The Poor Clare Colettine Nuns in Rockford are featured in a new book called: Dedicated to God: An Oral History of Cloistered Nuns. A part of the Oxford Oral History Series, the author Abbie Reese was given permission to spend time over the course of 6 years with the nuns. She wanted to get a first hand glimpse into what goes on behind the mysterious walls.
The Poor Clares are an IRL Affiliate Community founded in 1916. According to an article about the book in a Rockford newspaper, there are 22 nuns in the monastery (ranging from age 20 to 81), 50 Poor Clare monasteries in the U.S., and 1,221 monasteries worldwide with a total of 14,000 Poor Clare nuns. Pope John Paul II said that their life “appears as the most radical way of living the Gospel on earth, a way which may be called divine.”
Mother Maria Dominica thought that this unprecedented access was “valuable because it gave flesh to the life.” She said, “We live a hidden life. We’re not used to publicity. But we’re human beings, like everyone else.”