A joyfully Franciscan view of Catholic life, inspired by St. Clare (Santa Chiara) of Assisi!

My Photo
Name:
Location: Virginia, United States

Chiara Offreduccio (St. Clare) was born in 1194. It is said that when her mother had Chiara in her womb, an angel appeared to her and said, "your child will be a light that will illuminate the world!" Hence, her mother named the child Chiara, which means "light. As G.K. Chesterton put it, St. Clare was a romantic figure just like Juliet was. However, instead of running away from her family in order to be with an earthly man, Clare gave up everything and ran away from her family for the love of her Savior!

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity


I'm helping the Poor Clares here in Virginia design a vocation retreat brochure....Since I've never done anything like that before, I needed some inspirational ideas. I got ahold of a "Vision" magazine, and was for the most part dissapointed....until I saw a rivetting advertisement that read like this:

"The world needs you. God calls you. We invite you."

I was even happier to discover that the creators of these three catchy sentences were Franciscans- the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity in Wisconsin. In researching this beautiful community further, I was throughly impressed. Not only are they wonderful at fulfilling their charism, but they are brilliant when it comes to public relations.

I've finally caught "YouTube" fever, and the Franciscan Sisters have a really nice video on that website. The jumpers that the two sisters coming down the stairs are wearing are incredibly cute!

The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity's website is one of the best ones I've seen for womens' communities. I could make a point by point list about everything I love about this website, but I suggest checking it out for yourself. Be sure to look at the "Franciscanized World" section! They have discussion boards, a blog, "images of the month," downloadable praise-and-worship songs (good ones), and even a ringtone!

You can access their website here.

From a spiritual perspective, it seems as though these sisters have managed to achieve the golden mean of being an active part of the world and managing to retain a distinct Catholic and Franciscan identity. As an illustration, the following is taken from their website:

  • Some of the ways our vows free us:
    *to let go of everything except God's word: "I have done what is mine to do. May Christ teach you what is yours."
    *to interiorize and preserve the words of Jesus, the words of God, within the heart that demand a commitment of service to others as shown in the Gospel.
    *to live in simplicity, by being counter cultural e.g. putting aside the things needed to have status, power, prestige.
    *to be happy to live among the outcast and despised, among the poor, the weak, the sick, the unwanted, the oppressed and the destitute.
    *to clothe oneself in a habit that is simple, poor and becoming, as a sign of conversion and Gospel consecration.
    *to trust God to fulfill every need.
    *to become aware of one's own weakness and to grow increasingly sensitive to others in their weakness.
    *to go wherever needed.
    *to live with whomever God calls in community; no ties of blood or choice.
    *to fill oneself with a loving tenderness for all God's creation and thankful joy.

Even though "Canticle of Chiara" has monstly highlighted the contemplative life, the call to the active religious life is equally as important! The great thing about the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity is that they allow you dedicate your life to a wide variety of ways of serving others. Not only will you be giving your life to Christ, but you'll also look incredibly cute in your brown jumper and veil!

6 Comments:

Blogger Crescentius said...

What a beautiful post and message, Thanks! Today is the Feast of St. Pio and I have been searching all morning for "inspiration" in which to dedicate this day. The pharse:

to become aware of one's own weakness and to grow increasingly sensitive to others in their weakness...

is powerful and I think sums up Pio's ministry to himself and others.

Good luck with your project.

Crescentius

8:43 AM  
Blogger Brother Lesser said...

As soon as you're done, would you like to help us put one together for the "Portiuncula?"

Or should I wait to see the end result of this one first????

2:33 PM  
Blogger Brother Lesser said...

As soon as you're done, would you like to help us put one together for the "Portiuncula?"

Or should I wait to see the end result of this one first????

2:33 PM  
Blogger Kelly Joyce Neff said...

Thank you Chiara! This is very inspiring! (and to Crescentius also): this is just what I have been contemplating of late. Thank you for the timely serendipty!

10:42 PM  
Blogger Sister Mary Ann said...

It is a humbling experience to discover a blog written about my own Community of Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. I am thrilled with your beautiful affirmation of our life Chiara!

Being a Franciscan in our world today is a great priviledge and responsibility, you capture well the challenge of finding the harmony between active and contemplative religious life. The gift of our life is, as you said, the freedom to love and serve Jesus in the world today.

One way of doing this is through our Franciscanized World Blog! This month of October we are featuring the song artist Beth Nielsen Chapman. Her song, Dona Nobis Pacem, is filled with peace and hope. I hope that you have a chance to listen to it. May it inspire your prayer with Jesus.

Thank you again Chiara for your postings and encouragement of Religious life in our Church!

12:44 PM  
Blogger Sister Mary Ann said...

It is a humbling experience to discover a blog written about my own Community of Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. I am thrilled with your beautiful affirmation of our life Chiara! Being a Franciscan in our world today is a great priviledge and responsibility, you capture well the challenge of finding the harmony between active and contemplative religious life. The gift of our life is, as you said, the freedom to love and serve Jesus in the world today.

One way of doing this is through our Franciscanized World Blog! This month of October we are featuring the song artist Beth Nielsen Chapman. Her song, Dona Nobis Pacem, is filled with peace and hope. I hope that you have a chance to listen to it. May it inspire your prayer with Jesus.

Thank you again Chiara for your postings and encouragement of Religious life in our Church!

8:21 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

<< # St. Blog's Parish ? >>