Heaven-Stormers Unafraid of Storm Sandy!

Doms in Dark

As a side note, I love that for monastics, the take on big storms is so very different. A few years ago, the Passionist nuns were blacked out for weeks thanks to an ice storm yet they maintained good humor. Last year the Dominincan Nuns in Summit New Jersey were left without heat and shivering together. This year, having just discovered that another big storm is headed their way, they display typical aplomb:". . .by unanimous consensus we decided that if the power does go out we’re eating t … [Read more...]

General Hospital Actor and the Monks of Mt. Athos – UPDATED


I have had more than one email asking me to follow up yesterdays "Nun News Roundup" with a similar post for the men. I am working on it, I promise, but for today, let's content ourselves with this very interesting piece by Tony Rossi:It’s not that unusual for an actor to thank God when winning an award. It was a first, however, when Jonathan Jackson thanked “the monks of Mount Athos for ceaselessly praying for the life of the world” while accepting his fifth Daytime Emmy for his role as Luck … [Read more...]

A Hermitage in Your Future?

My husband thinks this will be me, one day:The hermitage isn't what you'd expect: a small home in a quiet neighborhood of Essex, Maryland, that was originally built as a one-room fishing shack 100 years ago. But then, the hermit who lives there isn't what you'd expect, either. Mary Zimmerer, now Sr. Maria Veronica of the Holy Face, is a bubbly widow who discerned a call to the contemplative life after her husband passed away five years ago. Having made a public profession of vows last fall, … [Read more...]

Gorgeous Chant

I once read a comment by Lady Abbess Benedict Duss, OSB to the effect that the chant in Latin was the most effective and most complete and transcendent prayer of praise outside of the mass. I don't doubt it. … [Read more...]

Nun Humor on Fasting, More – UPDATED

By a Benedictine with a sense of humor.Benedictines -- at least the "old school" ones -- are bound by their vow of poverty to waste nothing, even unto making a little pile of their breadcrumbs and such from each meal and consuming it. So, for them every crumb does count...especially in Lent, when the fasting is (again, for "old school" Benedictines and more traditionally-minded monastics) fairly regimented.In his Holy Rule, Benedict writes:The life of a monk ought to be a continuous Lent. … [Read more...]

Marx's Mistake – UPDATED

My Tuesday column is up:It was not the Marxist ideal in communism that was in error, really. It was that communism was compelled, rather than voluntary. Sometimes a sympathizer with classical Marxist ideology will write to me expounding on the compassionate and generous instincts that he believes are at the heart of Marxism, and reminding me that the Acts of the Apostles describes “wealth distribution” as a social good.All who believed were together and had all things in common; they wou … [Read more...]

"Recognized as a House of Prayer"

Earlier this month, Sr. Mary Catharine of Jesus, OP shared some wonderful insights into the value and meaning of the religious habit and wrote:The experience of one's clothing day remains etched in heart and mind. For Dominican nuns, that means etched in lines that are black and white! White for purity; black for penance. Two years after her clothing, a novice will profess vows, and a black veil will be placed on her head signifying that she has become "recognized as a house of prayer . . . … [Read more...]

Unemployment Numbers & a Timely Meditation

The unemployment numbers are looking pretty dismal and bleak, aren't they?A while back, I was praying for someone's job intention when it turned into a meditation through the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, which adapt themselves perfectly and powerfully to the feelings of abandonment, isolation and exposure that those suffering a job loss can experience.The folks at Our Sunday Visitor wondered if I could adapt that post, after some revision, to a pamphlet that could help prayer groups, … [Read more...]

"They don't make 'em like that anymore…" UPDATED

Settling in for Evening Prayer at Santa Maria in Trastevere, RomeVisiting Rome's splendid, often ancient, churches, my husband and, who attend newish, barely-decorated, kind-of-ugly churches that are heavy on the felt banners, had not realized how much we'd been missing beauty in our worship: decorative touches with meaning, a designer's thought for the physical surroundings of our mystical worship. "They don't make 'em like that anymore," was an undercurrent of our appreciation.No, they … [Read more...]

Beautiful Stained Glass

A while back I mentioned that the Poor Clare's of Perpetual Adoration, who are establishing themselves in Arizona, were showing off their stained glass designs for the planned chapel of Our Lady of Solitude Monastery, and looking for donors. At the time, I was wishing I had the sort of cash that could fund the window for Bl. Pier Georgio Frassati.On August 7th, the sisters celebrated the installation of the first complete windows. Gorgeous...but I think the St. Clare really is my very … [Read more...]