The Family of Clare

Happy Feast of St Clare!

Most people are familiar with the Poor Clares, the contemplative Order of nuns founded by St. Francis of Assisi and St. Clare but did you know that there are four branches on the family tree? The Poor Clares, the Poor Clare Colettines, the Capuchin Poor Clares and the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration.

Perhaps the most famous Poor Clare of today is Mother Angelica, PCPA, who founded the Eternal Word Television Network. This is very appropriate for St. Clare is the patron saint of TV.

The least known of the Poor Clares, at least in this country, are the Capuchin Poor Clares. They were founded by Venerable Maria Laurentia Longo in Naples, Italy in 1538, a few decades after the founding of the Capuchin Franciscans. Both groups were founded in an attempt to return to a more primitive way of Franciscan life. The most famous Capuchins Friars  of recent vintage are Padre Pio and Sean Cardinal O’Malley of Boston.

The Capuchin Poor Clares are fairly new to the US, their first monastery being established in 1981 in Amarillo, Texas. There are now 4 additional monasteries in the US: Wilimington, DE; Alamo, TX; Denver and Pueblo, CO. If anyone is near Wilmington on August 10, please join them at 11:00 for a special Eucharistic Celebration in honor of St. Clare. You can support these wonderful sisters by buying their Clarisas butter cookies, made from scratch, in small batches, using nothing but the finest ingredients!

You know, I am sure, that the kingdom of heaven is promised and given by the Lord only to the poor: for he who loves temporal things loses the fruit of love. Such a person cannot serve God and Mammon, for either the one is loved and the other is hated, or the one is served and the other despised. St. Clare of Assisi

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