“I want to live the mystery of faith of the Church, showing to all the primacy of love of God and give myself to God in an exchange of love, for the salvation of souls.”
– From the Formula for Formal Admittance to the Contemplative Life
We are very grateful to God for the invaluable gift of our contemplative branch of sisters. We are especially fortunate that one of our monasteries is located in this province. We know that it is the prayers and sacrifices of these sisters who have chosen the better part, which sustains our missionaries throughout the world. The monastery in our province was formally opened on December 17, 1998 under the patronage of St. Edith Stein. Over this past year, our contemplative sisters have experienced some exciting changes: moving residences, welcoming new members, and the formal admittance of a sister to the contemplative state. We share in their joy and celebrate all of God’s innumerable gifts to our contemplative sisters this past year by sharing some highlights with you.
Corpus Christi: Formal Admittance of Sr. Annunciation to the Contemplative Branch
As the Church venerated the precious Body and Blood of Christ on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, our monastery formally admitted Sr. Mary of the Annunciation Dinkel to the contemplative life. Every member of our contemplative branch must spend four years in the monastery on a temporary basis before they are formally admitted into the community.
The formula for formal admittance to the contemplative life is read by a candidate during the Holy Mass. The homily was delivered by Sr. Annunciation’s brother, Deacon Brian Dinkel, IVE. The purpose of full admittance into the contemplative life is for a sister to make of herself a total gift to God. A new formally admitted contemplative sister is a cause for great joy for our Religious Family, and we pray for the members of her family who have so generously sacrificed a daughter for the good of the whole Church.
Patronal Feast of St. Edith Stein, August 9th
St. Edith Stein, whose religious name was Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, was a Jewish convert to Catholicism. She was prominent in philosophy before she realized her call to the contemplative religious life. She died as a Carmelite nun in a concentration camp during World War II. Each of our monasteries has a particular prayer intention. Edith Stein is an appropriate patroness considering the principle prayer intention of the monastery is that all may come to the knowledge of the One True God.
To celebrate the patronal feast of St. Edith Stein on August 9th, sisters from both the monastery and the surrounding apostolic houses gathered for Holy Mass. Father Pablo Bonello, IVE preached about the love possessed by the saints: a love which ultimately desires union with God. Quoting St. John of the Cross, Father said that this love makes the saints “tear through the veil of this encounter.” Father went on to explain that we see the martyrs, especially St. Edith Stein, inflamed with this same desire which, in the end, fueled her complete offering of her life to God. Lunch and festivities with friends and family in the monastery parlor followed the Holy Mass.
Entrance of Sr. Mater Cruci
On the feast of St. Rose of Lima, August 23rd, Sr. Mater Cruci Corde Affixa entered the contemplative branch of the Institute. Fr. Agustin Orellana presided over the celebration as the community welcomed their newest member. In the homily, Father Orellana used a part of St. Rose’s story to illustrate the simple yet profound call of a soul to belong entirely to God. During one of her mystical visions, Jesus said to Rose: “Rose, give me your heart”. In a certain sense, this same call must be given to every soul which feels attracted to embrace the contemplative life.
First Year in Residence at the Precious Blood Monastery
This December marks the first anniversary since our contemplative sisters moved into the Precious Blood Monastery in Brooklyn, New York. This monastery was founded by The Confraternity of the Precious Blood (Sisters Adorers of the Precious Blood) in 1910 and has been in use since that time. There are still five Sisters Adorers living with our sisters in the monastery. While maintaining separate schedules, both the Precious Blood sisters and the Servidoras pray Lauds, celebrate the Holy Mass, and receive Benediction together. The sisters also occasionally gather for recreation.
Throughout the year the sisters observed the various feasts of the Church. Of particular importance to our Institute was the celebration of St. Joseph on March 19th which is the date of our foundation. Many of the apostolic sisters living in New York gathered at the monastery to pray and give thanks on this important day. Following Holy Mass, the sisters and other family members who had come to share in the celebration has lunch and entertainment in the monastery parlor.
We thank God for all His work in our Institute, especially for all the graces He has given us through the prayers and merits of our contemplative sisters. Please feel free to contact our contemplative sisters if you have any special intentions or need of prayers.