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Articles in this newsletter:
The Symbolism of the Habit
Convent Trivia
Photo Slide Show (separate web page)
Calendar

Our Apostolate of Prayer
Send intentions for Sisters’ Novenas

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Corpus Christi procession

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Fall 2011

Dear Friends,

Praised be Jesus and Mary!

Since our first newsletter last year, we have been sharing reflections with you on the lovely Marian prayer from which this publication takes its name, the Anima Mariae. This issue, however, will be dedicated to telling you more about the Sisters of Mary Immaculate Queen, our life, our spirit and our works.

One thing that makes the Marian Sisters stand out today is our full-length blue habits. People often stop us and thank us for wearing this symbol of consecration to God’s service, often lamenting that they have not seen a nun in habit for many years. So, you see, our habit alone is a little sermon expressing many things. First of all, it tells people that we live the traditional religious life which Sisters have lived for centuries, which basically means a life of detachment from the world, poverty, purity, obedience, silence and prayer. It also reminds people of how the Catholic Faith was lived when Sisters in full habit were common — of things like the Latin Mass (which, of course, we attend daily), of the Baltimore Catechism, of the nuns’ insistence on girls dressing modestly, of reverence in church, of respect and order in the classroom, and of the quiet joy that comes from living a life of love of God. This is the same Catholic Faith we live and teach today.

People often ask why our habits are blue instead of black or brown. It is because blue is Our Lady’s color, and we are devoted in a special way to her. One aspect of our Marian devotion is our Total Consecration to Jesus Christ through her according to the method of St. Louis Marie de Montfort (as we have begun to explain in our past newsletters). We are also committed to living and spreading the message Our Lady gave to the world at Fatima in 1917. She asked men to amend their lives and to cease offending God, to make reparation for sin, to pray and sacrifice for the conversion of sinners, and to pray the daily Rosary for world peace. As she also made known that God wishes to give men graces through her Immaculate Heart, we promote this devotion and encourage people to pray to her for help in all their needs.

We have two main apostolates: Catholic education and the apostolate of the press, both of which serve as means of spreading our holy Faith and the Fatima message. Our teaching Sisters have the privilege and responsibility of not only educating children, but of giving them a solid foundation in virtue and faith that will stay with them throughout their lives. The Sisters who work at our apostolic center have a modest printing apostolate and maintain the web site of the Congregation (www.CMRI.org). We also staff a gift shop at Mount St. Michael and a comprehensive online store (www.MIQCenter.com) that makes Catholic books and religious goods available to the faithful all over the world.

Some of you may also be acquainted with the Sisters at our missions around the country, where they staff schools, instruct both children and adults in the Faith, visit the sick and elderly, and help keep our chapels running smoothly. And finally, there are those who know us best as “the Singing Nuns.” We began singing and making recordings in 1979 primarily as a means of support, but it was not long before we saw that our music had a power to touch people’s hearts and souls in a way nothing else could.

In all she does, the Marian Sister tries to remember that she is the Spouse of Christ and the living reflection of Mary, her model. She must be as the hands of Mary at work in the world, animated and informed by the graces of her Immaculate Heart. By her life of self-sacrificing love, she is a light in the world, and the world cannot help but be enlightened by her quiet shining. Her place in society may be insignificant; she may never be known beyond her convent walls — but by her life of love and oblation, she radiates Something, Someone. She is another Mary; she brings Christ to the world, and the world to Christ.

The Symbolism of the Habit

 
A Sister prays at the altar of repose after Holy Thursday ceremonies

Our Apostolate of Prayer

Are you worried about a loved one? Is there a problem that is weighing heavily upon your heart? Send in your intentions, and the Sisters will commend them in their prayers and Masses, especially during our upcoming Novenas:

Our Lady of the Rosary
   (October 7)
Our Lady of Guadalupe
   (December 12)

Habit: The habit is like the wedding garment the Sister wears to remind her that she is the bride of Christ, and that she must therefore live a life of simplicity, poverty and humility. Its blue color reminds her that she must live as another Mary, her model.

Veil: The Scriptures tell us that a woman’s hair is her glory. By her veil, the Sister makes a sacrifice of this aspect of her womanly beauty. Her veil, then, is a symbol of humility and modesty. It is a constant reminder to herself and others that she belongs to Christ, that she has pledged herself to live in Him and for Him alone; that like Him, she must live a life of poverty, simplicity and obedience.

Ring: At the ceremony of her perpetual profession, which takes place after at least four years of temporary vows, the Sister receives a ring on the third finger of her left hand to symbolize her union with Christ. The ring, a simple band, also a symbol of eternity, is made of gold, which symbolizes love. Inscribed inside it are the words she pronounces after receiving it: “To Jesus, my heart, my all, forever.”

Medal: The Marian Sister wears the Medal of the Immaculate Conception on a blue cord around her neck. Our Lady appeared to a young Sister in Paris in 1830 and asked her to have this medal made. She said that great graces would be granted to those who wear it with confidence. Soon so many heavenly favors were granted by means of this medal that it became known as the “Miraculous Medal.”

Rosary: The Rosary was given to St. Dominic in 1214 by the Blessed Virgin, who told him that it was the “weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world.” And at Fatima in 1917, Our Lady repeatedly asked for the daily Rosary to obtain world peace and the conversion of sinners.

Crucifix: The crucifix reminds us how much our dear Savior loves us: “Greater love than this no man hath, to lay his life down for a friend.” By her vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, the Sister, too, places herself on the cross. With St. Paul she can say: “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of my Lord Jesus Christ, in Whom the world is crucified to me, and I am crucified to the world.”

Scapular: Most of the time the Sisters wear blue scapulars with their blue habits, but on Sundays and special feasts they wear large brown scapulars in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This, too, came to us from the Blessed Virgin, who appeared in 1246 to St. Simon Stock, the general of the Carmelite Order and gave him the Scapular as a pledge of her protection. The brown scapular is a sign of consecration to Our Lady.

Convent Trivia

Did you know that the Marian Sister says the same prayers while dressing that a priest says while vesting for Holy Mass? This is to remind her that her day is to be a living Mass — a sacrifice of all she is and all she does for the salvation of souls, in reparation for sin, and for the conversion of sinners.

Calendar

September 6
26
29
  School begins
Sr. Renee Marie’s feastday
Feast of St. Michael: Titular feast of Mount St. Michael, St. Michael’s Convent, and St. Michael’s Academy; Sr. Michael Marie’s feastday
October 3
7
5-9
13
  Sr. Therese Marie’s feastday, Theresa Peck’s feastday
Feast of the Most Holy Rosary
Fatima Conference at Mount St. Michael: “Magnificat Anima Mea Dominum”
Anniversary of the Apparition of Our Lady at Fatima (Miracle of the Sun)
November 4-6
19
  Vocations Weekend at St. Michael’s Convent
Sr. Mary Isabella’s feastday
Sr. Maria Providencia’s feastday
December 8
10
12
14-15
25
  Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Mary Immaculata’s feastday
Sr. Mary Loretta’s feastday
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Christmas Concerts at the Bing Theater
Christmas Day; Sr. Marie Emmanuel’s feastday

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Anima Mariae is the free quarterly newsletter of the CMRI Sisters.
To join our mailing list, or to send comments, questions, prayers intentions or donations, please write or email:

St. Michael’s Convent
8502 N. St. Michael’s Rd.
Spokane, WA 99217
Phone: (509) 467-0986 ext. 123
Fax: (509) 467-1177
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