We are a community of contemplative religious women, Poor Clare Nuns, also known as Sisters of St. Clare. Our foundress is St. Clare of Assisi, a friend of St. Francis of Assisi. We began our contemplative community in the Diocese of Saginaw, Michigan, in October 1991 at the invitation of the late Bishop Ken Untener of the Diocese of Saginaw. We are one of the foundations from our home community in Bloomington, Minnesota. In the spirit of St. Clare, we focus on God, and on the people and their intentions in this diocese. We have found a home here. We live on Shattuck Road in the Saginaw Township, not far from the Diocesan Center. An inscription, “Pax et Bonum” (“Peace and All Good”) is inscribed beside our entrance. We invite guests to our chapel to rest with God.
What is contemplative life?
The contemplative life is a unique expression of Christian life. Like all Christians, we try to live out the gospel of Jesus Christ. However, as contemplative sisters, we have chosen to set aside family, career, travel, and desire for security in exchange for a solitary life within a community. Logic cannot explain our desire to spend the day in prayer and constant search for God’s presence. Our way of life can only be explained as a “call” or “vocation” from God.
Our Contemplative life focuses on three things:
1. Prayer. Five times a day, we gather as a community to pray. In the morning, we pray the Liturgy of the Hours (psalms of praise and thanksgiving), followed by Eucharist. After our daily chores, we return to prayer at midday. In the evening, we again gather to pray the psalms. Finally, before we retire for the night, we end our day with Centering Prayer.
2. Community. Community life for a Poor Clare means sisterhood. We strive to create a home where charity can flourish by living with each other. Each sister chooses to be a team player, placing the needs of others before her own. We are called to move away gradually from self-absorption and to learn to love the common good of all. Within community, individual needs and wants are discussed in light of the common good of the community expressed in its traditions and communal decisions.
3. Service. We are available to anyone seeking prayer – through emails on our Prayer Request web page and through phone calls. We listen to the anguish of someone in a troubled marriage, or grieving a death, or dealing with an unbreakable addiction. We share in the sorrows of the human heart – bruised, broken, crushed and betrayed – and bring the suffering ones with us to prayer. When you share your struggles in prayer with another, it is no longer yours alone. We also rejoice in the joys and experiences of a person’s life — the gift of a birth, the joy of completing a project, success in accomplishing a goal, celebrating community birthdays, etc. God is here and present in all we experience.
How do we support ourselves?
Alms are our major means of support. However, we supplement our alms with additional projects which are also of spiritual benefit to others. We have created Fragrant Blessing Oil to help Christians pray with others. People use the oil to bless and soothe someone in need. We also design cards for special occasions, those times when you want to give spiritual encouragement. Sympathy cards affirm our faith in life eternal. Christmas cards share the joy of the season.
We welcome all who wish to pray with us. In the words of St. Paul, “We never cease giving thanks for you, remembering you in our prayers” (Eph 1:16). We would be honored to have you come and share Centering Prayer with us at 7:00 p.m. the fourth Monday of every month.
Click on the arrow below for our vocation stories. Or view on YouTube…here
(view enlarged video here).