Why I love these nuns…


Preparing to update a 50 year old kitchen

You want to know why I just love the Dominican Nuns of Summit, New Jersey?

Aside from the fact that they are prayer warriors who spend all their time in worship and praise, bringing our petitions to the Almighty, and that they make these soaps and lotions I adore, (and the best lip balm ever) they also have a sense of humor.

Elder Son’s Sweet Girlfriend is going to be heading out to grad school, soon, and I wanted to include a small bottle of the Dominican nun’s excellent Oatmeal hand creme and some of their soaps into her packing. Today arrives a box filled with the assorted soaps and cremes, and a vocations video they knew I’d like, a nice newsletter and this little note:

Thank you for your order of our Seignadou Soaps Oatmeal Silk & Shea Butter soap. Because our soaps are hand-crafted in small batches here in the monastery, from time to time we may unintentionally alter our recipes. The Oatmeal soap you are receiving was made with a base of creamy Goat’s Milk, which will moisturize and nourish the skin. We hope you will enjoy it.

“We may unintentionally alter our recipes…” I love that. The sisters are vowed to poverty and I’d hate to know they had to throw out a batch because it had a goat’s milk base rather than a silk base – and besides, I like all of their soaps, so I’m sure this will be great, too. But how cute is that?

It’s not all fun and games, though. Per my request, the sisters also added a few of their vocations pamphlets to my shipment, and their day looks like this:

5:20 AM Rise
5:55 AM Lauds (Morning Prayer)
Interval for Prayer, Lectio, Study
7:15 AM Holy Mass
Thanksgiving/Terce (the first of the “little hours”)
9:00 AM Work
11:30 AM Rosary & Sext (second “little hour” meant to reflect the sixth hour)
12:00 PM Dinner (in silence with reader or audio tape)
1:00 PM Optional Recreation
1:30 PM Profound Silence w/ prayer and work
3:00 PM Office of Readings (aka Vigils, longest office of the day) & None (the ninth hour)
Interval for Prayer, Lectio, Study
4:00 PM Work
5:30 PM Vespers
6:00 PM Supper & cleanup
7:00 PM Study
7:45 PM Recreation
8:40 PM Compline
10:00 PM Profound Silence

I’m glad we have monastics around. We need these powerhouses of prayer to keep us going. And they make great soap.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Janet

    So glad you suggested them – I ordered the pink grapefruit soap and LOVE it – smells great and lathers up a storm. Also second your recommendation on the lip balm. I will be happy to keep supporting these lovely ladies by buying gifts for others and myself!

  • http://te-deum.blogspot.com Diane at Te Deum

    I agree on the soaps. I’m hooked on them. My parish gift shop (Assumption Grotto in Detroit), has stocked them and I keep buying. My hands finally stopped cracking from the harsh liquid soaps with anti-bacterials in them and are now soft.

    And, yes – they are a stitch to read.

  • JJM

    “I’m glad we have monastics around. We need these powerhouses of prayer to keep us going. And they make great soap.”

    Amen to that.

    And some of those monasteries make pretty heavenly beer too.

  • Pam

    Hey, they get to “sleep in”–when my husband isn’t home, the cat gets me up at anywhere between 4:00 and 4:45 a.m.! Seriously, I, too, am glad and grateful that there are monastics. Just wish (I’ve written you before on this) we had some close to where I live. There’s no quiet place to go on retreat that doesn’t involve considerable travel. Hope you have a monastery close by.

    Best, Pam

    [I identify. I am on a permanent campaign to get some monastics into Long Island, but so far the bishop seems uninterested. admin]

  • Sue from Buffalo

    Well, you convinced me to give it a try. I just placed an order for some soaps and the lip balm. Looking forward to it. Would be nice to pamper myself a little.

    [What did you order? My favorites are the Oatmeal and the Rosarium Mariea (makes the whole room smell suffused in roses) but I just ordered The Basil/Citrus, too. Smells yummy. -admin]

  • Regina

    The unscented hand creme is fabulous. It’s thick, but light, and smells faintly of chocolate (the cocoa butter). I bought some in January and my hands didn’t bleed last winter. Now that’s remarkable.

    Like Mrs Joe from Great Expectations (or was it Peggoty from David Copperfield?), my hands are as rough as a nutmeg grater in winter. These nuns really are miracle workers.

    I need to send them some cash for the new kitchen.

    OBTW, I made Ree’s packet potatoes for supper tonight, and they were a hit with all of us. I have some of mine left over, and I think they’ll make a fine breakfast. I made them with Yukon Rose potatoes, ’cause that’s what was on hand. This recipe’s a definite keeper!

    Love ya! Have a great weekend!

  • Sue from Buffalo

    This is what I ordered:

    Honey & Goat’s Milk Seignadou Soap Trio
    Lip Balm
    Floral Seignadou Soap Trio

    The floral soaps I’m giving to a friend as part of her birthday present. My daughter’s skin is ultra-sensitive to perfumes so I’m hoping that the Honey and Goat’s Milk soap will be good for her. If this all works out I’ll probably order some more for Christmas…and for myself. (smile)

  • Francesca

    What a schedule! As a non-morning person, I can only shake my head in admiration. Did you notice that they don’t have breakfast? Can that be correct? Also, being silent is hard work.

  • http://kathrejamills.blogspot.com Francesca

    Francesca;

    The sisters do eat breakfast, or at least they don’t starve visitors, my only complaint when I visited them was there was too much food!. . . I don’t think it is on that schedule but I want to say Breakfast is after Mass in the morning….

  • http://kathrejamills.blogspot.com Kathreja

    Sorry that was me, apparently I am more tired and doped up on meds from my root canal the other day then I thought… my bad.

    Francesca;

    The sisters do eat breakfast, or at least they don’t starve visitors, my only complaint when I visited them was there was too much food!. . . I don’t think it is on that schedule but I want to say Breakfast is after Mass in the morning….

  • Beth

    Thanks so much for the awesome picture. Folks need to see that religious life is full of fun and joy.

  • Troy John Heffernan

    Pax Vobiscum! It is so wonderful to see these Domin-
    ican (Nuns) in their “traditional Habits”. Thats what is
    what is drawing young women of today to the Religio-
    os Life (as well as older women, too). Not just the ha-
    bit itself, the the athority to the Magisterium of the
    Church and the Holy Father!!

  • Hantchu

    Looks like they need the extra counter space.

  • California Girl

    I went to their website and took a look at the renovation pictures–new cabinets, new stove, new Corelle dishes. Wow–they chose my dish pattern! Now every time I eat dinner, I’ll remember to say a little prayer for the nuns and their cloister’s new kitchen.


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