Poor Clares Celebrate St. Clare
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
August 19, 2021
ROCKFORD—The Poor Clare Colettines welcomed a good-sized crowd this year for the feast of their founder, St. Clare, Aug. 11.
The annual Mass, held in the Corpus Christi Monastery chapel, was celebrated by Bishop David Malloy with assistance from Father Nicholas Federspiel who is chaplain for the Poor Clares, Father Jack Reichardt who redesigned the Poor Clares’ website, and seminarians Ian Ordonez and Connor Orabutt.
Like last year, the coronavirus impacted the celebration, causing a prominent lack of both “St. Clare Bread” and parlor visits with the nuns. Social distancing was seen, especially in the back half of the chapel. 
Additionally, the 2021 Mass was a bit of a cliffhanger for the nuns like 2020 had been: the overnight storms left them wondering if there would be electricity for lights and fans on the hot day.
But all was well that morning, and the fans and open windows made everything comfortable throughout.
St. Clare was a contemporary of St. Francis of Assisi, and Bishop Malloy briefly gave an overview of her life and progression in holiness. He noted that this year’s feast day was on the 768th anniversary of her death, and that “we celebrate her death” and “recognize she is still active,” including in her cloistered, prayerful daughters in Rockford.
“Grace passes through (the saints) to us and the world,” he said, speculating that Clare likely didn’t expect her memory to be recalled close to 800 years later as she lived her life of chastity and poverty.
“Each of those years,” Bishop Malloy said, have been settings for “moments of grace ... grace for us as much as grace for (her) sisters themselves.” 
The women who followed Clare into a new way of life in her Assisi monastery were witnesses to Clare’s “life of prayer that moved and motivated and even astonished the sisters, (and they could) see the exceptional gift of prayer given to St. Clare,” he said.
Although the Poor Clares’ call is not the same call to all of us, he noted, that call is a “reminder to us to ask ourselves” about our own call to renounce the world in “times and moments (with) spiritual self-discipline.”
St. Clare was, Bishop Malloy said, “a life illuminated,” and he thanked the Poor Clares of the Rockford Diocese “for being ‘Clare’ to us in our time and our place.”
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