Dominican Nun, Farmington Hills, MichiganDominican Nun

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Dominican Nun, Farmington Hills, MichiganDominican Nun
THE MYSTERY OF ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS
Dominican Nun, Farmington Hills, Michigan
Winter 2014
Vol. 59 No. 4
travail. Humans do not have the last word.
What is the mystery of Advent and
God does. Three Persons enter our world
Christmas? That was the question of
to give us Theirs.
Gregory of Nazianzen: “What is this
The Spirit-Mystery presented in the
mystery that surrounds me?” It will take
liturgy of the third Sunday of Advent
an eternity to hear and see and experience
creates another burning question in those
the answer to that question, yet our hearts
who hear it. “What are
and minds anticipate the
we to do? Who are we to
wonder of the answer.
expect?”(Questions can burn
What is this mystery that
and purify.) This mystery of
surrounds me? I believe it
God creates the Savior and
is the mystery of the Trinity
creates the saved who are
filling the womb of the
changed in His baptism of
world. The mystery of the
fire. This Spirit is no softy.
Voice, the mystery of the
If our God is a softy who
Word, the mystery of the
permits our compromises,
Spirit. God - the Source then maybe we have a phony
the Voice still speaks. The
God. The Spirit, rather, is a
Word still creates.
The
tender/tough Tutor - asking
Spirit still forms the Son tough
questions:
“Will
Life - the new creation - in
you accept Us to be your
the womb of the world.
Helper in Childbirth Icon
Kingdom? Will you consign
The Church of the East has
your chaff to the burning?”
always seen and worshiped
Chaff means waste. This Trinity-Event
more than Christ in the Christ-Event. The
means ultimate joy. God’s purpose is joy.
Christ-Event is revelation of the Trinity.
The Church proclaims this in Gaudete
Three Persons enter our world. A TrinityWeek, in this season of Advent that God
Event. If it were simply a Christ-Mystery
intends joy. “Rejoice barren woman.” A
we might be able to stop there and grasp
woman who gives birth forgets the pain in
it. The Word made flesh. We can see and
the joy that a child is born into the world.
touch flesh. But Three Persons? That is
We can rejoice. Why? Because Three
incomprehensible and brings us, forces
Persons overshadow the chaos. Three
us, beyond our human boundaries. The
Persons reveal a Kingdom, a Feast, a
Trinity-Event of Advent says: “We are
River. “And from you a river shall flow...”
beyond your ken, but here We are in your
It is and it is to be. This mystery of God
midst to bring you farther.” Oftentimes
in the womb of the world. What is your
I would much rather stay right here with
experience of this Mystery of God? One
what I can hang on to.
can neither leave it or grasp it; neither do
“How can this be?” Isn’t this the cry of
without it nor attain it; neither speak about
the world and our cry? How can this be!
it or remain silent about it. Yet are we to be
Yet God’s Holy Spirit overshadows Mary
enkindled, consumed, becoming a Mirror of
today. Mary is a symbol of the world, the
eternal Blessedness. What is this Mystery
Church, the human person. The womb of
that surrounds us? What is your answer?
the world is filling with life. It shall give
God’s answer is: “It is I, it is I, it is I!”
birth. God enlightens everyone who comes
into this world. God is transforming our
Home for Christmas, Sr. Mary Cecilia Ing
Our oldest sister went
than the 70 required. At 16 she
home to God on October 13,
was the youngest in the class.
2014, at the age of 94. Sister
She then put herself through
Mary Cecilia, transfiliated to
Dick’s
Business
School.
our monastery with several
Sister, though very quiet,
other sisters in 2003 from the
was an intelligent student,
Monastery of St. Dominic
and did well in her studies.
in Newark, N.J. The poor
Her first job was at Kresge
condition of the area in which
Department Store.
During
their monastery was located
war time, Sister worked for
was not conducive to new
Westinghouse in Electronics
vocations, so the nuns decided
Engineering. Once she was
to take action while they could
asked to assist an engineer
Sr. Mary Cecilia, O.P.
offer a vibrant presence to their
in shutting down a machine
respective host monasteries.
