Poor Clare Sisters in Colombia say 'Thank you' for Your Help in Building a Chapel and New Guestrooms for Visitors

Project Code: 214-06-19

The order of the Poor Clares was founded in the 13th century by Saint Clare, the spiritual companion and follower of Saint Francis of Assisi. To the dismay of her wealthy family, she chose a life of radical poverty, in imitation of Christ. Today there are religious Sisters around the world who still follow her ideal and renounce all material possessions, not merely on a personal level but also as a community. They lead a strict, hidden life of prayer and penance and devote themselves above all to the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Success Story

Father Werenfried, the founder of ACN, has left us a beautiful metaphor to describe the importance of the contemplative life. Though seemingly useless, in the eyes of many people, the life of prayer and contemplation was, he said, like "pure snow, high up in the mountains, in the sunshine of God's love – snow that melts, disappears and is seemingly useless. But see! Little streams begin to trickle down, growing broader, merging into raging torrents, becoming waterfalls which drive power stations, setting in motion machines, factories and whole industries. They conjure forth sparkling masses of water and stream onwards, transforming barren plains into fertile fields and covering a grey world with trees, plants, corn, flowers, fruits and beauty and bearing to distant lands shiploads of food and everything else necessary for a dignified human existence… This is the essence of every contemplative life, of all stillness in God's presence, all willing listening to the word of God."

Since 1573 the order of the Poor Clares has been present in Colombia, South America, where it spread rapidly. Within just a few years 40 convents had been founded there! Many of these convents no longer stand today, but new convents have continued to be established right up to the present day.

In 1997 a new convent was established in Magangue in northern Colombia. Initially, the Sisters were housed in makeshift accommodation, but in 2003 work began on the construction of a new convent. Recently the Sisters have turned to ACN for help and, thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, we were able to provide $27,500 to help in the construction of their chapel and a suite of guestrooms.

This chapel is used not only by the Sisters, who regularly celebrate the Liturgy of the Hours here, but also serves as a spiritual center for a growing number of ordinary Catholic faithful who come here to join in the Sisters' prayer and to attend Holy Mass. Visitors also come here on retreat and stay as guests in the convent, seeking to deepen their relationship with God.

Although the Sisters live a secluded, contemplative life, they also draw many other people to them. Until recently, even the priests who were conducting retreats for the Sisters were obliged to find accommodation with friends or relatives in the town, since the convent had no facilities for accommodating guests. Consequently, the guestrooms are an immense help.

The Sisters have written to say 'Thank you' and to promise their prayers for all our benefactors. Sister Ruth writes, "You can count on our prayers and on the blessing of God the Father, of Saint Francis and Saint Clare."

Aid to the Church in Need commits to invest your funds where they will have the greatest impact for the Church that we serve. Funds donated to Aid to the Church in Need’s projects will be used towards the greatest need in our programs to help keep the Faith alive.

 

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