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

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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!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sisters of the Visitation in Rockville, VA

About a year and a half ago, I had moved to an area of Virginia not too far from a Sisters of the Visitation monastery. When I told one of the Poor Clare sisters that I planned to visit the Visitation Sisters (no pun intended), she jokingly said, “now don’t go cheatin' on us!” Perhaps God, with His sense of humor, answered her request; the following July 4th, a friend and I decided to drive to the Visitation Monastery, only to find that the public chapel was locked! All joking aside, I’ve heard that the Visitation Sisters of Monte Maria Monastery in Rockville, VA are a wonderful group of ladies; in fact, during a hurricane about five years ago, the Visitation Sisters let the Poor Clares stay with them. Also, before the sisters moved to Rockville, their monastery was located very close to where Frank Parater lived. Frank served as an altar boy for the sisters, and he was very much influenced by the order’s spirituality.

Even though I wasn’t able to explore Monte Maria last year, I was able to make a vicarious visit by reading a profile of the monastery that was just written up in the Catholic Virginian. You can read the article here. Also, I have a link to Monte Maria in the “Religious Orders” sidebar. According to the article, there are only twelve sisters at Monte Maria, but perhaps the article will inspire some vocations!


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