It resulted in a very close
This was a sad day for all the nuns, since the
call for one of the workers! Here is the story
Newark Monastery built in 1880 was the first one
as she recalled it for us some years ago:
founded in the United States from France. Our
“I liked the work! I was able to say two
Detroit Monastery was itself founded by Newark
rosaries during the rather tedious process.
in 1906. Now the daughter monastery in turn has
I had to keep watching the controls. Then I
received part of the founding monastery, and life
saw a mechanic climbing up on a machine
goes on.
and at the same time 1 saw sparks.
In a
Nancy Rose Inga was born June 26, 1920
few seconds I was able to shut down all the
to Joseph and Mary Terregino Inga.
She
controls. It saved the man’s life, even though
was the oldest of seven girls: Josephine,
the suction pulled him in. “Only the rosary could
Eleanor, Margaret, Beatrice, Lillian and Anita.
have saved that man’s life!”, she concluded in her
The financial situation of the time made it
own modest way.
necessary for the mother to go out to work to
Sister Mary Cecilia thought of religious
support the family. This placed a responsibility
life in her early years, and then later on in
on Nancy, as the oldest child to assume care of
her teen years. But she was also drawn by
the younger ones.
other desires, such as a career in business. She
Sister recalls making her first Holy
was sharp, and did well and enjoyed her job. It
Communion at age six, even though the children
was tempting. In fact, when she finally made the
were supposed to be seven. Somehow the pastor
choice of religious life, she was a supervisor at
understood that she was seven which delighted
Westinghouse.
the child. When she was riding in the back seat
One day her pastor drove her to this mysterious
of the family car, on four separate occasions she
building she had seen as a child, and which she
felt electrified and experienced being pushed by
now discovered was a monastery of Dominican
some strange force to the opposite side of the car.
Nuns. She prayed about it and found herself
She gazed out at a strange building with a high
being drawn to the life she discovered there. She
wall around it. It looked like an orphanage. She
began to go to the monastery every Sunday for
was to come to know this building very well!
Vespers. Finally making the choice, she left her
Sister graduated from St. Venantius Grade
job at Westinghouse and entered the Monastery
School, Orange (N.J.) and then from Orange
on Rosary Sunday, October 1. 1944. She made
High School, graduating with 89 credits, far more
her profession of vows on June 16, 1946, taking
2
ga, O.P.:
June 26, 1920 - October 13, 2014
as her profession
office,
addressing
motto: “Be it done
thank-you notes to
unto me according to
benefactors in her
thy word.”
beautiful “Palmer”
Among her duties
handwriting.
At
in the monastery
94 years of age she
was that of chantress
continued to perform
for the liturgy for
this duty, going
twenty-five
years.
faithfully each day to
She had a very
her little desk in the
distinct
speaking
office until her health
voice which made it
began to fail early
easy for all to hear
this year.
The sisters from Newark upon the arrival of Sr. Mary Magdalen
and understand. Her
Sister was always
(center)
and
Sr.
Clara
Marie
(right).
From
left,
the
other
sisters
singing voice was
a quiet, but friendly
are Sr. Mary Margaret, Sr. Mary of the Holy Child, Sr. Mary Cealso lovely to listen
participant
in
cilia and Sr. Mary of Jesus
to. She sang special
our
community
parts such as the
gatherings,
and
“Exsultet” for the Easter Liturgy; the Genealogy
enjoyed joining in the little table games at our
at Christmas and the Lamentations during Holy
recreation periods. She spoke very little and
Week.
won very often, especially liking a game played
Sister served as community cook for nine
with 10 dice. We often teased her, saying, if she
years. She also worked as a seamstress
could take her luck to a gambling table we would
for the sisters’ habits. Then she was
quickly have our new roof!
