"I come from a long line of depressed Germans…"

I was going to hang on to this piece and save it for an upcoming post on Vocations, but I was so charmed by the sisters being interviewed, here, that I am going to do a “little” Vocations piece, today. This is H/T Deacon Greg:

“The [Monastic Dominican Nuns] didn’t want to come to Hollywood,” Sister Mary Pia says with a smile. “That was the funny thing. They didn’t want any kind of worldly association.”

But as it turned out, Hollywood – even back in the ’30s, before most of the studios and their moguls moved away – badly needed a bedrock source of spirituality.

“Because we are part of the Dominican order, we have that missionary outreach,” the novice mistress continues. “And Hollywood is a missionary place, even much more than the depths of Africa or the Far East. That is what people tell us. They pass our monastery and they say, ‘There’s people who actually believe in God in there, and they’re giving their whole lives.’ This inspires people to think of God, just to know we’re here.”

Fair enough, but a monastery of praying nuns in white habits and black veils in arguably one of the most hedonistic locales on the planet still begs the query: Don’t you get discouraged or downright depressed that your prayerful efforts seem to fall on, well, deaf ears?

“I never get depressed,” Sister Mary Pia responds. “God has his ways of coming to people.”

But Sister Mary Raymond is shaking her head. “OK, that’s her. She’s a sweet little person,” she quips. “I come from a long line of depressed Germans. People are not ignoring God, but they have their own gods: money, movies, whatever. And I just feel if they got to the right god, boy, they’d be in business ’cause they work so hard at it.”

After a pause, she says, “But the more you know there’s things going on in the world that are not quite right, it spurs you on to more asking and praying for them, and also for yourself, to try to do things better. So I think it’s not a depressing thing.”

You’ll want to read it all. And maybe order some of that yummy sounding Pumpkin Bread!

As I said, I was planning a vocations piece for a few weeks from now, but I may as well continue: A reader sent a heads up about this a few days ago: Anglican Nuns to enter full Communion with Catholic Church. This is a small community of High Anglicans (I need to learn more about Anglican Rites; I know there is a Roman Catholic Church in Texas that uses it, and this is helpful, but I still have no idea about it. Anyone?). The sisters, all fully professed with one novice, will enter the church on September 5. Their convent is charming-looking, and man, oh man, those are some old-style habits. A very excellent post at SubTuum, who has some experience of the sisters, who seem to be very lively and passionate.

Speaking of passionate, or should I say Passionists, you remember our friends, the Passionist Nuns of St. Joseph’s Monastery; they were covered in ice earlier this year. They have interesting news from on the vocational front. They will be clothing their postulant as a novice later this month (yay, Shannon!) but they’ve also allowed a Passionist Oblate to enter the cloister and share in their spirituality while assisting the nuns. She is not a religious, but as discussed here, a “true sister,” in the way of Oblates. Lucky Christie! That is a very old-world move, to allow an Oblate into the cloister, and it’s nice to see it re-introduced into at least one monastery.

I really like these little shared sermons the Benedictines of St. Walburga Abbey post on their blog. Abbess Maria-Michael Newe manages to say a great deal, succinctly. They have a postulant, too, and two novices in white veils and four simply-professed (junior) nuns. How do you like their habits? The veils and wimples are unchanged from their foundresses, who came from Bavaria in the early 20th century, although I understand the sisters wear jeans and kerchiefs for their heavy farm work, which is very sensible. Benedictines are notoriously sensible! ;-)

Their sister monastery in Pennsylvania wears the same habit. I believe they had a solemn profession in the spring, and are looking to clothe a postulant, as well.

PCPA’s of Our Lady of Solitude introduce their new postulant and hint of another coming in September. We are so lucky to have these young people willing to take on this radical life of prayer, sacrifice and oblation, for the sake of the whole world. We need them!

Our Dominican Nun Friends have seen a spike in their renovations donations, and they are keeping us apprised of how it’s going for them. One of the commenters over there makes the very good point that these sisters, like all of the women written about here, also need our prayers, as the upheaval of the convent must be difficult for the older nuns who have always lived one way, and especially for the younger nuns, who are trying to learn the monastic life, amid physical and material chaos.

It’s not all about monastics! The Nashville Dominicans have a beautiful new website and they’ve just put out a huge and beautiful newsletter with lots of pictures and interesting reading. Really, their newsletters are top-notch.

The Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist: Gus reminds me:

Mother Mary Assumpta, Abbess of the youthful “Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist,” will guest on “EWTN Live” with Father Mitch Pacwa at 8 p.m. ET, Wednesday, June 17 to discuss her thriving new community in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The average age of women entering the order is 21 and the average age of all the sisters is 26. The sisters of the community, who host EWTN’s popular 25-part television series for children, “Truth in the Heart,” will appear on “Life on the Rock,” Thursday, June 18 to discuss this season’s new shows — which feature lessons on the life of Christ, the Apostles’ Creed, the seven cardinal virtues and the liturgy.

I have given those Truth in the Heart videos as gifts to my nephews and nieces and they love them. Very well done.

The Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal: Introduce three new postulants.

Deacon Greg:
Keeping track of New Deacons. Did you know that Pope St. Callixtus was, like St. Francis of Assisi, was a Deacon, never a priest?

Consecrated Virginity: Have questions? She has answers

Personal prayer request: Please remember Sr. Michael Maria of God in your prayers; she is an “older” monastic vocation – in her mid-forties, she is now a Carmelite postulant in the UK, who hopes to spend the rest of her life in prayer, in Carmel, for you and me.

I like this litany

I’m not sure…I think voting is still going on for Catholic New Media Awards. I’m nominated here and there, if you’re interested.

Related: Those Anglicans with the Nuns

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About Elizabeth Scalia