Our POOR CLARE WAY OF LIFE is one of Simple Joys
…lived in community, and geared towards contemplative prayer.
We look to our FOUNDRESS ST.CLARE of ASSISI, who as a beautiful 18 year old girl, and the daughter of a rich, noble of Assisi, left her family home in secret to join St. Francis and follow Christ under his inspiration. Clare dedicated herself to a life of poverty of spirit, finding her Lord in the simplicity of the joys and sorrows of ordinary human living. She saw everyone and everything as coming from God and therefore connected. We who follow her continue to be touched and transformed by this encounter, experiencing the ‘sacred’ in the ‘here and now’, in the ordinary experiences right before us, and in the concrete situations of life with our sisters and with the people we meet.
Our Vocation is a Free Gift , like a ‘reservoir of life’ that never ceases to renew us in the depths of our being. In daily listening to Him, we let Christ make us His own, and this guides the rhythm of our days.
We are called ‘Poor Clares’ because Clare put special emphasis on poverty, even going so far as to call it a ‘privilege’, desiring to be totally dependent on God for everything.
We live on alms, which means that the Lord inspires people who believe in the value of our prayer, to support us in our material needs. This is what St. Clare means by depending entirely on ‘Divine Providence’. This emphasises two particular traits for us ; Gratitude & Joy
Gratitude……..that everything is a gift
Joy………………in our God who cares for us so abundantly.
Our Poor Clare way of life is lived in community. It is here we are called to support each other in our ‘joyful yes’ to the Gospel.
We are a family of eleven sisters. We say ‘family’ deliberately, because this is what we strive to be. We come from all corners of Ireland and beyond, varying in physical characteristics, talents, and temperaments. Given that all of us come from different walks of life it is a grace that we all have a common purpose….a response to a vocation to Poor Clare Life.
We have chosen a way of life which we know to be very rewarding for us, for the Church and for the world. We know the indescribable joy that comes from knowing, loving and trying to serve God to the best of our ability and being blessed with like-minded companions on the journey. We have countless reasons for having deep joy and each of us is ever-grateful to God for exposing us to it. Sharing prayer and faith, food and friendship and the many ups and downs of life help to unite us more each day and enables us to live a simple, happy life without over-emphasis on material things.
Pope Francis reminds us that the beauty of our way of life is Joy. JOY. He also tells us that there is no holiness in sadness, using the words of St. Paul “ We are not to grieve like those who have no hope”. He put JOY right up there beside LOVE as one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Every letter that comes to our Monastery and every doorbell that rings, is a call, in faith, for prayerful support, encouragement, sympathy and comfort, all of which echo in the heart and prayer of each sister during daily prayer and sacrifices. Our day is divided between prayer, work , spiritual reading and recreation. Balance is the key, with the emphasis on prayer and the spirit of prayer. Our manual work includes ordinary chores like cooking, cleaning, washing/ironing, sewing, gardening and caring for the sick. St. Clare saw work as ‘a grace’ . In our community any God-given gift or talent is sure to be recognised and put to good use.
With prayer at the heart of our way of life, enclosure provides the ‘space’ in which to nourish and deepen the relationship with Jesus who calls us to attend to the ‘one thing necessary’. We endeavour to be focused and grounded in the Spirit of the Lord.
Our special care and work is to pray for the Church and for all God’s people. The high point of our day is the celebraton of the Eucharist -Mass. It is our great privilege to sing/chant the praises of God in the Divine Office for which we come together at intervals throughout the day.
Eucharistic Adoration is a well loved tradition in our order., a precious legacy of St. Clare and St, Francis, our founders, who had such profound devotion to our Eucharistic Lord. We share our adoration daily with the people who come to our Monastery chapel. We are always open and receptive to welcome young women who feel called to take the courageous step to join us in continuing our tradition of prayer, praise, thakksgiving and intercession.
The time of formation to our life involves one year of postulancy, two years of novitiate, and three years of simple profession before final/solemn profession. Young people are gradually integrated into our life and work. By making vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and enclosure, we consecrate our whole life to God. Jesus is the’ light of life’. Clare’s name means ‘light’. Sharing in Clare’s vision, we who follow her, try to be beacons of ‘light’ and hope, continuing to shed its rays throughout the world, bringing its healing to all who suffer wherever they may be, without ever leaving the confines of our Monastery.