Infirmarian (in care of the sick) for nineteen
Having had knee surgery Sister walked with
years. Asked about her favorite duty during
a limp, twenty years longer than the doctors
the years, she replied that she
had predicted. So when she
enjoyed most being Chantress.
arrived here she used a cane
When the time came for
to patiently navigate the long
the small group to move to
Monastery corridors. She never
Farmington, she arrived one
complained, and even resisted
evening in August of 2003
for a time the use of a nice
with Sr. Mary of Jesus (Miller)
power-chair that had been given
in time for a buffet supper
to us. But at 88 years she learned
with their new Farmington Hills
to “drive” and subsequently
sisters. And, almost immediately,
greatly appreciated her chair.
we experienced an historic
Always a very careful driver
power outage. Once the lights
she resisted the urge to speed.
were restored there remained
On her diamond jubilee she was
Sr.
Mary
Cecilia
addresses
mail
only the minor challenges of
presented with an artfully crafted
finding her way around her
facsimile of a driver’s license
new home, and taking up her new duties, which
complete with her photo. Now she is on her last
she accomplished with great grace. She recalled
journey.
with satisfaction that her first “assignment” here
Go with God, dear Sister!! (You can speed all
in Farmington Hills was working in the general
you want!)
3
A Visit With Our Master General
On November 6, we had
the honor of a brief visit
with the Master General of
the Dominican Order who
was in the area visiting the
friars of the Order. Formal
“Visitation” of the friars
throughout the world is a
large part of the Master’s
duty; to visit the nuns
(informally) when they are
in the same area is a gracious
gift of his precious time.
Fr. Bruno Cadoré, O.P.,
born in 1954 in Le Creusot,
France, is the 87th
Master
General
of the Order. He
was elected at the
General Chapter in
Rome on September
5, 2010.
Before
his
entrance into the
Order, Fr. Bruno
was a pediatric
physician with a
special interest in
child hematology
and bioethics. He
entered the Order
in
1979,
was
professed in 1980 and
ordained in 1986. He
earned a doctorate in
Moral Theology
in
1992. Among his other
assignments Fr. Cadoré
spent some years as a
missionary in Haiti. At
the time of his election
as Master General he
was Prior Provincial of
France.
Fr. Bruno greeting Sr. Mary Nuhra and Sr. Mary Joseph
Father Bruno was
(far right); behind him are Sr. Marie Thèrése, Sr. Maria
Pia, Sr. Mary Thomas and Sr. Marie of the Annunciation
accompanied on his visit
to our monastery by his
American Socius,
Fr. Dominic Izzo,
O.P., a former Prior
Provincial of the
Province of St.
Joseph. Socius is a
Latin term meaning
“companion”
or
“advisor”,
and
dates back to St.
Dominic
himself
who always took a
companion on his
preaching journeys.
Now that the Order
is world-wide, it
Fr. Bruno with all the sisters
is a great boon for
the Master to be
accompanied by someone who is knowledgeable of the
territory and of the language of the country he is visiting.
Fr. Izzo is well known by our community, having given
our annual retreat some years ago. He has also been a
“Priest Consultant” to the nuns of the United States. He
was likewise a Priest Consultant for the nuns in their
more recently formed “Association of Monasteries of
the Nuns of the Order of Preachers in the United States
of America”.
Upon his arrival, Fr. Bruno was taken to our community
room where he greeted each sister individually and then
sat down with us for a lively interchange. We were
struck by the Master’s unassuming but joyful manner as
he listened to our happenings and hopes and told us of
Fr. Cadoré shares news of the sufferings of Christians
some of the international news of the Order.
in Iraq from his recent visit there as Fr. Izzo, Sr. Mary
Peter and Sr. Mary of the Sacred Heart look on
continued on bottom of page 5
4
Christmas Comes in Many Disguises
It doesn’t always come
wrapped in pretty paper with
tinsel. Sometimes (often) it
comes in human form with a
caring smile; it comes in the
form of good deeds that involve
time or financial sacrifice, such
as . . .
of a credit card machine. In
August of this year, we turned
a new page in the history of
our Monastery Gift and Book
Shop. After many discussions,
pro and con, we decided that
it was in the best interests
of our friends, benefactors
and customers, to bow to the
A.
THE
MATER
needs of this modern world for
ECCLESIAE
FUND for
plastic money. And now, on
Religious Vocations established
the front counter of our shop is
by Corey and Katherine Huber,
a beautiful, brand new, up-towhich for years has enabled
the-minute credit card machine
aspiring religious and priestly
donated by Andy Patros from
vocations which had been
Card Connect. (It even glows
hampered by crippling student
in the dark!)
