A beautiful description of the life of a cloistered community of nuns, actually one of the newest IRL Affiliate Communities, can be found in the The Clanton Advertiser (2/27/12).
The Dominican Monastery of St. Jude in Marbury, Alabama, was founded in 1944 after Mother Mary of Jesus, a Dominican sister in Maryland, saw a vision of “a crowd of angry black people with clubs in hand engaged in a violent struggle.” She also saw St. Martin de Porres who “passed among them. The crowd quieted. The clubs were replaced with rosaries. Martin pointed to a monastery on a hill. There she saw Dominican sisters of all races praying with arms outstretched…She felt God was indicating his desire that there should be an interracial community where any young woman who wished to live the cloistered, contemplative life would be welcome.”
The 5 sisters and 1 novice have given their whole lives to God and his people. May God bless all of the cloistered nuns who pray for us and our world.
Sr. Marie Antoinette, PCPA, was a professional violinist before she entered the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration in 1984, one of the early sisters who joined Mother Angelica’s new community in Birmingham, Alabama.
Now she is using her talents to raise money for the restoration of the Monastere Notre Dame des Anges, their cradle monastery, in Troyes, France. Their foundress, Mother Marie of St. Claire Bouillevaux, is buried in the monastery garden.
The chapel was renovated and reopened in 2007. In order to raise funds to repair the roof, Sister Marie Antoinette has recorded a CD of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and a Sonata by Veracini. The sisters hope to sell hundreds of the CDs to pay for part of the expenses. As Sister said, “You could say I was ‘fiddling’ for the roof!”
Read the complete article in the National Catholic Register (2/26/12). To order the CD, visit the EWTN website or call (800)854-6316.
If you tune into the February, 26, 2012 Oscars’ telecast, you may see a most unusual, well-clothed sight – a Benedictine nun whose story is part of a short documentary, God is the Bigger Elvis, that is up for an Academy Award.
Mother Dolores Hart of Regina Laudis Abbey was a well-known movie star of the 1950’s/60’s whose co-stars included Elvis Presley, Montgomery Clift and George Hamilton. I recently saw one of her movies and was impressed by the depth and integrity she brought to the role.
A film crew was invited into the cloister to give the outside world a glimpse of her religious life in the abbey. Thirty-eight other nuns call her Mother Prioress. “I know what I have here is the best thing I will ever have,” Mother says.
Mother said that she adored Hollywood but there was another call pulling at her heart, one even stronger than the love she had for her fiance. “I left Hollywood at the urging of a mysterious thing called vocation. It’s a call that comes from another place that we call God because we don’t have any other way to say it. It’s a call of love.”
For the complete story, visit USA Today.
On December 12, 2011, Sr. John-Mark Maria made her first profession of holy vows with the Poor Clare Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, in Tonopah, AZ. She is the first Poor Clare Sister of Perpetual Adoration in Arizona to advance this far in her discernment of religious life.
Sister’s joy on this day was evident, particularly when the “always smiling” Sr. John-Mark Maria received the Eucharist.
Prior to 2005, the Diocese of Phoenix had never had a Contemplative Order of Nuns. Their Chapel was dedicated by Bishop Thomas Olmsted on May 7, 2011. They continue to raise funds for the construction of their actual cloistered monastery. Temporarily, they live in modular homes near the Chapel.
May the Sisters presence and prayers bless the people of the Diocese of Phoenix.
February, 2, 2012, the Feast of the Presentation, was extra special for Sr. Mary Amata, O.P., who professed solemn vows as Nun of the Order of Preachers with the Dominican Nuns of Summit, New Jersey. Placing her hands into those of Sr. Denise Marie her prioress, Sr. Mary Amata made profession of obedience until death.
It had been 62 years since a bishop presided at a profession at the monastery. Bishop Manuel Cruz was the main celebrant and assisted with the veiling but as one of the nuns said, “We have an idea that Bishop Cruz had no idea how many straight pins it takes to keep a nun together!”
During the veiling the beautifully haunting Amo Christum was sung. (You can hear it on the video.) The Dominicans of Summit are an IRL Affiliate Community. Their mission is to pray for the salvation of souls and to support the preaching mission of the Dominican friars.
May God bless Sister Mary Amata with many years of faithful service to her community and to her Jesus.
On February 7th, the Conventual Franciscan novices of Mishawaka, IN, visited the Poor Clares of Kokomo for the feast of the sister’s patron St. Colette. The friars spent time with the sisters in prayer and visited at the parlor grill. The Sisters explained their life of enclosure to the friars. It was a wonderful afternoon of sharing Franciscan joy together.
The Conventual Franciscan Friars of the St. Bonaventure Province are an IRL Affiliate Community who have as their spirituality St. Francis’ simplicity, love for the Eucharist, and devotion to the Virgin Mary. They strive to further St. Maximilian Kolbe’s mission of evangelization by promoting Marian Consecration and expanding Catholic media to build up the “Culture of Life.”
The Poor Clare Colettines Nuns of Kokomo, Indiana, also an IRL Affiliate, have Saint Clare as their Mother and Foundress and Saint Colette as their second “Mother.” Saint Colette preserved for them the primitive rule of Saint Clare. The Poor Clares are called to praise and worship God, especially in His Eucharistic presence.
Today, the Church celebrates the Feast Day of St. Angela Merici who died in 1474. The Order that she founded, the Ursulines, sent the first missionaries sisters to the New World in 1639. One of these was Bl. Mary of the Incarnation (1599-1672) who was a wife, mother, widow and religious. When she was a young girl, Jesus appeared to her in a dream and asked, “Do you want to belong to me?” She answered, yes!, and later sacrificed everything dear to her to follow His call to go to Quebec to found the first Ursuline convent outside of Europe. When she entered the Ursulines, she told her young son, “God wills it, my son. If we love Him, we should will it, too. It is up to Him to command, and up to us to obey.” She is known as the St. Teresa of Avila of Canada.
In the January 9, 2012, issue of People Magazine is a beautiful article entitled, “How Ashley Found Her Calling,” the story of Ashley Vola and her entrance into the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George of Alton, Illinois. As a youngster, Ashley felt drawn by the witness of the Sisters in her school who were inspiring, kind and fun. As a teenager in love with country music, the desire to consecrate her life to God persisted. One day, while surfing the internet, she read an article by a priest “urging young people to follow their hearts.” She said, “Yes, Lord, I will do it!”
“All of you must be the light of the world. To those of you who think that Christ may be inviting you to follow Him in the priesthood or consecrated life, I make this personal appeal: I ask you to open your hearts generously to Him; do not delay your response. The Lord will help you to know His Will; He will help you to follow your vocation courageously.” Pope John Paul II, St. Louis, MO, 1999.
Today, the Church asks all people to pray for the legal protection of unborn children. Tens of millions of children have died since the Supreme Court ruling of 1973. But out of this darkness, a beautiful seed of hope has arisen — the Sisters of Life. Founded in 1991 by John Cardinal O’Connor for the protection and enhancement of the sacredness of every human life, they profess the three traditional vows but also a special, fourth vow— to protect and enhance the sacredness of human life.
The Sisters of Life, an IRL Affiliate, carry out their mission with the hope of revealing to those they serve the inherent goodness and beauty of their own lives, so that each person may see and experience the truth that they are an unrepeatable creation of the Master.
The Sister of Life are opening their eighth convent in Rockland County, NY, which will be their motherhouse. We pray this day for them and the 700 women a year they serve through outreach programs and advocacy.
“Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Mt 25:40).