Marian Information Center 
Las Vegas, Nevada

Thank you and may God Bless You!









Glorious, Historical overview in Photographs of its construction

With gratitude to the Discalced Carmelites for allowing us to share their photographs on the construction of the Monastery of the Carmel

Valparaiso, Nebraska

Photography credit:  Bob Masek  With gratitude!

Please note that photographs may not be copied or distributed. Thank you.


Greetings from Valparaiso,  


It's a very exciting time here with the Sisters. Friday, Sept 8th, Gina and Stephanie entered the Carmel as postulants. Gina & Stephanie arrived Wednesday with their parents, Vincent and Guadalupe . The girls are very excited to enter. They are from Las Vegas and are entering together. Imagine that, sister Sisters. They have a brother Vincent that did not make the trip. Please pray for them as they begin their life as Carmelites, and for their parents and families. All of you know what they are going through right now. You know what prayers they need. Since Susan and I have not experienced this event like you have, we can only imagine all the thoughts and feelings that one goes through. Please let us know what we need to do or provide to families that are staying with us during such an important time in their lives. Construction is proceeding rapidly as usual. They are putting the roof on the portion of the monastery that will be completed first.. Work has begun on the bell tower and back wall of the chapel. The arches in the courtyard are nearly complete. In-floor heating is installed and floors are being poured in about 1/4 of the monastery. They are still saying that the Sisters will be able to move in to a portion of the monastery in the middle of November. Please pray for the workers. They are all working extremely hard to meet the projected completion dates. I will try to send the photos one at a time. My e-mail provider has been having trouble sending the large messages with several photos attached.


May the Peace of Christ be with you all,

Bob & Susan










Construction is moving along rapidly as usual.  Plumbing and electrical rough-ins are well under way.   The cloister walk arches are being constructed.  It's possible that they may be putting the roof on the southern half of the monastery next week.  The basement floor is ready to pour.  As of today (August 15), the perimeter walls of the structure are complete.  They are finishing the inner walls of the North courtyard this week and should be starting on the chapel walls soon.  The main floor of the caretaker's house is completely framed and they will be putting the roof on by the end of this week.  The pace is almost dizzying.  Please pray for the Sisters and the workers.  The workers are putting in some intense hours trying to meet deadlines.   Sunday evening when we went up to check things out, there were men working on the storm sewer drains at 4 p.m.  Tonight when we went up there, men were still working at 8 p.m.  The weather is hot and dry now, but here in Nebraska that can all change in a matter of hours.  They're working awful hard to get as much done as possible when the weather is good.


May the peace of Christ be with all of you,

Bob and Susan

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Photographs taken July  7, 2000 by MIC  (In the beginning ...)










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Hello to all,


I'm sorry it's been so long since the last update. A lot has happened since the last update was sent. A portion of the monastery is nearing completion. They have been painting and trimming this week, and tomorrow they will begin laying the floor tiles. This small portion of the monastery will be completed and ready for the Sisters to occupy it in mid November. Construction will continue on the rest of the monastery and the expected completion date is sometime during the summer of 2001. This will be a tremendous accomplishment for the Steve Lucas (foreman) and his workers. Trying to complete a portion of the project while leaving the rest until later was no small task. The block work and roofing continues on the rest of the structure. The second well was being dug today. The caretaker's residence is nearing completion. All that remains for it is painting, staining and floor coverings.


I went out and purchased a digital camera, so I'll be able to send more photos, more often. The file size for the photos I'm attaching is about 50-60K. Hopefully they will download a little faster that the last ones. Now I will be able to send you photos of the new seminary that is being constructed also. St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Seward, NE has completed their construction project and they are having their dedication ceremony on Nov. 19th. (My sister Mary is the secretary). Some of you have had the pleasure of seeing the seminary and meeting my sister. I'm sure you'll enjoy seeing the photos. It's a very impressive structure.


As always, keep the Sisters and builders in your prayers.


May the peace of Christ be with you all,


Bob & Susan

November 2000

Greetings to all!




SUNDAY, NOV. 19TH, 2000

St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Seward, NE is dedicated. The Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Montalvo is the celebrant. We take a few of the Sisters to the new monastery for a little luncheon with some of the workers on the project. It was a great opportunity for the workers to get to know who they are working for. Final touches are being made in preparation for the dedication on Monday. Sr. Stella Marie's mother Pat, Pat's sister (Debbie Kuzina) and aunt (Joyce Semenchuk) have been here visiting from Winnipeg and have been a tremendous help with the move.  They took care of numerous details that we couldn't take care of by ourselves. Thank you Lord, for sending them!! They stayed with my mother, Rose Masek while they were here. They were a tremendous help.









Procession from the old farmhouse to the new monastery for the dedication. The Sisters rode on a hayrack for the 4 mile trek.  (The temperature at 7AM was 12 degrees. -11 degrees C.) When we arrived at the new monastery, they walked in procession around the north side to the temporary chapel. Photos are attached. At 10 AM Archbishop Montalvo (Papal Nuncio) celebrated the dedication mass in the temporary chapel.  Over 17 priests from the diocese were in attendance, along with several seminarians. A total of over 60 people attended the mass in the chapel that only held 50. It was a bit crowded but It was a beautiful mass.  Monday evening we got the OK to start moving, but the Sisters can't occupy yet.


