Happy feast of our Holy Father Saint Dominic!
With joy we welcomed our new postulant Sister Chelsea to the monastery on January 25. Sister comes to us from both coasts, as she grew up in California but attended college and afterward worked in Washington, D.C. The proximity of the Dominican House of Studies gave her the opportunity to know the Dominicans first hand. This led her to discern a Dominican vocation and eventually to contemplative life in our monastery.
Every year we celebrate Mother’s Day in honor of our Mother Prioress. The preceding weeks find the whole monastery humming with preparations: the embroidery machine is turning out new tabernacle curtains (with the help of Sister Sacristan), the kitchen is full of Sisters making special cookies, mundane word-processing is set aside for elaborate desktop publishing of newly-designed “Thank You” cards, and at recreation the rosary-makers are at top speed trying to finish up as many rosaries as possible. This year, among her “presents,” Mother was delighted to find a brand new edition of our Marbury Songbook with a wonderful section of Holy Rounds and Fun Rounds. At evening recreation, we sang one after another. We look forward to more such evenings.
“O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today…..” The sweet harmonies of one of our favorite Marian hymns echoed through the Choir earlier on Mother’s Day during our May Crowning. It is a very old custom in the Church to crown images of Our Lady as tokens of our affection, devotion and reverence. We cherish our tradition of presenting our Heavenly Queen with a circlet of fresh roses.
On Pentecost Sunday we held our First Annual Pentecost Talent Show in honor of the Holy Spirit, Who pours out His gifts on us in such abundance. With the whole Easter Season to prepare, everyone came ready with a song, musical instrument piece, poem, skit, or even a juggling feat. The talents of each Sister were shared with much love and joy, and were received with applause and delight. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace . . .”
For those of you following our garden adventures, we have great news! After years of stunted attempts, our BEETS have finally flourished. Now we have a different, much better problem – what shall we do with them all?!
Recently we have been listening to stories of Our Lady’s appearances. At Fatima, Mary appeared to three little shepherd children ages nine, eight, and six, on the 13th of May through October, 1917. Many souls are lost, she told them, because no one prays and sacrifices for them. The little ones responded earnestly to the Blessed Virgin’s request that they pray the Rosary every day and make sacrifices for the conversion of sinners.
Mary told the children that when we make a sacrifice, we should say, “Oh my Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” Everyone is “blessed” with countless occasions during the day for small sacrifices – health concerns, worries about work, about one’s children or one’s parents, and the state of the world. We can offer all of these opportunities to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary and thus bring about the peace of the world that has been entrusted to Our Lady.