High, all powerful, good Lord,
Yours are the praises, the glory, and the honour, and all blessing,
To You alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no human is worthy to mention Your name.
Praised be You, my Lord, with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day and through whom You give us light,
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour;
and bears a likeness to You, Most High One.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
in heaven You formed them clear and precious and beautiful.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather,
through whom You give sustenance to Your creatures.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste...
Canticle of the Creatures by St. Francis
couldn’t possibly cover here all the questions that people ask about
our life, but we have tried to respond to some of the more frequent
Isn’t it a waste of your life?
people are puzzled by the idea of young women “wasting” their lives in
a monastery when they could be doing something that might seem more
useful like voluntary work for some good cause, or raising a family.
But we are convinced that we can reach out and help many more people
and situations by our prayer, than by anything else we could do even if
the gifts or talents that God has given us might seem more suited to
other ways of life.
What does “enclosure” mean?
Clare embraced an enclosed way of life for herself and for her sisters.
In practice this means that we only very rarely leave the monastery.
Family and friends can visit and we correspond with letters. The deeper
meaning of enclosure is to create an atmosphere of prayer and silence
where we strive to be attentive to God’s presence and encounter His
love. In this way we combine solitude and togetherness in the warmth of
the Franciscan family spirit. Enclosure symbolises that sacred space in
the heart of every human being where only God can dwell.
What do you do all day?
day is centred on the Mass and Eucharistic Adoration, which is at the
heart of our vocation. The community prays the Divine Office together
seven times during the day. Again at midnight we rise to pray together
and spend time in Adoration. This prayer is our most important “work”,
around which our day revolves.
Since our form of life is, as St. Clare says, “to observe forever the
Holy Gospel,” the reading of the Bible is vital in coming into a deeper
relationship with the Lord. Devotion to Our Lady has always been part
of the Poor Clare way of life and we give expression to this when we
pray the Rosary together every day, whether in the garden or in the
A daily radio news bulletin can be listened to, which keeps us informed
on current events, so that we can keep them in our prayers. We
regularly have talks and study sessions on topics relevant to our way
of life. St. Clare saw work as a gift from God and called it a grace.
Each Sister shares in the work and upkeep of the monastery and garden,
the focus being not on achieving results or on the importance of the
work, but on the love with which it is done. We have opportunities to
enjoy our hobbies and each evening we take time to come together to
relax and enjoy each other’s company in a family spirit. For St. Clare
community life was essential for building up an atmosphere of love. We
consider it one of our greatest blessings.
How do you support yourselves?