St. Clare Honored with Mass, Bread
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
August 15, 2019
ROCKFORD—As in years past, the Poor Clare Colettine nuns at Corpus Christi Monastery made baskets of small breads to be blessed by the bishop and distributed to those who attended Mass at the monastery on the feast of St. Clare, this year falling on a Sunday, Aug. 11.
The custom stems from a story about St. Clare, who blessed some bread made by her sisters and the shape of the cross miraculously appeared on each loaf.
Bishop David Malloy, who celebrated the Mass again this year, mentioned the miracle, then focused most of his homily on the history of St. Clare’s sisters through the ages. He noted that on Palm Sunday of 1212, Clare joined St. Francis in his work, “and she accepted the grace for the Church’s renewal and to participate in that renewal.” She could not, he added, imagine what would result from her faithfulness over time.
“In many ways what she did is what each one of us is called to do,” he said. “Our job is to respond faithfully, to live the life of the Church (and) to find that faith, that calling” and know that God will take care of the future.
The bishop touched on the quick and extensive growth across Europe of monasteries with that same poverty of St. Clare’s community that began even during St. Clare’s life. He recalled the influence of St. Colette in the 1700s, bringing the nuns back to “live Clare’s rule exactly.”
And he briefly detailed the growth of the Poor Clares order into other countries, sometimes in response to government restrictions, finally to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1877. 
“Thirty-nine years after that, the Poor Clares answered the request of (Rockford Diocese’s first Bishop Peter J.) Muldoon and came to Rockford,” he said.
That “chain unbroken of grace,” Bishop Malloy said, continues, reminding us “that the material goods of this world, that the values of this world ... are passing, they’re transitory ...
“It is Christ alone, it is our faith, it is our souls, it is our prayer that lasts.”