UPDATE – Gift idea: Seignadou Soaps from the Summit Dominicans – VIDEO!

I know that most of you are getting Mystic Monk Coffee for people as gifts, and thereby you help the Carmelite men build their new monastery in Wyoming, but there is a wonderful community of nuns to help too!

You know them, I’m sure: the Dominican Nuns in Summit, NJ.  These are the legendary “soap sisters” of Seignadou Soaps.

Right now, in addition to their soaps and all the other good things they make, they also have a CD of music for the Immaculate Conception, which feast is drawing close.  Alas, I don’t have it or I would share a taste.

Here’s the deal.  The sisters are closing down their online store on 17 December, the second and “heavy” part of Advent, “so that we can more deeply prepare our hearts and home for the coming of Christ!”, as they explain.

So… order now!

And tell them that Fr. Z wants them to bring back their smoky-smelling Savonarola line!

The Domincans also have a video in which they show something of their life and talk about the new wing they need to build.  HERE


Apparently quite a few of you visited the sisters’ website.  Sister wrote this note to me:

Dear Father,

WOW! Thank you! The title of your blog should be “Father SAYS!”! Many people have put in soap orders but a few people have donated to the building campaign. In God’s time we’ll get to have enough to start. It is sooo expensive to build in this part of NJ. Anywhere else and could easily build a whole monastery for that amount.

We really need the extra space. It’s mostly for a guest house. This year we counted over 90 guests in our 2 single guest rooms: women coming for a vocation retreat, friars, family and friends who visit, religious who stay here (like Nashville, etc.) while doing their apostolate and priests asking to make a retreat. One of our main objectives is to be able to provide a place of the local diocesan priests for a monthly retreat, few days, etc.

At this point we’re not set up for any of this. Unfortunately what did not get into the video are images of the current basement guest room. I don’t know how that happened because the stairways going down are very steep, dark and dreary!

If St. Nicholas thinks you were good this year you might find some Savonarola in your shoes! [I hope he has my address!  BTW… how many of you got the pun?  The name of the soap?  Review, above, and ponder.]

Oremus pro invicem!

Sr. Mary Catharine

What a wonderful community.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. de_cupertino says:

    I bought several pairs of their wonderful beeswax candles and have been quite happy with them. They have a nice fluted base that fits snugly in even the most wobbly candlestick hole. We light them on our mantel for family prayer in the evenings. (Well-behaved children get to blow out candles at the end.)

    (I wrote to them, and they do offer a bulk discount — I went back and ordered two-dozen more to get blessed at Candlemas for next year’s use.)

  2. APX says:

    They also make really wonderful 100% beeswax taper candles now, of anyone is in need of candles for Candlemas coming up two months from now, FYI.

  3. Cafea Fruor says:

    Someone at work gave me a gift set for Christmas two years ago, and well, I was hooked immediately, so I can put in a good word for the nuns’ products. First, they don’t use any petroleum-based ingredients, which I really appreciate. More importantly, though, their hand lotion is the ONLY lotion I’ve found that keeps my knuckles entirely free of painful cracking and bleeding during the dry winter months. Now, I’ve tried an awful lot of lotions, so that’s saying something. And their lip balm is also the best that I’ve ever used.

    I actually just got the lotion and lip balm that I’d recently ordered in the mail yesterday, and I’m stoked to have my now-essential winter supplies. :)

    So, the best stuff made by some awesome nuns. Do you need any more reason?

  4. Deo volente says:

    I receive their catalog and ordered their Christmas scented candles, some evergreen scented spray and even a shaving set (wonderful shaving brush and shaving soap in a nice mug). They have a lot more than candles and soap!

  5. FrAnt says:

    Thanks Fr. Z. For making me cry. I watched the video, saw the great love the nuns have for God and me, and it made me cry. Then I pulled out my credit card and made a donation to my sisters in Christ who could use a hand. I have every confidence that it will be used well for the glory of God.

  6. ManyMacarons says:

    I’ll have to shop there. Sounds like they do amazing things from the posts Ive just read.

    I’ve just gotten my Mystic Monk gifts in for others and am putting an order for some Gethsemane Fruitcake. The Sisters items sound like something my Mother and MIL would enjoy. Thank you for the tip!

  7. Netmilsmom says:

    Got in my Christmas order in. Thanks Father!

  8. Darren says:

    I have their candles for my advent wreath. Beeswax does indeed burn more cleanly, drip-free (unless you tilt them yourself)… and the first week’s candle will not burn out after two weeks! :) I have also bought assorted other items… really like some of the soaps!

    I am in NJ and used to work near Summit. I spent many a lunch hour in their chapel which is open all day with the Lord exposed in the monstrance. If you get there around 11:30 AM you can hear the nuns pray and sing… it is so beautiful.

  9. FranzJosf says:

    I think I got the pun……I looked to see if they are from Nashville or Michigan. Didn’t know that there a great group from New Jersey as well. Took me a moment

  10. Someone please be the Garrigue says:

    Savon: soap (fr.)
    Canola: oilseed rape/rapeseed oil.

    Girolamo Savonarola: 15th c. Dominican. Quite outspoken, probably didn’t talk too much about the beauty of the sunflower (girasole). Got into a bit of trouble over his unvarnished words…

    We tend not to notice the sulphurous smell these days. Nor the hydrogen sulphide, which actually damages the olfactory nerves. In the end you just can’t smell it anymore: the rotten eggs, the sulphur, the smoke. At least you won’t have cold feet when it happens.

    I hope I spend a long time in purgatory.

  11. Patikins says:

    The CD’s are produced by the friars at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington DC. You can listen to samples here: http://www.dominicanablog.com/records/

    I ordered both CDs couple days ago but I haven’t received them yet. I’m looking forward to hearing them.

  12. Gregorius says:

    I actually thought the Savanarola reference was dark humor at first, as Fr. Z himself mentioned that soap was at least in part made from ashes…

  13. FranzJosf says:

    Oh, I didn’t get it. Bonfire of the Vanities and all. I thought it was “Summit” Sisters. At the top! As opposed to other habitless Dominicans. Maybe this was a second pun. : )

  14. SophiaGrace says:

    Falò delle Vanità

  15. Dominicanes says:

    The “Summit Sisters” aren’t Dominican Sisters, they are Nuns of the Order of Preachers who live in Summit, NJ. They are cloistered and the 1st branch of the Order founded by St. Dominic. All cloistered Dominicans wear the habit as do their Dominican brothers.

    It’s the Year of Consecrated Life so a good time to learn about the different kinds of religious and consecrated men and women!

  16. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    A multi-language wordplay? ‘Soap’ à [is ‘(made) by’ possible, here?] ‘turtledove’ [Portuguese: ‘rola’]…

  17. Someone please be the Garrigue says:

    Soap is made from oil, e.g. palm/olive, and alkali. Ashes were the original source of alkali (potassium hydroxide), but straight sodium hydroxide is cleaner and gives a hard soap. Not sure if canola oil is used, but it should work.

    Could the Savonarola in Fr. Zed’s shoes be Fr. Zed himself? Or is he in Savonarola’s shoes…. We need those “prophetic” voices everybody keeps going on about. Thank God for the revolting bishops. :-) Thank God for Cardinal Burke.

    Tomorrow, 6th December, is St. Nicholas. I used to put a shoe in front of the fire when I was younger. In Holland he comes on the 5th, which always made us a bit jealous south of the border.

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