Poor Clare Colettines in Cleveland
A few years ago, the Catholic Church was trying to choose a patron saint of the internet and St. Clare was in the running…I suppose since the Seraphic Mother is the patron Saint of television, the Church didn’t think that she’d mind looking after the internet either. Although I believe that the Church ultimately chose a different Saint, I have no doubt that St. Clare has continued to guide me even as I randomly “surf” the web. After all, I randomly “discovered” the Japanese Poor Clares mentioned on my last post while surfing the net. Similarly, I just found out that there is a large Poor Clare Colettine monastery in Cleveland, OH….and I had no idea that one even existed! Even more, it is the oldest permanent Poor Clare Colettine monastery in the United States. I’d like to share with you their wonderful, very informative website:
The Cleveland Poor Clares’ homepage can be found here. If you really want to delve into the website, reserve about a half-hour to look at it because it is very extensive, but one of the most informative Poor Clare websites I’ve come across.
One feature that I particularly like is this chart of the Poor Clare Colettine monasteries in the United States. Visitors on the Barhamsville Poor Clares blog have been asking a lot of questions about the different P.C.C. monasteries in the U.S., so perhaps this should clear up some of the confusion.
The vocation section of the Cleveland Poor Clares’ website is outstanding in terms of the information that it provides. In particular, the photo-journey of a Poor Clare’s vocation is wonderful. Check out the beautiful photos of the postulant in her wedding gown during her simple-vows: wearing of a wedding gown during simple vows is a Poor Clare Colettine tradition! The nuns are very insightful by not stopping the photo-journey at the stage of full-professed….they realize that vocation is a life-long process that continues long after solemn profession.
Another section on here that other Poor Clare websites don’t have is information about extern sisters. Extern sisters, as the Cleveland Poor Clares explain, are the sisters who are not enclosed but make it easier that the enclosed sisters can carry out their vocation of prayer. As Mother Mary Francis explains in her book “A Right to be Merry,” extern sisters are living out their Poor Clare vocation just as much as their enclosed sisters are and they are a vital part of the monastery.
Also, be sure to take a look at the pictures of the building itself. If you are lucky enough to be within driving distance of the Cleveland Poor Clare monastery, try to stop by their public chapel- it looks absolutely gorgeous!
Pax et Bonum!