St. Clare’s Monastery ——– Photos by Pat



St. Clare greets all passersby.


Welcome to the Monastery

During  the period of what the Church calls Ordinary Time, Pat Leighton, a member of our extended worshipping family here at the Monastery was moving around in the Chapel taking photos.  We did not know to what purpose was this photographic endeavor but we appreciated his interest in the Chapel and the grounds of the Monastery.

At Christmas time we unwrapped the mystery tied to his labor: beautiful cards depicting cherished spots of prayer in and around the Monastery. We offer some of the photos here on our Blog through the graciousness of Pat and above all as a tribute to our loving God who created this beautiful house of prayer through the hearts and hands of many.




Pope Francis and President Barack Obama smile as they exchange gifts, at the Vatican Thursday, March 27, 2014. President Barack Obama called himself a "great admirer" of Pope Francis as he sat down at the Vatican Thursday with the pontiff he considers a kindred spirit on issues of economic inequality. Their historic first meeting comes as Obama's administration and the church remain deeply split on issues of abortion and contraception. (AP Photo/Gabriel Bouys, Pool)

Pope Francis and President Barack Obama smile as they exchange gifts, at the Vatican Thursday, March 27, 2014. President Barack Obama called himself a “great admirer” of Pope Francis whom he considers a kindred spirit on issues of economic inequality, immigration and so many more global concerns essential for the well being of God’s people.  Here is a salute to one of the finest American presidents ever elected by the people to serve this United States of America.  AD Multos Annos!

Looking back on these last few years of the ministry of Pope Francis to the Church and the World we give thanks for his example of universal and all inclusive ministry of mercy, kindness and largeness of spirit, never narrow minded, partial or bigoted.  May we walk with these two great men into the future in solidarity with all God’s people especially with those most in need.

Christmas, 2016

Knights of Columbus

The Knights of Columbus surprise us, bringing gifts for our Christmas celebrations. Our relationship with the Knights goes back to 1953, our beginning here in Bloomington.

Word Eternal-Christmas, 2016

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Photos of Monastery Crèches – Lynne Morin

Vinyl to digital conversion – Robb Morin

Technical Expertise – The Borchards

Creative Design – Sister Beth Lynn

The Music of Spain

Bell Ringers of the Dawn
Every Sunday morning between four and six, a
group of men – Bell Ringers of the Dawn –
circulate through the streets of the mountain
village of Arriate.

Andalusian Liturgy Part 1 & 2
In the Andalusian mountain town of Ronda, a
religious order of women lives in a convent with
the mission to tend the sick at night.  Each
morning they gather in their chapel to sing
during the Mass.  This religious order shuns
publicity of any kind.  The mother superior
permitted the taping of the music on the
condition that the sisters remain unaware.


Living the Feast

The spirit lives on in the beautiful feast of our Sister Clare.  Eighty friends were here to celebrate the Word and Sacrament with Archbishop Hebda and our Community.  The Archbishop spiced his homily with memories of Assisi leading youth groups from New Jersey, this done during his eighteen years studying and then working at the Vatican. DSCN1368 Bob Frazzetta and the Franciscan Friars at St.  Anthony’s, Butler, NJ were among the many of you who joined us through gifts of flowers and cards.

Feast of St. Clare


Come and join us for the celebration of Clare of Assisi:

The Transitus or Passing of St. Clare is at 7 PM on Wednesday, August 10, 2016.

The Eucharist is at 10 AM August 11, 2016.

Our new archbishop, Bernard Hebda, will preside at the Eucharist.  We are grateful for Bishop Hebda’s presence.  Poor Clares have a special relationship with their bishops which goes back to the early 13th century when Bishop Guido of Assisi gave his full support to Francis and Clare at the very beginning of the Franciscan movement.  God bless Bishop Guido.  You could think of him as a Medieval Bernie Sanders: open to the new and attracting the young.



Come Join Us!

Hello to all you good folks out there.  We are up again and happy to invite you to celebrate Eucharist with us on the fourth of July at 9:oo am.

What Comes with Summertime? Pilgrimage, of Course:


We are thinking Pilgrimage here  at the Monastery as two of our Sisters are preparing to head out with Friar Tom Hartle to Assisi.  There are two ways to look at Pilgrimage: one focus is on the going, and the other is on the arrival— you might call the latter a “destination” pilgrimage.

San Damiano, the proto monastery of the women’s branch of the Franciscan family, is the focus of my muse these days.

Why did Francis take Clare to San Damiano or why did Clare insist on going to San Damiano?  It was a wreck of a place( Fortini…)—and very dangerous outside the walls of Assisi. Maybe that was the point: to get out from behind the walls.  Maybe they wanted to get out of Assisi with freedom to be poor, vulnerable, available, interdependent.  If that was the case they got what they were looking for.  But…as soon as Clare died the nuns scuttled inside the walls.

