How wonderful it is to be able to send you this Advent-Christmas newsletter after so many months and so very many happy developments here in Tulsa at the new Priory of Our Lady of Guadalupe! And what blessed joy it is to share with you the glories of this most miraculous season and the never-ending wonder of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who entered time and history – and became Man.
Oh, if only the whole world knew. If only they knew the Heaven that has been given to us on earth. In looking for a cover for this newsletter, I came across the one before you in my new home Cathedral – Holy Family Cathedral – in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The image in stained glass is, of course, The Nativity. But it is so much more. Here is a brief description sent to me by Mike Malcom at the Cathedral:
No… could it be true? The Tomb is empty? He’s not there? What happened?! What does she mean, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb.”?
Wait! …didn’t He say something about rising on the third day? But it’s impossible, isn’t it? How could He be alive? They crucified Him. And they buried Him – we know that. Oh our hearts… John, wait up!
They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first; and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying and the napkin which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not know the scripture, that He must rise from the dead (John 20:4-9).
Dear Mishpoca (the Yiddish way to say family),
What do you think? It took us 11 months – between last Christmas (when we left St. Louis) and last month when we at last were able to mail our first newsletter from Tulsa and with its thrilling contents of the ceremony of the “Rite of Clothing of the Holy Habit” with Bishop Edward Slattery and Father Mark Daniel Kirby. We are still basking in the beauty and happiness of that glorious day.
Now, only one month later, you are receiving our second newsletter of 2011. How could I let pass this most glorious season of the year without thanking you with all my heart for your share in this most thrilling venture for our King and His Kingdom? Oh the ceaseless wonder of the coming of the long-expected Messiah – of He who is eternal yet entered time; He who is Spirit, yet became Man; He who is the Creator of all that is, who created the Woman from whom He would take flesh and blood, in the fullness of time, and in fulfillment of all that the prophets spoke – for us, for us, for us – that we may live with Him forever.
THE RITE OF CLOTHING IN THE HOLY HABIT, AND THE PROFESSION OF TRIENNIAL VOWS OF MOTHER MIRIAM OF THE LAMB OF GOD
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ACCORDING TO THE RULE OF OUR HOLY FATHER SAINT BENEDICT,
AND THE USE OF THE
DAUGHTERS OF MARY, MOTHER OF ISRAEL’S HOPE
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In the Presence of the Most Reverend Edward James Slattery, Bishop of Tulsa
In the Oratory of the Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle
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Thursday, September 8th, A.D. 2011
The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
And the Lord said to Abram:
‘Go forth out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and out of thy father’s house, and come into the land which I shall show thee. And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and magnify thy name, and thou shalt be blessed. I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee . . . and IN THEE shall all the kindred of the earth be blessed.’ (Genesis 12:1-3)
The seed of Abram did not begin with Abram…. That seed had its beginning in the Garden some 2,000 years prior when, in consequence of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, God promised to send a redeemer, a deliverer, one who would come from the union of Adam and Eve to reverse the curse that separated them, and all of mankind to follow, from God and from blissful union with Him with whom they walked and talked in the Garden of Eden. And God said to the serpent in the Garden: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed….
En Route from Tyringham!
It is, as I write, just ten days prior to my departure from this most blessed Novitiate year with the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary. The pictures to the left from their website are a glimpse of the beauty of this holy place tucked into the Berkshires.
Although by the time you receive this newsletter the Feasts of the Visitation (May 31), Corpus Christi (June 6), and the Sacred Heart (June 11) will have passed, I did not want to miss pointing out the glorious connection between the three which struck me so wonderfully as I shared in their celebration with the Sisters in Tyringham.
What a glorious twosome…
- the Feast of Corpus Christi and…
- the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth!
Who knew? ☺
Beloved of God,
I am writing to you (yet) from the Visitation Monastery in Tyringham, Massachusetts, as I near the end of what has been a very wonderful novitiate year. The Sisters of the Visitation of Holy Mary have begun, together with over 150 Visitation Monastery’s throughout the world, the celebration of the 4th Centenary of their founding by St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal in Annecy, France, on June 6, 1610. I am very much looking forward to sharing in the celebration of their historic anniversary and most especially to the Holy Mass that will be celebrated by Bishop Timothy McDonnell, here at the monastery in Tyringham, this June 6, 2010!
The Catholic Observer, the newspaper of the Springfield, Massachusetts diocese, in honor of the Order’s 400th anniversary, published a beautiful insert, a copy of which is enclosed for you. You can see that I had the enormous gift of being with the Sisters on their trip to Annecy last July, and join them daily here in their beautiful chapel (last white veil on the right ☺) for the Liturgy of the Hours, Holy Mass, Holy Hours and other prayer times. I could fill half a book with the story of how I came to spend this year with this particular Order, but, for now, just a couple of happy recollections.
O Little Town of Bethlehem…
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. (Micah 5:2)
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him.”
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ (Messiah) was to be born.
They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet: ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will govern my people Israel.’…
Beloved Family and Friends,
How happy I am at last to be sending you this first newsletter–this first communication of any kind since moving to Saint Louis last summer! How I have longed to write to each of you individually. Alas, what did our Lord have in mind in giving us only 24 hours in a day? Oy!
Let me begin to catch you up on the development and events of our new community by way of an article published in the Winter-Spring 2008 issue of The Hebrew Catholic: The Making of a Jewish Nun!