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.

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Sr. Mary Magdalen has a great love for Pope Saint John Paul II. Here she is in his pope-mobile with his former secretary Cardinal Dziwisz. If you look closely you can see Pope John Paul looking down from the Father’s House.

On that day we played a game of finding the lost sheep (like an egg-hunt) and then Pin the Sheep in Jesus' arms.

On that day we played a game of finding the lost sheep (like an egg-hunt) and then Pin the Sheep in Jesus’ arms.

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Later in the day some of the nuns played “monkey in the middle”.

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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.

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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.

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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.

thanks to Fr. Josh McCarty and Lolek Productions for this unique photo

thanks to Fr. Josh McCarty and Lolek Productions for this unique photo

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!

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(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!)

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Mother Fernanda our Delegate General

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.

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Fr. Giuseppe Barbieri, CP was Mother Fernanda’s assistant and translator as she visited the five USA monasteries.

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.

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Thanks Kate and Friends!

Thanks Kate and Friends!

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.

Here they are doing a spoof of a scene from The Princess Bride

Here they are doing a spoof of a scene from The Princess Bride

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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.

10 thoughts on “Monastery Christmas Greetings!

  1. I miss you all too! The bridge looks great! Thank you for posting this, Mother. May Christ the Bridegroom bless Sr. Lucia Marie on her profession day today! She is in my prayers. St. Charles of Mt. Argus, pray for us.

  2. Merry Christmas & a very Blessed & Joyful New Year to all of you! Many thanks for sharing your lives with us through this blog & the newsletters. And, a special “thank you” for your Christmas prayers. I am sure they played a role in the number of very special blessings my family & I were given the past few weeks. A great reduction in pain for me after so many years of unrelenting suffering was the especially appreciated! Many prayers are being offered for Sr. Lucia Marie as she prepares for her First Profession this week! God be with all of you!

  3. Dear Mother John Mary,
    Thank you so much for catching us up on the happenings at the Monastery! I feel I’ve been united back with my family once again. The pictures are wonderful! Merry Christmas to each of my Sisters there I love each so much, and may the New Year bring to each deeper holiness, good health and peace. God bless.

  4. I just love all this wonderful news. Congratulations to Ruth and to Sister Lucia Marie. May God continue to bless their vocational walk with the Passionists.

    Praise be to our Newborn King!

  5. God bless each of you and may your New Year be filled with Christ’s love, His grace and His Mercy. May it be a year of many young hearts choosing to follow Christ in a vocation, such as yours. Blessings sisters, every moment of every day…. ♡♡♡

  6. Merry Christmas to all the Passionists in the world especially KY! Thank you for the wonderful monastery update. We look forward to many more this new year. Love to ALL!

  7. Hello dear sisters! I’m so happy for all those good news! Many blessings from France to all of you, ans especially to Ruth and Sr Lucia Marie.

  8. Merry Christmas to you all! Thanks for catching up on the news. Congratulations to Sr. Mary Magdalen on her Golden Jubilee! How can we get your vocation promotional materials to share with others?

  9. Thank you for the interesting photos and all your news. How time passes. I hope that you Dear Mother and all the sisters enjoy a happy and holy Christmas. It is hot here in Australia. We have the air conditioning on and the de-humidifier. I attended Midnight Mass and am now waiting for 2 daughters to arrive to join me and my youngest son for a quiet Christmas dinner.

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