I put the question to one of my favorite Franciscan specialists, Jean Francois Godet:

Regarding your question, I think you already have the right answer. Clare and her companions wanted to join the evangelical/penitential movement started by Francis. That meant leaving Assisi, its wealth, its power, its protection, its privileges, and getting close to the outcasts, the nobodies, in particular the people with leprosy. San Damiano was an ideal place: it was outside the city, close to the leper colonies, had the three ingredients of the early Franciscan settlements: a little church, a spring of water, and near a road (the Assisi-Foligno road). It was the property of the diocese. Since bishop Guido was blessing, protecting and promoting the new movement, there was no obstacle. Soon after Clare died, the sisters were moved inside the walls, not only the walls of the city, but also the walls of a monastery. That was a major change that separated them from the people, and in particular the people that Clare, like Francis, wanted to be close to and to serve. But by that time, the same thing had already happened to the brothers. I believe that the spirit and life of Clare and Francis will always survive because it is simply, but radically, living the Gospel. However, the future is in the roots. We need to go back to the sources and rebuild the Franciscan movement.

I would just add that Francis and Clare were motivated by one thing: to do mercy, facere misericordiam, because it was in that experience that they were experiencing who God is, the Father of mercies as Clare says at the beginning of her testament, quoting Paul in 2 Corinthians. The whole Franciscan adventure began with Francis’ experience with the outcasts of Assisi, the people with leprosy: feci misericordiam cum illis, I did mercy with them, writes Francis at the beginning of his testament, quoting Luke and the parable of the good Samaritan.

Sr. Anne with family over the last few years.


Celebrating the Life of Sister Anne Condon, osc


“Til the end of my days I will sing your praise…give you thanks all my days.”

Sister Anne Condon, OSC: Born, June 10, 1913; Profession of Vows, March 28,1933; Died, January 11, 2016


In the Gospel of Mark (2: 1-12) for today’s weekday Mass, the friends of the paralytic broke through the roof because of the crowds, in order to place him before Jesus for healing. Jesus saw the deep faith of the man and his friends. Addressing the paralytic, Jesus said: ” ..rise, pick up your mat, and go home. It was a holy night of vigil when Sister Anne picked up her mat to go home. She broke her bonds after a very long struggle, at 12:10 a.m. Monday. Sister Gabriel and I were privileged to vigil with her that night; so gentle, so silent, so easy was her passage that we might easily have missed that sacred moment had we not been watching her closely.

Sweet Anne a woman who would say to each of us here today, I love you so much, and I care so much for you and your families. I thank you for walking with me, for the many years we have shared, for the care you have all given me. 1will continue to be with you. I ask you to be mindful of me.

Sister Anne, a great woman of God. The words of our sister and mother, St Clare, from the 13th century, were a constant inspiration for her:

Loving one another in the charity of Christ, let the love

you have in your hearts be shown outwardly in your deeds.

Anne was not afraid of hard work; she was equally not afraid of prayer, nor of profound beauty. She would often say “If people only knew how wonderful it is to be a Poor Clare, the world would be filled with Poor Clare monasteries.

With five of us from Sauk Rapids, she initiated our presence in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul/Minneapolis, At that time our Sisters of St Joseph gave us haven at HolyAngels Academy, as a “home before our home”. In the next decade we grew very quickly. In 1960 we received an invitation from Archbishop Harold Henry to makea foundation in South Korea; as a community we said yes and opened the monastery on Cheju Island in 1972 which in turn founded a monastery on the mainland in 2001 inYangYang. And in 1991 a community of four went to Saginaw, Michigan.

Another involvement in the Clare life was that of our federation of monasteries; as you might suspect, Anne was very involved. She held in great respect an educated and cultural life, making her the logical person to be a leader of a study program for contemplative sisters at the then-College of Saint Teresa in Winona.

I could go on and on with specifics about what filled her life, her days. She was ever so generous. Here at the monastery, we have liturgical masterpieces from her loom as master weaver, an art she loved and created as long as her health would permit. Here we also have evidence of her looking ahead, thinking of future generations.

It is difficult to recount her life of virtue. She didn’t flaunt her piety, yet it ran deep as an ocean. Anne knew exactly from where came her strength. A great icon to all of us in her last months, weeks and days, was the full acceptance of her life at St Therese in New Hope as her home. Not an easy transition from life with us in our monastery, but that grace of transformation to the fact that she would not be able to return to 8650 was equally God’s triumph and Anne’s triumph. It helped us, her sisters, to a place of peace, a peace that would wrap her round in her last days and hours. She was ever a woman of strength, a strength that helped others to walk upright and stand tall in trust, humble faith and great love.And most especially in gratitude: her mantra was “Thank you.” For the slightest assistance: “Thank you.” She was especially grateful for the care she received in her frailty; for example she spoke so often of the staff at St Therese:”they work so hard,” she would say.

Feisty, tough and, oh, so tender, always quick to say, “I am sorry.” Having walked with Sr. Anne for over 65 years through storm and calm, thick and thin, I testify to the wonderful gifts engraved in her heart and spirit. She has entered the quiet, peaceful immensity of God, of Clare and Francis, of countless loved ones, of the beautiful universe, greater than we can grasp from our side.

I believe she would say to all of us: “Thank you for coming today. There is life that as yet is unlived in you; let it blossom into a future that is fired by Love. Fear no fear that enters your path, for fear is cowardly in the face of your God-given inner strength.”

Go forth, Sweet Anne. Go to the embrace of the One who created and sanctified you, the One who has nurtured you as a mother into your precious life. Go home, Anne, go home to your mountain. From that holy place, remember all of us as you cry out with all the holy ones: “KADOSH, KADOSH, KADOSH: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, LORD GOD OF HEAVEN AND ALL CREATED THINGS …

Testimony of Sister Helen Weier, OSC