Desk
volunteer,
Brenda
“G”,
accepts
a
credit
card
loans.
Some of our own
This all came about because
for a purchase from our dear friend, Elizabeth.
young sisters have been in that
of our involvement in our
On the desk behind Brenda is one of the new Winsituation.
campaign fund for our building
dows
7
computers
Now the Hubers have seen
repairs and renovations. We
the need to help religious
realized that it would benefit
communities who are blocked
not only our customers, but
from their full potential by the need to execute capital
also our friends and benefactors who wished to help us
improvement plans, such as our fund raising efforts for
with donations in our fund- raising appeals.
needed renovations, repairs, updating equipment, etc.
It has always been our wish to keep things
which often seems stymied. Now we have hopes that
monastically simple, i.e...”cash and check only” was our
we may be “in line” for help by the Huber’s financial
payment choice. Now, however, through the Providence
expertise.
of God and the kindness of our friend Mae Alias who
introduced us to Andy, we have been gently nudged into
B. The long-term and invaluable help of Rob
the next chapter.
Roche and his computer company, Innovative Network
This past year, Mae was diagnosed with a very serious
Solutions. Rob and his staff have frequently rescued us,
cancer. With her permission, we ask your prayers that it
sometimes via remote control, from computer glitches
be God’s Will that she make a complete recovery.
and our own technological ineptitude, helping us into the
21st century. Recently, with Rob’s help, we were able to
How can we possibly express our gratitude to all
upgrade our XP computers to Windows 7.
these dear people? Only by surrounding them with our
prayers!
C. The Updating of Our Gift Shop with the installation
concluded from page 4
A Visit With Our Master General, conclusion
Laity with us for this event, as well as friends of the
monastery who also wished to attend.
Our cherished visit with the Master concluded with
a festive meal. What a joy and a grace to have the
successor of St. Dominic with us for this visit!
All too soon we had to move on to the next item
planned for his visit. We proceeded to the chapel where
our guests joined us for Evening Prayer. Fr. Bruno then
concelebrated Mass with Fr. Dominic and Fr. David, our
chaplain. We were pleased to have members of our OP
5
The Lessons of Nature
Let all mortal flesh keep silence
and with fear and trembling stand
Ponder nothing earthly minded
for with blessing in his hand
Christ our God to earth descendeth
our full homage to demand
King of kings, yet born of Mary
as of old on earth he stood,
Lord of lords in human vesture
in the Body and the Blood
He will give to all the faithful
his own self for heav’nly food
evidence of our spiritual starvation? There usually
are signs, not drooping leaves, but real and definitely
visible to others if not to ourselves: a sharp retort
to a question, anger, irritation, impatience . . . , and
even resentment and self pity.
As you receive this issue of Echoes, we will be
in Advent, a time in which we should be preparing
to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Christ
who in the Eucharist offers Himself up as food
to nourish us, revive us, prepare us for the most
important time of our lives when we will stand
before Him as judge of the living and the dead.
Please take this Advent as a time to accept His
invitation to the Sacraments of Reconciliation and
the Eucharist. His mercy awaits us. Do not miss
this opportunity.
(verses 1 and 2 from the hymn
Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence)
Nature has much to teach us if only we open our
senses to the lesson. Recently, two healthy new
zebra plants were placed on our niche to adorn Jesus
in the Blessed Sacrament. A few days later one
of the plants, leaves drooping, was crying out for
water. Its cries were heard and just before Mass it
received what it needed. The plant visibly revived
throughout Mass and at one point you could even
see it “shudder” as one leaf, caught in the plastic
barrier behind it, broke free and straightened.
How similar to this plant are we? We probably
have all seen the impact of deprivation of food and
water on physical appearance, even if we have not
experienced it ourselves. But what if we had visible
In The “Works”
Thanks to your generosity we are currently
in the process of purchasing and installing a
much needed generator and a domestic hot water boiler. Also on our immediate “to do” list
is the professional caulking of our skylight. Its
condition has deteriorated so much in this past
year that we can no longer keep up with the
leaks during heavy rains, despite ongoing at-
tempts to “stem the flow.” We hope to share
the completion of these projects with you in
our next issue of Echoes.
