Tag Archives: Marbury Alabama

The Canticle of the Passion Sung by the Marbury Dominicans

catherine ricciThe Dominicans Nuns of Marbury, Alabama, have recently posted on their website The Canticle of the Passion, or the “Passion Verses.” It is a specifically Dominican devotion traditionally sung on the Fridays of Lent.  A compilation of texts from Sacred Scripture that pertain to the sufferings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, this devotion was revealed by the Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Catherine de Ricci (1522-1590), a cloistered Dominican Tertiary of the 16th century. Today is her Feast Day!

“Our Lady is said to have desired Catherine, when she revealed this Canticle to her, to spread it through the convent as a form of prayer and contemplation supremely pleasing to our Lord. The venerable confessor, Fra Timoteo, wrote it out in full at the saint’s dictation and submitted it for the approval of the Order. Padre Francesco di Castiglione had then become general, and he was not satisfied with allowing its use in San Vincenzio. By a circular letter to all monasteries of the Province he ordered it to be placed amongst the regular devotions and forms of prayer peculiar to the Dominicans; and it has remained celebrated amongst us, under the title Canticle of the Passion, as a monument to the tender love of our great Dominican saint, Catherine de Ricci, for her crucified Jesus”  (from St Catherine de’ Ricci : Her Life, Her Letters, Her Community by Florence Mary Capes, p. 76-77).

The Dominicans are celebrating their 800th anniversary this year!
The Dominicans are celebrating their 800th anniversary this year!

Like St. Francis, St. Catherine de Ricci experienced the stigmata and for 12 years, every Thursday Noon until Friday at 4:00 pm, accompanied Jesus in His Passion. The Canticle of the Passion was revealed to Catherine immediately after her first great ecstasy of the Passion. Our Lady desired Catherine to spread it as a form of prayer and contemplation pleasing to Our Lord.

The Canticle of the Passion is sung to the haunting tones of their Dominican chant, leading them to enter more deeply into the solemn mysteries of this season of Passiontide and Holy Week.

If you go to their website, you can hear a recording of the The Canticle of the Passion sung by the nuns. Pictorial meditations are included and the Latin verses are translated into English.

It is really beautiful!!

 

Dominican Nuns of Marbury Vocation Letters

marburyThe Dominican Nuns in Marbury, Alabama, have issued a series of letters between a woman (fictional) discerning a vocation and a Dominican nun. The names may have been changed to protect the innocent (as they said in the old Dragnet series) but the letters do accurately depict Dominican monastic life as it is typically lived at Marbury. The sisters wish to keep their day-to-day life veiled behind the enclosure but you get a good glimpse of Dominican life behind the walls as you read on!

“Melanie” writes to the Novice Mistress “Magistra” which is Latin for “lady teacher.” Melanie also writes to her sister “Clare” who is curious about her “Come & See” visit to the monastery. After she enters the monastery, she writes to her family. Here are some excerpts:

It seems to be a common misconception that “extroverts should be active, introverts should be contemplative.  However our community history does not bear that out…. God calls people of all temperaments to live for Him in the contemplative life…. From Sr. Mary Magistra

It is a great motive for fidelity and joy in living our cloistered, contemplative life, to know that we are living it on behalf of and in union marbury1with our brethren the Dominican friars (and the other members of the Dominican family) in their consecration to God and in their preaching for the salvation of souls. From Sr. Mary Magistra

When Mom and Dad experience first-hand the peace to be found here, and see for themselves the joy of the nuns, they understand much better why such a life could be attractive and fulfilling for their own child. From Sr. Mary Magistra

When is the best time to enter religious life? Without delay. From Sr. Mary Magistra

(Melanie, writing to her family after entering) Since this was my first time being here in the monastery for the Paschal Triduum, I had to use of lot of energy just following everything and trying to turn the page at the right time, but I am so looking forward to having these ceremonies grow into a part of me over the years….  It is truly the liturgy that gives direction and movement to our lives, drawing us ever deeper each year into union with the Mysteries of Christ, “whom we desire to love solely.”

The letters are accompanied by charming pictures. As a visitor to Marbury last spring, I can vouch for the accuracy of the images!

For more information, visit the Marbury website.

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First Profession in Marbury: A “Twin” Celebration

Sister-Mary-Thomas-OP-and-twin-brother-Dominic-RankinWhat makes this picture unique? Well, it so happens that the two happy people pictured in it are Sr. Mary Thomas of the Holy Name of Jesus, OP, and her twin brother, a seminarian at the Pontifical North American College. I have featured twin vocation stories before but never a twin brother and sister!

Sr. Mary Thomas made her First Profession on November 22nd at the Dominican Monastery of St. Jude in Marbury, Alabama. Her brother was given permission to fly-in from Rome, Italy, for the occasion. Also in attendance were her Mother and Father and younger brother. What generosity on behalf of their parents to present two children to the Lord as a religious and priest.

The Feast Day on the 22nd celebrated the life of St. Cecilia. As Mother Mary Joseph said, the readings and chants for St. Cecilia could have been chosen just for a Profession ceremony.  “Audi filia, et vide, et inclina aurem tuam: quia concupivit rex speciem tuam: Hearken, O daughter, and see; turn thine ear: for the King desires thy beauty.”

It was also an extra-special occasion because the Mass was a Dominican Rite Missa Cantata (Sung High Mass) celebrated by Fr. Dominic Marie Langevin, O.P. Before Vatican II, the Dominicans celebrated almost exclusively their own ritual of Mass and the Divine Office. Sister’s brothers grew up serving in an FSSP parish, so they quickly picked up the slightly different rubrics for serving the Dominican Rite.

In this Year for Consecrated Life, may many blessings descend upon the Dominican nuns in Marbury. May all families be open to and welcome with joy their children’s call to religious life.

A Daughter of St. Dominic and the Church

Christendom College has seen an extraordinary number of young women enter religious life. One beautiful story is that of  Sr. Mary Jordan, O.P. (Ida Friemoth, ’05), now a member of the Dominican Monastery of St. Jude in Marbury, Alabama, who made her Solemn Profession as a cloistered Dominican nun in August of 2012.

She chose to attend Christendom College because she desired to learn Truth, especially the truths of Thomistic philosophy and theology. The great Dominican, St. Thomas Aquinas, and his teachings were “an incomparable preparation for our doctrinal study as Dominican nuns, and even more so for understanding and living the virtuous life.”

For Sr. Mary Jordan, her time at Christendom was her first exposure to the Latin Mass and Gregorian Chant. When she visited the Monastery of St. Jude for the first time and heard the Divine Office sung in the traditional Dominican chant, her heart soared; “God was using the liturgical formation I received at Christendom to point out to me where He wished me to be His.”

At Christendom, she learned that the highest use of anything is to dedicate it to God. Now her whole life is dedicated to Him and as such, concerned and praying for the whole world. Every day the nuns at the monastery take turns keeping an Hour of Guard, praying the Rosary before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament as Our Lady’s Guard of Honor. Someone is always there, in the chapel; interceding for the world.

Sr. Mary Jordan said, “I have discovered in the monastery the truth of what Peter Kreeft once said: that perhaps the most powerful warriors in the fight between the Culture of Life and the Culture of Death are the contemplatives spending hours a day in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.”

For more information about the Dominican Monastery in Marbury whose common life includes the solemn celebration of the Liturgy, Eucharistic Adoration and Perpetual Rosary, Marian Consecration, and fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church, visit their website.