Monastery Christmas Greetings!
Blessed Christmas! Hello friends! It's been so long since I posted I almost forgot how to do it! I do apologize for my absence. Two days ago was the six month anniversary of my election as superior. The past 3 months have been a whirlwind.
We've had many good things happening around here...
In August Sr. Mary Magdalen celebrated her Golden Jubilee. She had a small public celebration and then a few months later we had our monastic community celebration.
Later in the day some of the nuns played "monkey in the middle".
Towards the end of the Jubilee Year of Mercy we consecrated our community to Divine Mercy and I surprised the sisters with a life-size image of the Vilnius Divine Mercy Image...a gift from the family of one of our sisters.
In October a group of students and FOCUS missionaries from Murray State University made a retreat here. It was a joy to see them in chapel and have them join us for our liturgies.
We worked on a major vocation promotion initiative. We had vocation posters and brochures printed and mailed/delivered over 150 vocation packages - special thanks to Oblates - especially Kerry Ledington, and also Larena Lawson and Fr. Julio Barrera. We also had a Vocation banner created that can be set up at Youth 2000 retreats, parishes, and school classrooms. We hope this will draw more young women to consider a Passionist vocation.
Our two aspirants finished their aspirancy program. We thank them for the openness they had to the process of discernment. Olivia discerned that God has another plan for her - we miss you Olivia! Ruth entered the monastery on December 8th - blessed be God! Please pray for Ruth and join us in thanking God for the early Christmas gift of her entering the monastery!
(Ruth's photo as a postulant is on its way in a future blog post. I don't have access to hose photos tonight and I want to get this posted before Christmas Midnight Mass!)
The end of November brought us our Vatican Visitation. The preparation was quite time consuming as you can imagine. Our General Delegate has been visiting all our Passionist monasteries. A recent apostolic constitution, Vultum Dei Quaerere, calls for all unfederated cloistered monasteries (like our own) to unite in forming some kind of structure of communion. So we have embarked on forging a structure of communion amongst all our monasteries throughout the world (there are five in the States). It will be called a “Monastic Congregation” similar in some ways to what Benedictine and Trappistine Nuns have. Quite a huge project but one we are very happy about. Would you please pray for this huge endeavor? A lot has to take place before the structure is set in place.
At the same time we were having the Visitation - the three days before Thanksgiving - a retreatant-friend (Kate Mims) and her sons from Houston, came and built a lovely, large wooden bridge crossing the creek down behind the retreat house. This connects to some trails back there, one of which leads to the top of the hill - Angel’s Peak. Kate and sons built a small shrine there to St. Michael the Archangel in honor of their deceased husband/father Michael.
A few weeks ago we had our annual visit with the Fathers of Mercy who are information, along with their formators, superior and a few others...always a joy.
Last, but not least...we are happily looking forward to the first profession of vows of our novice, Sr. Lucia Marie (from Lakeland, FL) on January 5th.
Well...these are some of the highlights of the past months. There are only so many hours in a day...I am hoping that in 2016 a new nun can take over as Sponsa Christi and keep the blog posts more regular.
Family and Friends - may you have a most joyous and grace-filled Christmas ever. Our thoughts and prayers are with you...especially those of you who are particularly suffering at this time. May the Peace of the Christ-Child fill your hearts and homes.