September 29 - Simple Profession of Sr. Marie Thomas of the Divine Word

On the Feast of the Archangels, September 29, Sister Marie Thomas of the Divine Word made her First Profession of Vows (aka Simple Vows) and placed herself more intimately under God’s Will, “in praise of His glory”, with all the angels of heaven!

Sister is originally from Northern British Columbia, and many friends and family were able to join us for this wonderful day. The Mass was celebrated by Fr. Dean Henderson, chaplain and friend from sister’s alma mater.

Here are a few photos from the celebration! Please pray for sister as she continues to follow Jesus in the footsteps of St. Dominic for the next three years.

 
 
Sr. Marie Thomas Lawrie
September 10 - This Mountain Life Documentary

Our monastery is very blessed to be part of a new documentary called "This Mountain Life", made by local filmmakers Grant and Jenny, and focusing on the lives of people who live in the mountains of British Columbia. We got a sneak peek at the film a few weeks ago, and were blown away by the quality of cinematography and respect for the stories of each of the characters. You can find out more about the film here; or, really, just get a glimpse for yourself:

 
 

If you’re in Western Canada, you can check out upcoming screenings at the Vancouver International Film Festival screening on October 2 and 4, and the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival screening on November 3.

Please join us in praying for all those who seek God’s face in the mountains, that we might “climb the mountain of the Lord” together and always be ready to support our brothers and sisters on the trek.

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
    the world, and those who live in it;
for he has founded it on the seas,
    and established it on the rivers.

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord?
    And who shall stand in his holy place?
Those who have clean hands and pure hearts,
    who do not lift up their souls to what is false,
    and do not swear deceitfully.

They will receive blessing from the Lord,
    and vindication from the God of their salvation.
Such is the company of those who seek him,
    who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

- Psalm 24

Sr. Marie Thomas Lawrie
August 22 - Vestition of Sr. Marie Étienne and Sr. Diana Marie on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary

Our patronal feast of Our Lady Queen of Peace was doubly blessed this year as our two postulants received the habit of the Order of Preachers and became Sr. Marie Étienne of the Most Holy Name of Jesus and Sr. Diana Marie of the Divine Mercy.

Postulancy, which comes from the Latin postulare (to ask), lasts a year in our monastery. During this time, a young woman makes a trial of our Dominican monastic life. If she and the community discern that God may be calling her here, she asks to be received more fully into the community as a novice.

The vestition ceremony itself also begins with a question. "What do you seek?" the prioress asks. "God's Mercy and yours," the candidate (or candidates!) responds. After a short Scripture reading, and talk by the prioress, each sister is clothed in the holy habit of St. Dominic. As an important symbol of the givenness of a vocation, the new novice doesn't clothe herself in the habit, but entrusts herself entirely to the novice mistress and prioress as they literally dress her in the habit and scapular, tie a belt around her waist, attach the rosary and crucifix, and place the white novice veil on her head. Finally, at the end of each clothing comes the moment all the sisters have been waiting for—the revealing of each new sister's religious name, which had been kept a secret from the community until then (which doesn't stop the community from trying to guess!). Finally, each new novice gives the sign of peace to the community and their families while the rest of the sisters sing the Magnificat.

We thank God for the gift of each of these sisters' lives and vocations. Please pray for their perseverance and joy in the Lord as they begin their novitiate!

 
 
July 30 - Flora, fauna and firstfruits

It was 42 degrees Celsius in the shade by the monastery's kiln shed today, and while some nuns may be pondering Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in their fiery furnace, the garden appears to be loving it. We recently spotted two fauns in our north field, the hay in the south field was valiantly baled by a local farmer (prior to the heat wave, we had on and off rain for most of the month), and a small frog was found seeking refuge near the fragment of Notre-Dame-de-Prouilhe stone in our chapel. And, finally, the place where all our labour begins and ends (and the final destination of our dahlias too). God is good!