The Procession at their new Monastery …










The move starts! Tim & Terry (the twins from Las Vegas) and Larry Pilon, (also from Las Vegas) and my cousin, Don Kobza gathered at 8 AM to start loading the truck. We were able to take 2 full loads (24' truck) on Tuesday.




In addition to Tim, Terry, & Larry, 7 members of the Knights of Columbus in Valparaiso also helped with the rest of the move. All through the day we were moving everything but the bare essentials for the Sisters, because we still did not have a permit to occupy. All the help had gone home and we waited and prayed for the call. Finally at 5:30 PM we got the call. I grabbed my two kids, jumped in the truck and loaded up the remaining items (nearly a full truck load). In the dark of night, with some of the Sisters in the truck, some with my wife in our car, and some with Msgr. Thorburn, we made the final trek up to the new monastery.  Finally, after all these years, the Sisters are spending their first night in their new monastery. Thanks be to God!!




THANKSGIVING DAY.  We have so much to be thankful for!!! Beautiful mass with Fr. Dunavan at 8AM. Sisters spend the day unpacking and getting organized.




Tim & Terry and some of the seminarians (these guys are a Godsend) meet at Dr. McNealy's. Sister's have a large number of boxes in storage at McNealy's Tim & Terry spend nearly the entire day loading the truck with VERY HEAVY boxes, statues, furniture etc. They then take it back to the monastery (35 miles away) and unload it for the Sisters.




More unpacking.




A much needed day of rest. We thank God for getting us this far. We are so blessed. The Sisters have a comfortable home where they have room to breathe. Their dream of a new monastery is now being realized.


I would like to send a very special thank you to Pat Gagne', Debbie Kuzina, Joyce Semenchuk, Terry & Tim ("the twins") & Larry. May God reward you for all you did to help the Sisters with this move.


Rev. Mother Teresa wanted me to pass along this message to all of you.  Mother Teresa and each of your Sisters send special loving greetings.  Now you know why they have not been writing much... But in the midst of these very busy and very, very happy days, you have been remembered more than ever in their prayers!


Bob and Sue Masek

Holy Mass of Dedication celebrated by Archbishop Montalvo (Papal Nuncio) in the temporary chapel

Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Montalvo


Procession after Mass - Beloved "Mamita" in wheelchair, the eldest Carmelite Sister


Greetings to all,


Well, since the Sisters have moved, it's been a typical December in Nebraska. Cold and snow!  When the Sisters arrived last year in October, the temperatures were unseasonably warm.   All through October, November and December of 1999, the temps were nearly identical to the Las Vegas temps.  Last winter was one of the mildest winters on record in Nebraska.  Throughout this summer it's been as dry as Las Vegas.  Since construction began on the monastery, only one day was lost due to weather. We made the comment that God must be easing the Sisters in to the Nebraska climate.  One of my neighbors then said, "As soon as that monastery is built and the Sisters are safe, I bet God will unload on us" ..........  Well, since the Sisters have moved in, temperatures have not risen above freezing for two weeks, we have had two, 8" snowfalls with 40-60 mph winds. We were snowed in yesterday and this morning.   All roads leading to the monastery were drifted shut with 5 foot to 7 foot deep drifts. Wind chills for the past week have been about 35 below zero.  It's the worst weather we've had in over 3 years.  Coincidence?   I think not!!   If the Sisters would have cramped in that farmhouse during these past two weeks, I shudder to think about what life would have been like for them.  40-60 mph wind gusts, blowing snow in to every crack and crevice.   It would have been unbearable. In the new monastery you can barely hear the wind blow. It's built like a fortress. No drafts. Safe and warm.   Thank you Lord for taking care of the Sisters like You do.


I have attached a few photos I took this morning while waiting for the snow plows to open the roads.  It doesn't look like a lot of snow because some areas have had all the snow blown off the ground and drifted elsewhere.  If there would not have been any wind, we would have had about 16" accumulated on the ground.


Construction as you can imagine has slowed considerably. Believe it or not, the bricklayers have been working during the cold spell.  They enclose the area they are working on with tarps and heat it with a propane heater. Work continues slowly on the interior of the Novitiate.  They are also working on the floor of the Refectory, Library, Kitchen and Recreation room.


Please pray for the workers and all those that have to be out in this weather. It can be very treacherous.


Let me know if any of you have any messages that need to get to Sisters before Christmas.  You can e-mail them to me and I will be happy to deliver them to Rev. Mother.


May the Peace of Christ be with you all during this Blessed Season.


Merry Christmas,

Bob & Susan

Caretaker's home on the property of the Carmelite Monastery

Carmelite Monastery (still constructing ...)  Notice the beautiful sky!

Snow, snow, snow ... worker's tools!

more snow .... Caretaker's home