Lent and feast of the Holy Face of Jesus

On Wednesday, March 1st, Lent will begin.  The feast of the Holy Face of Jesus, falls on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.  It is appropriate that this feast is right before the season of Lent.  The forty days of this liturgical season are a time of taking account of our lives and our relationship with God.  Furthermore, we are to reflect on the sufferings and ultimate sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.  When we look at the image of the Shroud of Turin and in particular at the face of Christ, one can see so clearly the pain and sufferings that Jesus endured for love of us.  During this feast and Lenten season, let us make some acts of love and reparation to our Lord for all that He suffered for us.

Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

On February 11th, the Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.  It is on this day in the year 1858, that Our Lady appeared to a poor peasant girl, Bernadette Soubirous of Lourdes, France. There were 18 apparitions with a message of prayer and penance for the sins of the world.  This is the vocation of a Dominican nun to prayer and do penance for the sins of the world including her own.  Our Lady always appeared with a rosary and Bernadette said the rosary at every apparition. The Blessed Virgin directed Bernadette to dig from whence a a healing spring was revealed. To this day, pilgrims come to receive spiritual and physical healing.

Our Lady revealed herself as the Immaculate Conception. On the feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8th 1933, Bernadette was declared a saint after living a simple, holy life as a nun in the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Nevers, France.

For more information, please see the official website for the shrine in France.

Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church

St. Thomas Aquinas feast is January 28th.  He is one of the great lights of the Dominican Order and a Doctor of the Church.  He left a great depository of writings that are of perennial value to the studies of philosophy and theology. His writings are amazing, and the example of his life is not less so.  In order to follow his vocation to become a Dominican friar, St. Thomas Aquinas had many obstacles to overcome with his family.  He came from a wealthy and powerful family.  They recognized his talents and had no wish for him to join a poor medicant order like the Dominicans.  Despite all, he persevered and joined the Dominicans.

His example of putting God first in one’s life is of value to anyone who wishes to be a true Christian, but even more so for one seeking a vocation to religious life.  St. Thomas could have had wealth, power, prestige, and a comfortable life. Instead, he willingly chose humility, simplicity, obedience, chastity, and poverty.

St. Thomas Aquinas, please pray that we may follow your example!

Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God and New Years Day Celebration

On the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God and New Year’s Day, the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Renewal joined us for Mass, lunch, and a concert in our visiting parlor.  It was a day filled with true Dominican and Franciscan joy!

Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary



The Dominican Order has the tradition of celebrating the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, October 7th.  The feast celebrates the the anniversary of the victory of the Christian fleet in 1571 at the Battle of Lepanto, defeating an Ottoman fleet off western Greece.  Pope Saint Piux V, a Dominican, had asked the faithful to pray the rosary to attain victory.  Therefore, he instituted the feast that was formerly called Our Lady of Victory.  Many Dominican monasteries have the custom of blessing roses in honor of the feast.