we had the joy of welcoming our brother, Bishop Christopher Cardone, OP, bishop of the Diocese of Auki, Solomon Islands. Bishop Chris, as we fondly call him, is a native of Long Island, NY and from the Province of St. Joseph. He was home visiting after his ad limina visit with our Holy Father. He shared with us the experience of his visit to Rome and then enthusiastically shared with us the growth of the Church in the Solomon Islands and the people that are so dear to him! Bishop Chris told us that the diocese of Auki has a population of about 150,000 people and that this year 7 men were ordained to the priesthood! Families are large and Bishop Chris says the children are always so well-behaved and happy! Unfortunately the WHO is trying to make inroads, trying to convince the families to have less children. Currently abortion is illegal. Families love having children.

Bishop Chris hopes that someday there will be a monastery of cloistered Dominican Nuns! Already there are Poor Clares and Carmelites. Of course, his wish is a BIG HINT to us and who knows if someday it will be God's will that we go to the Solomon Islands!

After visiting in the community room we gave Bishop Chris a tour of our garden. Finally, we got a photo with him just before he left!

As contemplative, missionaries have a very deep place in our hearts and their visits encourage us in our hidden life of prayer. It is such a great grace to have our missionary brother with us. May the Lord bless Bishop Chris and may he know the strength of our prayer in his pastoral care of his people.

Nurturing New Preachers

This week we had a double joy of Easter for with us for a few days of rest and retreat were two of our deacon-brothers: Augustine Marie Reisenauer, O.P.(L), and Bernard Marie Timothy, O.P. (R).

For a few days we had a little community of friars with us. Since both are deacons they took turns preaching at Mass each morning. Brothers tell us either that preaching to their sisters is easy since we are so encouraging or they tell us that when they stand at the altar and look into the choir they suddenly become terrified! One friar, who was a frequent visitor to our monastery since his family lived nearby chided one Sister after his very first time preaching, "You were laughing the whole time!" "I was not," she retorted! "I was smiling for joy!"

Brother Timothy was just recently ordained a deacon and we were the recipients of his third official homily! Bro. Augustine will be ordained a priest next month and we are looking forward to his return and First Mass with us soon!

While we enjoyed our visit in the parlor before the brothers had to return to Washington, DC, we felt privileged to offer them simply a time to be with their Sisters, to pray together and to listen to the Word together in silence. As their sisters, one of the most important aspects of our vocation is to nurture our brothers as preachers through our prayer so that, refreshed and renewed they can once again go out, preaching the Resurrection to the whole world!

In The Contemplative Life, Fr. Thomas Philippe, OP has this to say about the complementary of our vocations:

Contemplatives have thus a double responsibility: to strengthen preachers by their contemplation, and to form them by their thirst for the Word. The cloister is consequently the place par excellence where the mystery of holy preaching ought to be lived. Both the preacher and his listeners are sincerely searching and both have the Holy Spirit as their interior teacher. It is in the cloister that the preacher in a sense is first prepared for combat; only later does he approach the world where he will face the struggle of giving what is not welcome. Preaching in the cloister is a kind of private preaching like that of Our Lord, who spent thirty years at Nazareth teaching Mary and only afterward approached the crowds.

It would be wrong to think that one should not preach in the cloister until after having preached to the people. It is just the other way around. It is better to begin by being formed among one’s brothers and sisters in an atmosphere of peace and then, after having attempted to articulate one’s contemplation, to be sent into battle. This is in fact what we find in the Church—for example, in the case of St. Augustine. Be aware, therefore, of your responsibility toward your brothers, and pray for them.

Dominican Novice Brothers Visit!

Early winter brings with it the welcome ritual of seeing novice master, Fr. Walter Wagner, O.P., again, and meeting our new novice brothers during their annual winter "road trip." Our province is blessed with eight novices this year. Eight for the Eight Beatitudes!!

After arriving just in time for Office of Readings and None at 3:00 p.m. the brethren joined us in the parlor for conversation, cocoa, and cookies. After both friars and nuns had shared their vocation stories, we enjoyed the homemade butterscotch cookies (baked by Sr. Mary Catharine and Sr. Angela) and the cocoa (whipped up by Sr. Judith Miryam via "Cocomotion").

There's an adage in the Order that goes, "When you meet one Dominican, you've met one Dominican!" and this was manifested yet again in the delightfully distinct personalities and gifts of our novices, and the diverse paths which brought them to the Order. There are profiles of each brother on the province's vocation website and we invite you to read them as to better inform your prayers for the perseverance of these promising friar preachers-in-the-making. Just click here.

Before leaving, Fr. Wagner presented us with a special Jubilee gift, a lovely icon, "Apostola Apostolorum," depicting St. Mary Magdalene (one of the principal patrons of the Order) preaching Christ's Resurrection to the Apostles. Father connected our mission of "preaching" to our brethren through our lives of joyful witness and loving support to her mission. Thank you, Fr. Walter and brothers for this powerful remembrance of our vocation!!