Nun News: New Novice!

Our good friends, the Dominican Nuns of Summit, New Jersey (who have added lovely lilac and lilly of the valley scents to their line of soaps and lotions) are celebrating with pizza today as they receive yet another novice to the novitiate and clothe her in monastic habit of the Order of Preachers. The former Sr. Janlyn has taken the name Cecilia, and has brought them music!


Sr. Cecilia of the Annunciation, Clothed in Habit

I like the Homily of the Prioress, which includes this:

Sr. Janlyn comes now to this moment as the Lord has directed her, and she asks to receive the habit of the Order, black for penance, white for joy, loins girt with leather in imitation of John the Baptist, and feet shod in order to proclaim the gospel of peace. From now on she will be asked to live out fully both the joys and the austerities of our way of life, the feasts and the fasts, the tears and the laughter. From now on she will take up the rosary as a weapon in the battle against the Evil One and she will wear it proudly at her side. She has already tried these things for nine months as a postulant, long enough to know that she wants to go on and for us to know that we want her to go on.

Now, of course, she’s really on the journey, and it is not an easy one. As one of the novices has said in this slideshow, “living in the cloister is like being married to twenty different people.” How many of us struggle with being married to one? Let us pray that God will bring to completion what he has begun in Sr. Mary Cecilia, the whole novitiate and community, who spend upwards of 8 hours a day in prayer, offered for all of us.

I love this picture of the full novitiate, which will be adding another postulant next month, and perhaps more before the year ends.


Summit Novitiate Keeps Growing!

More Dominicans! – a whole gang of them.

A new postulant for the Dominican Nuns of Lockport, Louisiana who I believe celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form. I am not sure if they chant the hours in Latin, as well, like the Benedictines of Regina Laudis.

And yet another Dominican habited, here

A new novice for the Poor Clares in Santa Barbara

For some reason I could not upload a picture from this piece on Sister Marie Bordages, an 84-year old marmelade-making sister (and another Dominican) from Texas. It’s a great story:

Last year she and her helpers turned out 663 ½ pint jars of the stuff . . . for $5 a pop. “I’ve been told I should raise the price to $6,” Sister Marie says. “Maybe I will this year.”

Already she’s made 200 jars this year and the two freezers in the craft room are full of the sour Seville oranges that have already been peeled and stuffed into freezer bags. Last month the sisters held a pitting party to prepare more for cooking.

Inside the kitchen, one of three at the villa that she uses when production really gears up, the silver-haired force of nature briskly stirs a bubbling pot of marmalade while volunteer Lavonne Reichle helps boil the glass jars and lids.

“Sister Marie is known for her marmalade,” says Reichle. “But she’s also the official taxi driver here.” The petite nun ferries her fellow sisters back and forth to doctors’ appointments in her 2000 Chevy Impala in between her orange duties. And some of those sisters really are her sisters. In fact, five girls from the Beaumont family joined the order and a brother went into the priesthood.

The Dominican Sisters first arrived in Beaumont in 1885 to establish Our Lady of Perpetual Help Convent School, the beginning of St. Anthony Cathedral School. They came by train and rode through town in a horse-drawn carriage.

“That was my father that drove them in the buggy to the convent,” she says proudly. The Dominican Sisters have always been an important part of her life. But not the oranges.

On the well-maintained grounds at the villa there are six sour Seville orange trees. Legend has it at that four of the Seville orange trees are direct descendents from a tree at Dominican headquarters in Rome planted by St. Dominic himself. Towering, beautiful trees that they are, the fruit is sour and about all you can do with it is make marmalade or a type of orange limeade.

Not a fan of marmelade, myself, but the stuff looks yummy in the pics. Thanks to reader Mark.

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