 
As the rain and the snow come down from the sky and do not return before having watered the earth, fertilizing it and making it germinate to provide seed for the sower and food to eat, [says the Lord], so it is with the word that goes from my mouth: it will not return to me unfulfilled or before having carried out my good pleasure and having achieved what it was sent to do. 
—  (Isaiah 55:11)
 
June 15 - Solemn Profession of Sr. Florentina Marie of the Heart of Jesus

On Sunday, June 20, we celebrated the Solemn Profession of Sr. Florentina Marie of the Heart of Jesus. Sr. Florentina Marie was born in Moshi District, Tanzania, and was a sister of Our Lady of Mt. Kilimanjaro for over three decades before discerning a further call to the contemplative life.  The ceremony was presided over by Archbishop Michael Miller CSB of Vancouver, and many friend and family were able to witness this beautiful consecration—the first for Queen of Peace Monastery since our foundation. 

 
 

"I, Sister Florentina Marie, make profession
and promise obedience to God
and to blessed Mary and to blessed Dominic,
and to the Master of the Order of Friars Preachers,
and to you Sister Marie Tersidis,
prioress of Queen of Peace Monastery, and to your successors,
according to the Rule of blessed Augustine
and the Constitutions of the Nuns of the Order of Preachers,
that I will be obedient to you, and to your successors,
until death."

 
 

During this same Mass, we also celebrated the blessing of our new tabernacle, generously donated by a group of generous benefactors and handbuilt by a local craftsman. The panels were designed by Sr. Claire Marie, and feature the four living creatures from Ezekiel 1:5, representing the four evangelists. We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all those who made this new creation possible, and pray that it will give glory to God and beauty to our chapel for generations to come!

 
 
May 21 - Happy Pentecost

We wish you a very happy Pentecost and, today, memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church! For the past three days, we've been blessed with the presence among us of Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi, Apostolic Nuncio to Canada. It has been an absolute joy and honour to welcome him and celebrate these beautiful feasts of the Church together in communion with our Holy Father Pope Francis and the Church throughout the world. Come, Holy Spirit!

 
 

We had other, less expected guests earlier this week, during the middle of our Pentecost retreat. After Matins and Lauds one morning, a sister noticed a dark shape high up in a tree in our middle field. It turned out to be a bear! What this picture doesn't show is that there was another bear, of a similar size, hanging out just a few trees over! The monastery's binoculars were passed around, and as best we could tell, our ursine arborists were cheerfully munching breakfast. They had climbed down by Mass, which was perhaps fortunate, as readings for the day included Psalm 68—and "Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up" suddenly took on a new and unexpected meaning!

 
 

Finally, this week we were delighted to receive our first copy of Sr. Jean Marie's new book, The Quest for the Divine: Philosopher, Prophet and Mystic, which explores the "essential connection between contemplation and daily life" through the writings of Etty Hillesum, Meister Eckhart and Eric Voegelin. It is available on Amazon, and will be available in the monastery's gift shop shortly!

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And finally, just in case you haven't seen it yet, our spring newsletter is now posted here in English et en Français.

God bless!

 
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April 8 - Happy Easter

"Christ is risen, alleluia, alleluia!" 

We wish you all a very happy and blessed Easter, and pray that God blesses you and those you love by the glory of His Resurrection and triumph over death. Here are just a few pictures from our celebration of Holy Week and the Paschal Triduum. God bless!

 
 
February 24 - A Looming Project...
 
 

This past fall, a friend of the community graciously donated two gently used floor looms. Soon enough, words like "heddles", "treadles" and "warp" began flying around community recreation and scraps of paper with scribbled patterns could be found lying around the novitiate. A few months later, and...well, you can see for yourself!

 

We are so grateful for this generous gift, and know we haven't even approached the limits of what is possible now that we're getting the hang of it. Already, "weave" some new project ideas "looming..."

 
Sr. Marie Thomas Lawrie
February 2 - Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

Happy Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (aka Candlemas), and World Day for Consecrated Life! Here are a few moments from today's liturgy. God bless you!

 
 
 
 

Sr. Marie Thomas Lawrie
February 1 - Paschal Candles

For the past two years, Sr. Florentina Marie has been hard at work in our downstairs candle workshop, hand-pouring Paschal candles (as well as all our altar candles, Advent candles and other interesting creations) and letting them cure. This January, she spent time with our Franciscan Poor Clare sisters at St. Clare's Monastery in Duncan learning how to decorate and finish the Paschal candles with a variety of fine wax designs. Thank-you, dear sisters, for your gracious and joyful support! Here are the "first fruits" of this year's candles.