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Articles in this newsletter:
Reflections on Anima Mariae
The Great Novitiate Chapel Project
Steps in the Life of a Marian Sister
Convent Trivia
Photo Slide Show (separate web page)

Our Apostolate of Prayer
Send intentions for Sisters’ Novenas

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Girls from the Villa Maria boarding house surprise the Sisters with a snow nun

Alternate version: PDF Format

Spring 2012

Dear Friends,

Praised be Jesus and Mary!

Lent is here, the tithe of our year. Sounds like a good beginning for a little piece of verse if one were so inclined.

Sorrows of Mary, strengthen me. O Mary, hear me.
In the wound of the Heart of Jesus, hide me.

During Lent Holy Mother Church gears everything in her liturgy and law to help us concentrate on the one thing necessary, the only and ultimate purpose of our lives.

In the Passion of Christ we see the result of our sins; our sense of justice urges us to sorrow, severance and satisfaction. Almsgiving detaches us from material goods; fasting and penance discipline our senses and passions; prayer focuses our affections toward the supernatural. Lent is hard on our fallen human nature, which relinquishes its pleasures only with difficulty. So we plead with our Mother for help:

Sorrows of Mary, strengthen me. O Mary! Hear me!!

Immaculate though she was, her precious soul bore the seven-fold sword that was the result of our sins. Like her Son, she bore our weakness and carried our sorrows. She will share with us, her children, the courageous and valiant spirit which enabled her to endure the loss of Him Who was dearer to her than life itself — Who was, in fact, her Life. As we strive to free ourselves from the shackles of sin and fling our liberated spirit up to God, we need our Mother’s support. And if our efforts see us falling short of Heaven, may we at least land by her side at the foot of the Cross where she will intercede for us with the merciful Heart of her Son.

Sorrows of Mary, strengthen me!
In the wound of the Heart of Jesus, hide me!

Hidden in His wounded Heart, we will escape the wrath of an offended God, we will avoid the heat of our unruly passions, we will find asylum from the temptations of the world and the devil.

The Great Novitiate Chapel Project

blessing of the new Novitiate Chapel The Bishop blesses the new Novitiate Chapel.

One momentous event that has taken place since our last newsletter is the completion of the new chapel at St. Michael’s Novitiate.

The work began in June 2011, when Mr. George Sullivan and Mr. Michael Gronenthal moved the water tanks out of the unfinished utility room. Soon the Novitiate Sisters all joined in the work, with Sr. Mary Josephine showing them how to mud and tape. Several local businesses kindly donated supplies in response to St. Joseph’s invitation to build a home for his Foster Son. Young men from St. Michael’s Academy helped to hang the ceiling drywall, Mr. Sullivan textured the walls, and the Sisters began painting. Then pews had to be cut down to size — not nearly as easy a task as it sounds! Mr. Sullivan created a detailed piece above the altar, complete with dimming lights and a hand-carved emblem of the Holy Ghost. Last of all came the work on the communion rail.

From start to finish, the project truly belonged to our dear St. Joseph, who provided the labor and materials, and even the design. Good St. Joseph, thank you!

  Anima Mariae

Soul of Mary, sanctify me.
Heart of Mary, inflame me.
Hands of Mary, support me.
Feet of Mary, direct me.
Immaculate eyes of Mary,
look upon me.
Lips of Mary, speak for me.
Sorrows of Mary, strengthen me.
O Mary, hear me.
In the wound of the Heart of Jesus,
hide me.
Let me never be separated from thee.
From my enemy defend me.
At the hour of my death call me,
And bid me to come to thine
Immaculate Heart;
That thus I may come to the
Heart of Jesus,
And there with the saints praise thee
For all eternity. Amen.

