What I did this weekend

August 28, 2011 | 36 comments

For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, I want to introduce you to my friends, the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. Today I went to a party to welcome some of the sisters back to the Austin area after they’d been a the mother house in Ann Arbor for the summer, and I was reminded of just how wonderful this order is.

More than one of the sisters has told me that they have to plan for their trips to the grocery store to take double the time they might expect, because so many people stop them and want to talk to them about faith. Aside from all the amazing work they’re doing, the simple fact that these women are out in the world, wearing their full habits, is an incredible witness in and of itself.

Here I am with Sister Elizabeth Ann, her baby nephew, and baby Pamela Scholastica. I had the privilege of talking to Sister Elizabeth Ann’s identical twin sister, Dr. Katie O’Reilly, at the party as well — you can read the story of how they shared similar paths to totally different vocations here.

My dad came, and took on the arduous task of being Chief Baby Holder.

And my aunt, Lisa Whitney, came all the way from Atlanta just to help us out this weekend since she knew it would be a crazy one (pictured here with Sister Jude Andrew). I’m so fortunate to have such supportive family members.

The party was also a great chance to meet up with some local folks like my friend Martina Kreitzer, who’s a contributor to the Austin Catholic New Media blog, as well as being a founder of a great new group blog called Catholic Sistas (if you haven’t seen it yet, go check it out!)

Even though it’s not a great shot, I just had to post this picture of Fr. Daniel Liu, a super sharp young priest who is one of the many reasons that the Diocese of Austin is a great place to be.

Oh no, it’s Sister Maria Rosario WITH A BIG SCARY OGRE!!!! Oh, wait…that’s just me.

My three-year-old daughter loved chatting with Sister Maria Christi.

Sister Elizabeth Ann told us about the plans they have for a new convent in the Austin area, assuming they can raise the money they need. We’re incredibly fortunate to have them in our area.

At the end of the event, the sisters regaled us with a gorgeous song that was actually written by one of the sisters!

I am so amazed by the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. I first encountered them that day I was locked out of the Adoration chapel, and have been a big supporter of theirs ever since. If you’d like to find out more about the great work that these sisters are doing, how you can support them, or how you can find out if you’re called to be one of them, visit their website here!


  1. Malakh

    FIRST! am I?

    • Malakh

      oops nice post as well! sorry πŸ˜€

  2. Eva

    Oh, I loved that post about the adoration chapel. I often wish that I’d see such an obvious ‘sign’ in my life. I’ll keep waiting…..

    • Eva

      I think that I was actually reading here when you posted! Small world πŸ˜‰

  3. Mindyleigh

    I love them too! We were blessed to get a visit from two of them all the way here in Alaska for a vocations weekend at our parish! Here is a link to a talk that Sister Maximilian Garretson, OP gave on “Authentic Catholic Womanhood.”


    On Sunday Mass when they were here, the Church was PACKED due to confirmations, and remarkably, we ended up sitting directly in front of them. They invited my 7 year old daughter to sit next to them in their pew, and she practically died of happiness.

    They radiate holiness and the peace of Christ. It was a joy to meet them and I hope they come to staff our Catholic schools. πŸ™‚

  4. Kimberly

    We have a woman from our parish in NH entering this order today to further discern her vocation. God Bless her and them. What a wonderful group of women!

  5. Suzette

    I think Sister Maria Christi came and spoke at St. Ann’s in Charlotte, NC where her sister is a member. She was one of the most engaging speakers I had ever heard! We have a group of Poor Clares here is Charlotte that I sometimes have the chance to take to appointments and I love it!

  6. Melissa Spence

    I thought I recall from your conversion story you saying your parents raised you an atheist. Are they believers now? Seeing that your dad was here at the party for the sisters, I’m curious if your parents are believers now. Just curious?

    These are great pics! How wonderful you got attend this party!

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      Great question, Melissa. I try to be careful about speculating about my parents’ current religious beliefs, but I think that my dad may be agnostic now. Anyway, I have to admit that I was quite surprised that he wanted to attend. I think he had a great time though, and he was very impressed with the sisters.

  7. Jenna

    Yay! Michigan shout out! I just love Ann Arbor! What a great weekend you had. Have you ever seen the episode of Oprah with the nuns from Ann Arbor? It’s interesting to see what the general public thinks about the religious life πŸ™‚

  8. Margo

    It’s so refreshing to see nuns in their habits. So many have stopped wearing habits. Great photos!

  9. Salome Ellen

    My three-year-old grandson, drawn by the sound of the sisters singing, came over to my computer, watched quietly, and when it was over said “That sounds like pwincess music.” I think he’s on to something!

