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

Sister Betty Bradley returns to direct Clare Center

by Bonita Lawhead, Inland Register staff

(From the Dec. 5, 2002 edition of the Inland Register)

Sister Betty Bradley is the new director of Clare Center in Spokane, a ministry of the Franciscan Sisters of Philadelphia. (IR photo from Clare Center)

For the second time, Franciscan Sister Betty Bradley is at the helm of Clare Center, a retreat ministry of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Spokane. She served as interim director at the Center for a couple of terms five years ago.

Sister Betty, a noted watercolorist, has been the artist in residence at Clare Center the past year, giving lessons and workshops. But the Sisters recently went through a period of discernment regarding their mission and Sister Betty knew the call to be director “was one I needed to respond to.” For the time being, she will lay aside her painting, but eventually, she said, she hopes to get back to it. Her goal is to be director three-fourths of the time and artist one-fourth of the time.

Her ministry has been as varied as her watercolors. In the nearly 30 years she has been a Sister, she has served as a teacher, a religious education director, an RCIA director and a pastoral associate.

She was born and raised in Spokane, and her work has taken her to five states: Oregon, Montana, Wisconsin, Iowa and Washington.

Clare Center’s mission is clear and direct, as stated on its promotional materials: to provide a time away, in an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity, to listen and reflect on one’s spiritual journey.

While that mission will not change, some physical changes to Clare Center are getting underway.

Mary of the Angels Convent will be remodeled into rooms for guests. Some facelift work will be done to the two small houses at Clare Center. The function of some rooms in the main center, originally a barn, are being changed. For example: the gift shop on the main floor will be moved, and Sister Betty’s workshop on the second floor may have a different purpose.

The Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration have served the people in the Spokane area since 1915. Sister Betty is part of that long line of service. She entered Religious life in 1960 and took final vows in 1965. Under her capable artist hands, the mission of the Center will continue.

Sister Betty has hired Sandra McKee as associate director. McKee has years of experience in marketing, rehabilitation counseling, and pastoral ministry, with an emphasis on spiritual direction. She is an affiliate of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.

The Center, which sits on 132 acres in southwest Spokane, began modestly in “the brown house” in 1993. The barn on the property was remodeled into the main Center, which includes a large kitchen, guest rooms, and offices. There are nature trails and a creek. Sister Betty said there is also an abundance of wildlife – turkeys, quail and deer among the creatures to be found.

In 2003 the Center will note 10 years of service to the Spokane area, an anniversary that coincides with the 800th anniversary of the birth of Clare of Assisi. The Center offers retreats, workshops, seminars and a place of solitude for people wanting time for reflection. The Center also is available for other functions, such as reunions and other events.

For information about Clare Center, call (509) 448-4887.

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