As Franciscans around the world know, this year marks the 800th anniversary of St. Clare of Assisi’s entrance into religious life. In 1212, Clare, a young noble woman, fled from her family’s home to St. Francis of Assisi and his brothers, who cut her hair and gave her the woolen habit of the Franciscan Order. For the rest of her life, she and her sisters, the Poor Clares, lived in Gospel poverty, prayer, and contemplation at the Church of San Damiano near Assisi.
The following ministries were among those that celebrated the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Poor Clares:
- St. Patrick – St. Anthony Parish in Hartford, Conn., marked the feast with the celebration of the Transitus through readings, song, and reflection on Aug. 10.
- St. Bonaventure parishioners in Paterson, N.J. participated in a service in the chapel at Our Lady of the Holy Angels in Little Falls, N.J., on Aug. 10. A reception followed.
- St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Midtown Manhattan celebrated a special Mass on Aug. 11.
Friars as well as communities affiliated with the Province also commemorated the feast day.
Thomas Hartle, OFM, shown in photo above, HNP spiritual assistant to the Poor Clares, commemorated the Transitus at the Monastery of the Poor Clares in Chesterfield, N.J.
“It was a weekend of gratefully celebrating God’s gift of our Holy Mother Clare to our Franciscan family,” he said. “The chapel was filled to overflowing with many OSF’s, friars, and friends of the sisters in attendance.”
Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, commemorated the feast at Mt. Alvernia in Wappingers Falls, N.Y., where Peter Alheim, OFM, of Butler, N.J., served as one of the gift bearers at the eucharistic celebraton of the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Order of St. Clare.
The Poor Clares of Langhorne, Pa., celebrated the Triduum from Aug. 8 to 10. Fr. Mario Mastrangelo, OFM, presided. On Aug. 11, they celebrated a Mass with Bishop Daniel E. Thomas, auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia.
— Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.