Siena Monastery

 

"Blessed by beautiful sunshine once again, roses made the journey to the Monastery of St. Catherine of Siena Drogheda, home to the Dominican Sisters. We were also joined by the Francisian Sisters of the Renewal as we continued our Summer tour. The usually quiet, still Co. Louth countryside was taken over by the joyful sounds of singing, prayer, laughter and the tinkle of tea cups as the pink army filled the monastery and fuelled each other's hearts for a powerful day ahead.
  
Regardless of the morning drizzle, Sr. Breda wasn’t going to hear tell of any rain come 12noon and sure enough the sun began to shine!  However no rain or cloud could have dampened the spirits or smiles of the sisters as they prepared to welcome the crowds to their wonderful home and continue the mission of rediscovering the beauty of a life promised to God. As the soil thirsts for moisture to enable growth and blossoming of a rose, perhaps the rain pushed us to ponder the need to prepare our own hearts  before we could grow and absorbs the richness of what the day had to offer.

Within the Rise of the Roses logo we use a white rose to represent the lives of the Conscecrated Sisters. It is so fitting that the Dominican Sisters wear a white habit, a symbol of purity and the light of Christ to the world. 
  
Simple, yet beautiful, the Chapel is the heart of the monastery. Perpetual Adoration takes place here and this is central to the lives of the Dominican Sisters. The Drogheda team were so lucky to take part in a Holy hour with the community on the Friday evening and also join morning Mass on Saturday. Fr. Matthew- a newly ordained priest from Trinidad- spoke of the need to keep our souls fresh through prayer and the Sacraments so that like new wine in new wineskins, God’s grace can fill our soul.

As with any Rise of the Roses event the kettle was on the boil to welcome everyone and start of the day. After gathering to sing and receive a welcome from Sr.Breda and Sr.Jacinta we moved to the chapel to hear about the roots and charism of each community and powerful testimonies by Sr.Teresa and Sr.Veronica. What amazing witnesses they are to opening their hearts and listening to the will of God. 

We were in for a real treat being invited into the Sisters' private Rose Garden for the planting of our 4th rose after taking our silent walk with our cross. Everyone mingled with the Sisters in this secret garden and took a quiet moment to appreciate the beauty of the planted roses. The fruitful conversations and faces radiating joy were an obvious sign of the of the Holy Spirit at work that day.
   
What struck me most about the whole weekend experience was the desire for the sisters to make us so welcome, do absolutely anything they could to make us comfortable and feed us as much as possible!! It was so obvious how each Sister wanted to “mother” us young girls and the gentleness of their maternal way invited us to experience how these powerful women of prayer can use love as their instrument to lure hearts to God.

The Sisters assured us on Friday that even if Saturday didn’t follow through, the joy they experienced in lead up to Saturday would have been enough for the community and it is something that will stay with them.  I have no doubt that seeds have been planted from this special visit, both within the hearts of our roses and the Sisters. Let’s allow these to blossom for the glory of God and we continue our journey.

St.Francis pray for us.

St. Dominic pray for us"