Each year Passionist Nuns throughout the world make a 3-day retreat (in our monastery we make a 4-day retreat!) in preparation for our annual devotional renewal of vows on the Feast of the Presentation in the Temple. This day also celebrates Pro Orantibus Day. A day set aside for people to pray for those who live a cloistered or heremetical life.
The nuns often renew their consecration to the Passion of Jesus. Each year, moreover, on the Feast of the Presentation of Mary in the Temple, they make a general renewal of their vows, preparing for this renewal by a three-day retreat.
Rule & Constitutions #113
So, we humbly ask your prayers for Passionist Nuns throughout the world during these sacred days of November 17-20, that we be refreshed in body, renewed in spirit, re-energized in fervor and love for our Divine Bridegroom. Also, that he would raise up valiant young women to join our ranks in quenching the One who thirsts to love and be loved.
The following is an excellent article written by Sr. Cecilia Maria about the relevance of our cloistered life in the Church.
Passionist Nuns, dwelling in the “cloister” of Calvary, find at the foot of the Cross not only their path to contemplative union with God, but also the means of profound interaction with their brothers and sisters on earth. Their very union with the Redeemer spurs them to share in His work of drawing all people to Himself, in practical as well as mystical ways.
Closely joined to their contemplative prayer is a life of intercession for the needs of the world; indeed, their constitutions enjoin them “to know the life of the Church and of society” in which they live, in order to hold in prayer all its varied needs. Nuns keep abreast of the world through a variety of different media and through good and reliable contacts, and can often be better informed about current events and key issues than the average American citizen!
From their very beginnings Passionist Nuns have sought to welcome others to the fountainhead of God’s mercy, flowing from the wounds of Christ Crucified. They are called to be witnesses to this merciful love not only by their prayerful presence but also by their words — regularly written and spoken to family, friends, and visitors — and by their deeds.
Many monasteries have retreat-houses where others are invited to spend time at the foot of the Cross with the nuns, whose privilege and responsibility it is to minister to these retreatants. Thus the clear waters of the “sealed fountain” of Passionist monastic life (cf. Song of Songs 4:12), protected as they are by the restrictions of the cloister, are able to reach and to refresh far more souls than merely those of the nuns who dwell there.
The vocation to be a “dove in the clefts of the rock,” the open side of Jesus, is certainly not restricted to any particular sort of personality or skill-set! Like all cloistered nuns, Passionists are as varied and variously gifted as any natural extended family. One finds among the brides of the Crucified extroverts and introverts, doctorates and high-school diplomas, seamstresses and construction workers and artists (and everything in between).
The unique personalities and gifts of each sister simply indicate how the Lord wills to bless the community with a sister’s strengths and how the other sisters can support her in her weaknesses. Thus they enable the whole community to live out more fully the life to which they are all called! United by their love of Him who calls them into the intimacy of His love, the nuns rejoice to offer their daily lives as an oblation for the sake of God and His whole world.
Photo of crucifix at the entrance to our monastery
Kindness of Mrs. Larena Lawson
The dead tree in the left of the photo is just one sorrowful reminder of the terrible drought we had in these parts this past summer.