­—The Reign of Jesus through Mary
Gabriel Denis, SMM

Ask the Sisters to pray for you during their daily prayers andweekly holy hour

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:

Annunciation BVM (March 25)
   (Novena: March 16-24)
Queenship BVM (June 4)
   (Novena: May 26 - June 3)

Steps in the Life of a Marian Sister

A young woman who enters the convent may intend from the outset to give herself wholly to God forever. Nevertheless, the Church has wisely established a structure for the religious life so that candidates receive several years of training and testing before they make this lifelong commitment by vow.

skit by novitiate Sisters A white-veiled novice, a blue-veiled novice with First Vows, and two postulants perform a skit during Rev. Mother’s feastday celebration.

The first step, the postulancy, consists of a period of six months to a year during which the candidate lives with the Sisters, follows, their schedule, prays with them, and is trained in the duties and obligations of the religious life. Did she leave a home and family behind her? Now she has a new home and a new family of joyous, generous hearts and loving companions she quickly comes to know and love. All this is just part of that hundredfold Christ promised to those who follow Him. Did she leave behind material possessions? While this involves some degree of sacrifice, she now finds herself free to dedicate herself entirely to God's work. He Who clothes the lilies of the field and provides for the sparrows, cares infinitely more for the needs of His brides who have given up all to serve Him.

Next, if both the candidate and her superiors feel that she truly has a vocation, she is given her religious habit and a new name — after one of God's saints as well as the name of His Mother. She enters into a formative period known as the novitiate, a year of intense spiritual preparation for her first vows. During this time she is instructed in the spiritual life, the Holy Rule and the vows.

vows ceremonies of Sisters A crown of thorns is placed on the head of a Sister during the ceremony of her perpetual profession.

At the end of the year, if both the novice and her superior feel she is ready, she takes her First Vows, which are for one year. The Sister then takes her place as a blue-veiled novice in the active apostolate of the Congregation — either in hidden labors of unseen service, or active work in Catholic education or the Catholic press. Whatever her duties, she strives to remember that her Holy Rule would have her to be “Mary’s visible hands at work in the world, striving to bring about the reign of justice and truth.”

At the end of this year under vows, the Sister may renew her vows for a period of three more years. Only after at least four years of temporary vows is a Sister allowed to make her Perpetual Profession. A crown of thorns is placed on the head of a Sister during the ceremony of her perpetual profession. In this beautiful ceremony, she pronounces the vows which bind her for life. When the ring of profession is placed on her finger, it is Christ Himself Who espouses her. In response she replies: “To Jesus, my heart, my all, forever....” These words are also engraved inside her ring to remind her that she now belongs wholly to Christ, the Bridegroom of her soul. She is also reminded that she must die to her former life to live henceforth only for Him. She lies prostrate under a funeral pall while the Litany of the Saints is chanted, and when she rises, a crown of thorns is placed on her head, for her Beloved is a Crucified Spouse in this life, until the day that she is united with Him face to face in Heaven.

Convent Trivia

Did you know that the Sisters observe a sacred silence that begins after Compline (night prayers) and ends after morning prayers? The Grand Silence, an ancient custom among religious, fosters a deep spirit of prayerfulness during the night and early morning hours.


March 4
  Sr. Maria Kazimiera’s feastday
Mother Mary Dominica’s feastday
Sr. Mary Josephine’s feastday
Annunciation BVM
April 6
  Sr. Mary Julianna’s feastday
Easter Sunday
Feast of Mother of Good Counsel
Feast of St. Louis Marie de Montfort, Spiritual Father of the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen (CMRI);
Sr. Louise Marie’s feastday
May 12
  Sr. Mary Imelda’s feastday
Sr. Mary Gemma’s feastday
Sr. Bernardine Marie’s feastday
Sr. Madeleine Marie’s feastday
Sr. Marie Janae’s feastday
June 4

  Feast of Mary Immaculate Queen, the Patroness of CMRI
Sr. Maria Regina’s feastday
Sr. Mary Antoinette’s feastday
Sr. Corinne Marie’s feastday (Sacred Heart of Jesus)
Feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help: Sisters’ Vows Ceremonies
Sr. Mary Petra’s feastday
Sr. Mary Paula’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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