sisters from monasteries around
the world came together at St.
the 800th anniversary of their founding.
in the U.S., Canada, Guatemala,
Ireland and several other nations met
with one another to hear speakers and
celebrate their lives as Poor Clare sis-
ters, who live a contemplative life dedi-
cated to prayer.
are enclosed, this event is
very historic," said Sr.
Suzanne Kush, C.S.S.F.,
director of the Franciscan
Center for Social Concern
at St. Bonaventure. "For
them to come and meet
with Clares from other
monasteries to be
enriched by speakers and
share their own experi-
ences of the movement
together in their life as
Clares becomes a very
celebrated by the sisters
in their individual monasteries, com-
memorates Saint Clare's departure
from her home in Assisi, Italy, in 1212
to join the Franciscan movement,
begun by Saint Francis of Assisi.
Clare and the movement grew, she and
her followers became known as the
Poor Ladies and they formed the second
order of the Franciscan movement. Saint
Clare became an important figure in the
Catholic Church at that time, petitioning
the Vatican to sanction what became
the Rule of Saint Clare -- the first
accepted rule written by a woman --
which called for absolute poverty in
dedication to Christ.
arship, St. Bonaventure houses the
Franciscan Institute, which stands as
the pre-eminent center in North
America of teaching, research and pub-
lication on the history, spirituality and
intellectual life of the Franciscan move-
ment. The Franciscan Institute has had
the privilege of hosting many educa-
tional seminars for the Poor Clare nuns
thanks to a generous endowment cre-
ated by a former Poor Clares
monastery in Chicago.
tion of their founding were friar repre-
sentatives from Holy Name,
Immaculate Conception and St. John
the Baptist provinces. Also present was
a Capuchin Friar from Denver, Colo.
around the world who traveled to SBU
to mark the occasion were Sr. Maria
Chiara Stucchi, O.S.C., a member of
the Monastery of Poor Clares in
Cortona, Italy, who shared "The First
Moment of Franciscan Clare Life at San
Damiano," and Br. Bill Short, O.F.M.,
an expert on Franciscan history and
spirituality who is on the faculty at the
Berkeley, Calif., and gave the address
"The First Moment from the Friars'
Warner, O.F.M., from Santa Clara
University spoke on "Catching Light
and Going Forward Securely, Joyfully
and Swiftly" and "Creation,
Cosmology, Creation: Reweaving a
Franciscan Spirituality of the Earth,"
respectively, and SBU's own Br. F.
O.F.M., vice president for
the Franciscan Mission
and director of the
spoke on "Set As an
Example and Mirror for
Others: Reflections on
the Gift of Our `Sisters'
in the 21st Century."
tribute to the Poor
Clares came in the form
poetry and music writ-
ten specifically for the
anniversary by Fr. Murray
Bodo, O.F.M., and Sr.
Alice Ann O'Neill, S.C.
nied by Sr. Alice Ann's scores on the
a historic tribute to one of its patron
saints, and the Poor Clares' presence
deepened St. Bonaventure's connec-
tions to the universal Franciscan family
in all of its branches.
around the world to commemorate 800-year history
800th anniversary of their order's founding, they were joined by their broth-
er friars for the celebration. The Poor Clares' celebration carried the theme
"Growing Together in the Unity of Mutual Love."