Parce Days: Making Reparation

St. Dominic prays at the foot of the Cross with his arms like a cross

The three days leading up to Ash Wednesday we call the “Parce Days” (pronounced PAR-chay, for those unfamiliar with ecclesiastical Latin). These are days are observed as days of special penance in reparation for the excesses of Mardi Gras, going back to at least the 13th century. During the Parce Days, we pray special prayers of reparation, most notably by dropping our other employments and returning to choir (the nuns’ part of the chapel) every hour on the hour to sing the Parce, from which these days take their name. Given that nowadays the Mardi Gras celebration in certain regions runs much longer than three days, it might seem that … Continue reading

Welcoming our new Postulant, Sister Chelsea


The Dominican Nuns joyfully announce the entrance of our new postulant, Sister Chelsea, on January 25.  Sister Chelsea grew up as the oldest of seven children in a Catholic homeschooling family in California.  She studied at the Catholic University of America, then worked for the U.S. State Department in Washington D.C. for several years before discerning a vocation to the Dominican monastic life. As a postulant, Sister will spend approximately a year living in the Novitiate, joining in the Novitiate classes, and participating in the prayer and common life of the community.  The word “postulant” comes from the Latin “postulare,” which means “to ask” or “to seek.”  By a deepening … Continue reading

New Year 2015 – The First Glance of Jesus

Image: Nativity by Barocci: the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Infant Jesus gaze at each other, bathed in light.

Happy and Blessed New Year 2015! On the manger straw the Divine Infant opened His eyes, and from those two divine suns radiated His first look of love on His Mother.  What was the first look of Jesus like, O Virgin Mary?  Out of the eyes of Jesus shone not only His Soul, but also the uncreated Light, the Word of God.  The Father engenders the Son with a single glance, infinite, eternal, and the Word, Light of light, is the living reflection of the eternal look of the Father.  In the bosom of God, the Father and the Son behold each other and there springs forth from them, like … Continue reading

Christmas Greetings and Newsletter 2014

To our delight and immense gratitude, God has blessed our Novice, Sister Mary Thomas, with the privilege of pronouncing her First Vows. November 22, the Feast of St. Cecilia, was the day of the joyous occasion. The Mass antiphons expressed splendid allusions to what was happening as Sister made her First Profession. “Hear, O daughter and see… for the King desires your beauty.” “Come, my chosen one, and in thee I shall set up my throne.” Father Dominic Marie Langevin, O.P. celebrated the Mass. In his homily Father compared the three years of Sister Mary Thomas’ temporary vows to the expectation of the wise virgins in the Gospel, who knew … Continue reading

The Year of Consecrated Life

Year for Consecrated Life

On this beautiful Solemnity of Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception, a “Global Chain of Prayer” celebration is taking place in designated contemplative monasteries around the world, in honor of the Year of Consecrated Life.  The Dominican Nuns are represented by the Monasterio de Santa Catalina in Arequipa, Peru. The Year of Consecrated Life declared by Pope Francis began on the First Sunday of Advent, 2014, and will conclude on the feast of the Presentation of Our Lord, February 2, 2016. The celebration focuses on gratitude for the grace of God in the past, following Jesus more closely in the present, and looking with Him in hope toward the future. “The whole … Continue reading