4 • ThE PiloT • SEPTEMBER 26, 2014By Victoria FosheyIn 1947, Boston’s Arch-bishop Richard Cushing asked the Poor Clares of Boston (Jamaica Plain) to come to the Merrimack Valley in the arch-diocese to serve the needs of the Church through their mis-sion of prayer and contempla-tion that was bequeathed to them from their foundress, St. Clare of Assisi.The Poor Clares belong to the second order of the Fran-ciscans. St. Clare was a young, noble woman born in Assisi, Italy in 1193. With a heart prepared by the Holy Spirit, she was irresistibly drawn to the love of Jesus through the preaching and example of St. Francis of Assisi. With the support of her bishop, she left everything on Palm Sunday night of 1212 to give herself totally to Christ. St. Clare and St. Francis were true friends of Christ and also to each other. They complemented and pro-vided support to each other as they strove to do God’s will. St. Francis who had a contempla-tive spirit was paradoxically called by God to rebuild His Church and bring Christ’s love to the world through active ministry. Whereas, St. Clare who had a missionary heart was lead to adore Christ and make intercession before the throne of God through a purely con-templative life. The Franciscan form of life is simple in essence, yet truly challenging for it is the call to live the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.The Poor Clares of Ando-ver have remained true to the charism of their founders by liv-ing the Gospel in simplicity and poverty. They follow the foot-steps of St. Clare by their man-ner of life which includes daily adoration of the Blessed Sacra-ment which was a hallmark of the life of St. Clare. She is most often depicted in art holding a monstrance in loving adoration. They also recite the Liturgy of the Hours, design and make vestments for clergy, and create prayer enrollment cards.When St. Clare heard that the Saracen army was to attack the city of Assisi and was about to lay siege to their monastery while en route to the city, she immediately went to the cha-pel and prayed for help for the city and the safety of the sisters. She then heard a childlike voice come from the monstrance that told her that He would always take care of her. She was then inspired to take the monstrance to the wall of the monastery. As she stood there, monstrance in hand, the Saracens were inexpli-cably stunned by the sight and fled in fear. The city and the monastery were spared from the attack and the citizens of Assisi were grateful to God and the intercession of the Poor Clares for saving the city. The life of the Poor Clare nun is just as rel-evant today as it was over 800 years ago. Its perennial value is daily witnessed by the sisters by the many requests for prayers that they receive in person or by phone or email. The sisters take these petitions very much to heart as they are daily posted on their bulletin board that is located just outside their cha-pel. During their morning and evening prayers these petitions are mentioned out loud before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. It is a joy to hear when these petitions are answered and they praise God for these blessings. However, they may never hear how these prayers are answered, but they trust God will, in His providence, provide for their needs. The Poor Clares strive to reflect the love and light of Christ in their lives. That was the vocation of St. Clare whose Poor Clares of Andover — beacons of Christ’s loveFront row: Sister Mary, and Sister Clare. Middle row: Sister Therese Marie, the Abbess, Sister Emily Marie, and Sister Mary Francis. Back row: Sister Mary Theresa, Sister Mary Christina, and Sister Cecilia.Photo courtesy/John BertorelliPaula Gaudet DHMvocations@dhmna.org413~534~4502www.dhm.orgname means light. May the Poor Clares throughout the world always be the beacons of the love of Christ.If you would wish to learn more about the life of a Poor Clare nun or visit their chapel for Mass or prayer, please see their website: www.poorclare-sandover.org. You may also contact them by mail or phone: 445 River Road, Andover, MA 01810 or call 978-683-7599.viCtoria foShey haS Been a frienD of the CoMMunity SinCe 1992 anD helPS the CoMMunity With CoM-Puter ProJeCtS. (MaryBernaDetteth-ereSe@gMail.CoM).
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