From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Poor Clare nuns have lived monastic call in North Spokane since 1914

by Sister Patricia Proctor OSC, for the Inland Register

(From the April 11, 2002 edition of the Inland Register)

Many of our Spokane residents do not realize that there is a monastic community in their city.

The Monastery of St. Clare was founded by five Sisters from the Poor Clare Omaha Monastery in 1914. They and their successors have not built schools, hospitals or homes for the poor, but their quiet lives of prayer and faithfulness have carved a solid niche in the Catholic history of the Northwest.

Of course, all Christians are called to prayer – to open their hearts to God, and to receive with open hands and willing heart his guidance and direction for their lives. But while all are called to pray, not all are called to lead a “life of prayer. This is the vocation of those who enter Religious life to become monks and nuns. Or, in the words of the late Jesuit Father Tony Lehmann, “To leave good things for better things.”

A life of prayer is the sustaining life flow of every Christian. It is the heartbeat that sustains under every circumstance of joy and sorrow.

Those who are called to lead “lives of prayer” are not made of different marrow and bone than any other Christian. But they are called to give of themselves in a way that the world cannot measure. The gift of one’s heart and life, total and complete, cannot be weighed on a scale in the supermarket of life, but its value is surely weighty and worthy in the eyes of God.

Monks and nuns are not “better” Christians. They do not have more value in the eyes of God than a mother or a father or even a bishop or a pope. But they have a calling. Just as God calls some to preach, some to heal, some to teach, so too does he call some to “come away and pray awhile.”

Why? Because the world is in need of prayer. Prayer is the open and solid connection between heaven and Earth. It is the channel through which graces flow. The unseen “virtual oil line” that provides the spiritual energy for our lives to continue and to continue to make sense. In a world seemingly gone mad with the threat of terrorists, wars and rumors of war, prayer is the unseen peace thread that binds and unites.

On April 20 the Poor Clare Sisters in Spokane are inviting young women between the ages of 18 and 30 to “Come and See” how this life of prayer is lived in their community. Beginning at 1 p.m the Sisters will share their stories, give a small tour of the monastery, an explanation on how the Divine Office is prayed, share a few treats and end with Evening Prayer and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

This is not a time to be thought of as heavy recruitment or, as an old enlistment poster would proclaim with pointing finger, “We Want You!” Rather, the event is a friendly and relaxed time for the Sisters to present their life to the few who may be feeling God’s call to contemplative life.

Those who would like to “come and see” can call for further directions and information at (509) 327-4479, or write to: Poor Clare Sisters, 4419 N. Hawthorne St., Spokane, WA 99205.

The Sisters may also be visited on their web site.

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