  10. Martina

    It was great to see you and the original “sistas.” πŸ™‚

  11. Theresa in Alberta

    I so love that womens religious orders are going back the uniform….eeerrr habit!

  12. Adrienne

    I grew up with Sr. Jude Andrew. It sort of feels like knowing a celebrity seeing her pic here on this blog. πŸ™‚

  13. Fr. Bud Pelletier

    Please give a great big hello to Sr. Jude Andrew. She taught in our school here in Phoenix last year, and was instrumental in helping us bring a strong sense of the Catholic Faith into our parish school. (Yes, that is a sad statement to make, but give us time!)

    Fr. Bud Pelletier
    St. Gregory Parish

  14. Kara

    Love it!!! Love them!

  15. the Mom

    I’m sighing here from just a wee little bit of envy. I love nuns.

  16. Christine the Soccer Mom

    Oh, Jen, this is so wonderful! I love these sisters, and even if my kids don’t always want to watch them on EWTN, *I* do! LOL!

    BTW, my friend in North Pole, AK, knows another contributor to Sistas! How about that!

    God bless you!

    OH! PS: I’m still keeping you and Pamela in my prayers. Let us know when the Baptism finally happens so I can take you guys off that list. πŸ™‚

  17. Abigail Benjamin

    When, oh when are you going to become MORE officially connected to the Dominican Order? I bet joining a Third Order will help you write your book! I bet it will help Miss Pamela sleep totally through the night!! (Hmm, maybe that is a false promise). I bet it will make you MORE cheerful after long, wakeful nights! πŸ™‚

  18. Casey

    I really enjoyed this post. In fact, I enjoy all of your posts. Thanks!

    P.S. I just wish you didn’t have such negative self talk. You are not a big, scary ogre!

    P.S.S. Your daughters are beautiful!

  19. P. Lawson

    A friend of mine sent me a link to your blog post since my sister (Sr. Rose Anthony) was there with you (I also went to school with Sr. Maria Christi). Thanks for the great blog post – the Sisters are such a blessing and may God bless their foundation there in Austin!

  20. Jeanne

    Thank for this beautiful post and photos. Love that photo of you with Sister Elizabeth Ann & bambinos…your little 3 year old is trying to escape out the door…LOL !!!

  21. Lacey

    Your jogs must be paying off… you look AWESOME! Way to go mama! (I realize this post wasn’t about that, but seriously I am so impressed)

  22. Pat Gohn

    And while you were busy, the Catholic New Media Awards gave your blog a few wins! Keep up all the good work! Fans of Jennifer’s work can find the details here: http://www.catholicnewmediaawards.com/2011


  23. Katie

    I love these sisters! What a witness! Also, Jen, the young woman you posted about who was getting her debt paid off to join them, left this past week. I think she met her goal, which is amazing! Oh, and Fr. Daniel is awesome. Austin Diocese, continue to dominate πŸ™‚

  24. Courtney

    I love the sisters! I actually discerned about joining them, but in the end I couldn’t pay off my debt. I am now happily married, God is good, and the sisters will always be close to my heart. One of my close friends did join them, Sister Catherine Marie – she’s wonderful! God Bless the sisters as they do the work of the Lord!

  25. Tasha

    Love this post! It shows just how human and kind nuns can be. Most people I know think of nuns as people radically removed from everyday life – when they actually have so much to offer us

  26. Kimberly

    It’s so great seeing all the young Sisters! Beautiful pictures. This looks like a wonderful time.

  27. Regina Mowery

    Sister Jude Andrew was at our school St. Gregory’s last year! It is nice to see a picture of her. If you see her again tell her Maggie Mowery’s family says hello! What a small world!

  28. Holly Rutchik

    How beautiful. Isn’t it sad these types of communities are becoming few and far between in our Church. We need to pray πŸ™‚
    Also, I LOVE when nuns look like nuns for the very reason that then people can stop them in the store and see an example of living in the Lord.

  29. Catherine

    This is awesome..Ive been a lurker for awhile and I love your blog..I just had to write and say how awesome I think you are!

  30. thomas tucker

    Father Liu is wise beyond his years. When I lived in Austin, he was based at the Cathedral which was our home parish. God bless him.
    Oh, and I see you caught David Morales in one picture- nice guy and great family!

  31. Dacia

    I am a Youth director and we had some wonderful sisters from that very order put on our summer camp these past two years. Their order is truly a blessing to the Church. Praise God for their vocations.

  32. Diane

    My daughter is Sr. Jude Andrew, she just took her final/perpetual vows this summer. A friend sent me the link to this blog. This is so cool! It is so nice to see local people supporting them.

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