Apostleship of Prayer Benedictine Benedictines Blessed Virgin Mary blogging Carmelites conference diaconate discernment Dominicans Easter EWTN family Fr. Hardon Franciscans LCWR Lent Little Sisters of the Poor monks new evangelization news Norbertines parents Poor Clares Pope's Intentions Pope Benedict XVI Pope Francis Pope John Paul II prayer priesthood pro-life profession of vows saints seminary St. Francis de Sales statistics USCCB Vatican Vatican II video Visitation vocation vocation director Vocations World Youth Day
Hard Labor: If you have ever secretly supposed that the contemplative life to be a leisurely round of devotional exercises, punctuated by strolls in the garden and a spot of embroidery now and again, FEAR NO MORE!….Here you will be given ample scope and freedom to pursue an ambitious career as a fully-certified, full-time lowly servant of God.
Long Hours: Imagine the joy! Each night you will leap from your sleep at the enchanting hour of 12:30 a.m.!!
No Pay: Yes, say goodbye to that jingle in your pocket for there are no salaried positions to be had in the monastery, no payroll, no wallets, not even a piggy bank.
For as there can be never be labors too hard, nor hours too long in the service and praise of God and in the life and death struggle for souls, it follow that…
THERE CAN NEVER BE TOO MANY POOR CLARES!
The Roswell Poor Clares were established in 1948 as a foundation from Chicago. Since then they have established 6 daughter-monasteries over the years including one in the Netherlands and one back in Chicago. There are currently 23 in the community.
The year 2012 marks the 800th anniversary of Saint Clare’s religious consecration and the founding of the Poor Clares. The Poor Clares of Belleville, Illinois, invite everyone to join them in their solemn novena in honor of Saint Clare, August 2 through August 10. Her feast day is Sunday, August 11th.
Pope John Paul II said that there was no concern, suffering, anguish or discouragement of others that did not find an echo in the heart of this prayerful woman.
She is the:
- Patroness of Television (declared so in 1958). When she was too sick to attend Mass, she was able to see it on a wall in her room. The origin of the word television comes from tele (far) and vision (sight). Mother Angelica, who founded EWTN, is a Poor Clare nun.
- Patroness of Seamstresses – preserved at the basilica of St. Clare in Assisi is a linen and lace alb she made for St. Francis
- Intercessor for those with eye trouble – one of the first miracles after her death was the restoration of the sight of a blind man
- Patroness of Good Weather – the traditional offering for a CLARE-sky day is one dozen eggs to the nearest Poor Clare Monastery
- Helper in Childbirth – Her mother prayed before a crucifix shortly before the birth of St. Clare. The Lord said, Fear not, for you will bring forth a light that will greatly illumine the world.
- Friend of Children in Need – People brought their children to the monastery confident that Saint Clare’s prayers would help them
The theme for this year’s novena is: Clare: Close to Us
Take a few moments to watch this beautiful YouTube video of the investiture of a Poor Clare nun from December 11, 2011. Beautiful music and beautiful written reflections are used to bring us into the experience of this very special day for Sr. Marie Elise of Jesus Crucified from the Poor Clare Monastery in Barhamsville, VA.
Mother Abbess asked her repeatedly: will you be nervous or cry and the answer was always, no! Then came the moment of the cutting of the hair, like St. Clare, and the donning of the headcover and veil. She saw herself in the heart of the Jesus with the doors to His heart closing until they were shut completely. Sr. Marie Elise heard Jesus say, “You are mine.” Then she cried. She arose from her knees a new person, devoted to Christ alone.
The Poor Clares in Barhamsville are an IRL Affiliate Community. Visit their website for more information.
Future Vocations? Really liked the picture.
Today, March 18, 2012, Poor Clares from all over the world are celebrating the 800th anniversary of the religious consecration of their Mother and Foundress, Saint Clare. On the night of Palm Sunday, 1212, Clare left her home and all of her belongings to follow Christ’s call to a life of prayer, penance and poverty.
Saint Clare was born in Assisi, Italy, in about 1194 into a family of knights and nobles. At the age of eighteen, Clare became the first female follower of Saint Francis and later the first woman in Church history to write a Rule. Because she remained for 40 years “rooted” in one place, she liked to call herself the Little Plant of St. Francis.
Today, there are over 20,000 Poor Clares and Poor Clare Colettine Nuns around the world.
The Poor Clare Nuns of Belleville, Illinois, have put together a beautiful reflection on the life of Saint Clare as expressed by our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II. We thank God for the gift of the Poor Clares; lives hidden yet shining brightly for all the world.
The Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration and the Te Deum Foundation have jointly purchased 484 acres in the Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina, which will be the future home of a new Poor Clare Monastery and a new regional seminary.
Seminarians in the diocese currently attend school in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Maryland. The proposed seminary would be the only one for the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida. Seminarians in the southeast have the unique challenge of living in the Bible Belt where the Catholic population is growing. Unlike other areas of the country where parishes are closing, new churches are being built. Paraphrasing the Te Deum website: Praise be to God for such a problem!
