It’s Already February!

It’s been quite a while since any news for posted – not because there was no activity – but rather because there was so much going on!

Our annual retreat concluded on the Feast of the Epiphany, 6 January, with 6 Sisters renewing their vows for a further one year. Fr Albert, O.P. preached the retreat – and led us to the heights of contemplation while considering the Incarnate Word of God become a little Babe, aided by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, St Augustine, St Leo, St Bernard, St Thomas Aquinas, and St John of the Cross.

“There are so many of you!” – but Father managed to preach a splendid retreat.
High Mass in the Dominican Rite was celebrated on the Feast of the Epiphany at the conclusion of the Retreat.
The six Sisters who were renewing their vows lit their candles during the Creed.
There wasn’t enough room in the sanctuary for six prostrations, so two had to be in the aisle.

All too soon it was time for school to begin. The boarders came back and were pleasantly surprised by the “re-modelled” kitchen and refectory.

Gwen and Therese whipping up some brownie magic as Sr Josephine and Sr Lucia look on.
The favourite part of the week for the boarders is recreation with the Sisters: volleyball!

School began with a whole-school Mass. Before the Mass, all the Sisters and staff of the three schools took the Anti-Modernist Oath and the Tridentine Profession of Faith.

The first school Mass was the votive Mass of the Holy Ghost.
The Anti-Modernist Oath begins the school year, with each Sister placing her hand on the Gospels as she promises to guide the pupils according to the principles of the Faith.

Candlemas was celebrated in our little chapel of Loreto, with the Sisters’ procession winding around the building.

Singing the chants according to the Dominican Rite….
The ceremonial prescribes that we hold our candles lit throughout Mass, until the Offertory antiphon.
It’s a lot trickier than it looks – especially when one has to keep the flame away from things that catch fire really easily (like veils).
The Form 5 French Class had a Crepe making class.
The girls seem to be enjoying school!

Up next will be the 150th anniversary of the coming of the Dominican nuns from Ireland to New Zealand, on 18th February, Foundresses’ Day. It was that day, in 1871, that the Dominican Sisters from Ireland came to New Zealand with Bishop Moran and began life in Dunedin, on the South Island. May God see fit to grant us increase and perseverance!

Some members of the pioneer group of nuns, led by Mother Gabrielle Gill, O.P.

To read more about the history of the Dominican Sisters in New Zealand, click on the photograph above.

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