The next issue of Echoes will also contain a
list of the winners of our annual sweepstakes
drawing. Stay tuned and we pray that you may
find your name among the winners!!
6
The Christmas Novena: December 16 - 24
From December 16 through December 24 we will
be praying the Christmas Novena for and with our
friends and benefactors. During this time our daily
public schedule will begin at 7:15 am with Holy Mass
and the Novena Prayer. Evening Prayer (Vespers),
begins at 4:30 pm. On Sunday, our evening prayer
begins at 4:10 with the Rosary, followed by Vespers,
Novena Prayer and Benediction of the Blessed
Sacrament.
Intentions:
Please check here if no
acknowledgment needed
Name:
Address:
City, State, Zip:
CHRISTMAS NOVENA PRAYER
OUR INVITATION TO YOU
O sweet and gentle Infant of Bethlehem,
grant us the gift of sharing with our whole
soul
in the profound Mystery of Christmas.
Put into the hearts of all people
the peace that at times we seek so openly
and that You alone can give us.
Help us to know ourselves better,
and to live like brothers and sisters,
children of one Father.
Reveal to us, too, your beauty,
your holiness and your purity.
Awaken in our hearts love and gratitude
for your infinite goodness.
Unite us all in your charity
and give us your heavenly peace.
Amen.
You are cordially invited to attend our
celebration of Christmas Midnight Mass.
Our doors will open at 11:30 PM.
Our Christmas Morning Mass will be at
9:30 AM; our doors will open at
9:00 AM.
Holy Mass on New Year’s Day will be at
9:30 AM and our doors will open at 9:00 AM.
So that all the sisters can be together for
dinner on Christmas and New Year’s Day,
our doors will close at 12:00 Noon.
If you are not able to attend Holy Mass at
the Monastery, join us in spirit by reciting
the Christmas novena prayer at home. A
Blessed Advent and Christmas to each of
you!
Saint Pope John XXIII
7
echoes
is published four times a year for the friends of the Dominican Cloistered
Nuns, Monastery of the Blessed Sacrament, 29575 Middlebelt Road,
Farmington Hills MI 48334-2311
WEB ADDRESS: www.opnuns-fh.org
Prayer Line: 248-626-8253
NON-PROFIT ORG.
U.S. POSTAGE PAID
DETROIT MI
PERMIT NO. 1705
The Monastery Book & Gift Shop is open Monday through
Saturday from 8:15 AM until 4:15 PM. We have a lovely
selection of merchandise and books from which to choose.
Best of all, we have Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament
waiting for you in the Chapel. In the midst of the hustle and
bustle of Christmas shopping, wouldn’t a few quiet moments
with the Lord be a welcome respite?
OUR CHIPMUNK “WHISPERER”
Sister Mary Catherine is an avid gardener, and as such
seems to have a way with the creatures she meets out
there. First of all, she says, you have to get to know
them, and give them a name. “Chippy” and Sister did
not begin their relationship on terribly friendly terms.
Sister was displeased when she discovered that Chippy
had clipped all her sunflower seedlings, so she called
for a “friendly “ meeting. She told Chippy that if he
would stay out of her garden, she would supply him with
food, and this is what happened. We see Chippy here
with his cheeks stuffed with garbanzo seeds. Sister has
a relationship with squirrels, birds, you name it. She
knows where they live and stash their winter supplies. She calls them by name and they come to her! She
even tried to befriend a black bear in Canada, but was quickly discouraged by the other nuns there!
So, we seem to have a Franciscan in our midst. But it is also reminiscent of our own St. Martin de Porres
who, when the brothers were trying to trap and kill the rats who had invaded their priory, called the rodents
outside and told them that if they would stay out of the house, he would feed them every day. And this is what
happened, to the relief of the brothers - and the well-being of their unwelcome “guests.”
“All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord!”
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