At the same time, the Poor Clares have been seeking a permanent home in the Charlotte area. Their special charism of spiritual motherhood, especially for priests, is a perfect complement to the proposed neighboring seminary. See the full story here.
May God bless the Bishop of the Diocese, Peter Jugis, and all the good people working in the Lord’s vineyard in Charlotte.
Praised be Jesus Christ and His Holy Mother! I’m looking forward to my second Lent in the monastery. What a wonderful surprise was in store for me before Ash Wednesday — three days of more solemn and lengthy Eucharistic Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. You remember from our brochures that we do have Exposition every day, but this was special with a capital “S.” So many hours of prayer and adoration.
You may wonder what Lent is like in an Order that already keeps a perpetual Lenten fast and abstinence even outside of the liturgical season. Believe it or not, we do make a few changes that reflect even more the austerity of this season. Beginning with Ash Wednesday, the organ is silent. The Liturgy of the Hours and Holy Mass are sung a capella except on Laetare Sunday and Solemnities. You remember that there is no correspondence or visiting until Easter. The community prays an offering of the Precious Blood together nine times a day and on Saturdays we pray the chaplet of Our Lady’s Seven Sorrows, just to mention a couple of Lenten practices. Meals are simple without many condiments but, I assure you, healthy and quite sufficient. Oh, and so much more to tell you, but I’ll have to do that some other time!
Until next time, I am off to the Lenten desert!
Sister Mary Neophilus
On February 7th, the Conventual Franciscan novices of Mishawaka, IN, visited the Poor Clares of Kokomo for the feast of the sister’s patron St. Colette. The friars spent time with the sisters in prayer and visited at the parlor grill. The Sisters explained their life of enclosure to the friars. It was a wonderful afternoon of sharing Franciscan joy together.
The Conventual Franciscan Friars of the St. Bonaventure Province are an IRL Affiliate Community who have as their spirituality St. Francis’ simplicity, love for the Eucharist, and devotion to the Virgin Mary. They strive to further St. Maximilian Kolbe’s mission of evangelization by promoting Marian Consecration and expanding Catholic media to build up the “Culture of Life.”
The Poor Clare Colettines Nuns of Kokomo, Indiana, also an IRL Affiliate, have Saint Clare as their Mother and Foundress and Saint Colette as their second “Mother.” Saint Colette preserved for them the primitive rule of Saint Clare. The Poor Clares are called to praise and worship God, especially in His Eucharistic presence.
When a young woman knocks on the large wooden door of the Poor Clare Colettines in Rockford, Illinois to learn more about the sisters’ way of life, she is sometimes put off by what she sees. She might be used to driving a nice car, carrying a Blackberry, and enjoying the pleasure of fine food and drink.
But what she sees are barefoot nuns walking quietly who then share a meal of beans and rice. She may have experienced a world of exciting nights out, of a seemingly endless possibility of relationships. But what she finds here is the solitude of a flickering candle in a plain chapel, and the joyful laughter of friends bound by lifelong vows.
Why, then, are women today attracted to the sisters’ form of life? Maybe because they see the sisters living “according to the form of the Gospel,” as inspired by their foundress, St. Clare–a motivation that has been sending them to their doors for eight hundred years.
Are you interested in learning more about Poor Clare life? If you are seriously considering this vocation, the sisters invite you to come and see if the voice of Christ is calling you to their life. A discernment visit from two to five days may be arranged on an individual basis by contacting Mother Dominica (pictured above), at the Corpus Christi Monastery in Rockford at 815-963-7369.
For a typical day in the life of the sisters see, “All Time Is at the Service of God.” Or read about what Blessed John Paul II said about the difficulties of accepting Christ’s invitation on the Poor Clares’ youth page.
The Poor Clares of Rockford, Illinois have had a spiritual bond with the Diocese of Bismarck, North Dakota, that goes back a few years. That bond increased dramatically October 19th, when their former chaplain, Msgr. David D. Kagan, Vicar General of the Diocese of Rockford, was named the Bishop-elect of Bismarck.
Several years ago, the vocation director for Bismarck asked the sisters to pray for all of the diocese’s seminarians. The Poor Clares had been faithful to that commitment ever since, and now their chaplain in Rockford will become the new shepherd in Bismarck!
The sisters were delighted to spend an hour with Bishop-elect Kagan in their visiting parlor recently, learning all about his new diocese.
A fellow “worker” at the chancery office, Border collie Dash (whose duty it was to keep the geese off the chancery grounds), will accompany the Bishop-elect to North Dakota. “At least he will enjoy the snow,” comments Msgr. Kagan.
There is a wonderful presence of religious men and women in the Bismarck diocese. However, since the diocese does not have a cloistered contemplative community, the Poor Clares are spiritually adopting the Diocese of Bismarck along with its new bishop!
The desire of St. Clare–that her sisters support the Mystical Body–is alive and well.