Poor Clare Colettines of Corpus Christi Monastery
The Poor Clare Colettine Nuns of Corpus Christi Monastery follow a tradition of eight centuries of enclosed monastic life of prayer and penance according to the Primitive Rule of St. Clare of Assisi and the reform of St. Colette of Corbie. With childlike trust in the Lord’s promise to our foundress, "Ego vos semper custodiam" (“I will always protect you”), we live our Gospel poverty in radical dependence on Divine Providence. As pilgrims and strangers on earth we renounce all earthly possessions and rely entirely on God for our livelihood. Having experienced the boundless love and care of the Father of Mercies, we freely embrace this life of prayer and penance as our apostolate in the heart of the Church. By a hidden self-oblation we are the co-workers of Christ Himself and the spiritual mothers of countless souls.
In the monastery, our entire lives are centered around the Eucharist privately exposed on our cloister altar. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours are continually being offered so that the whole course of the world’s day and night may be consecrated to God. Hence, we have maintained the unbroken tradition of rising after midnight for the Office of Readings. As members of the Order of penance, we identify with the poor by our humble manual labor, and by living very frugally. A perpetual lenten fast and going barefoot are corporal penances undertaken in solidarity with those who suffer hunger and are deprived of the most basic necessities in life. The Franciscan habit of penance in the form of a cross is a constant reminder to share in the mystery of the Passion of Christ and the outward sign of our consecration.
As faithful followers of St. Francis, St. Clare and St. Colette, who promised obedience to the pope and the Roman Church, we, the Poor Clare Nuns of Corpus Christi Monastery are loyal to the Holy Father and are eager to implement instructions and guidelines issued by the Holy See. Our monastic community is composed of both cloistered nuns and extern sisters united in ideals and a simple family spirit.
Professed Members: 20
Year Founded: 1916
Archdiocese: Rockford, IL
Province/federation: Federation of Mary Immaculate
Worldwide: 40 countries
Qualifications: A wholehearted desire to follow the Poor Christ unreservedly according to the demands of the Gospel in a hidden life of prayer and penance; a teachable heart and readiness to learn; a high school diploma; normal health of mind and body and good emotional and psychological stability; a willingness to leave all to respond to God's call.
Formation: The period of formation preceding the final commitment by solemn vows is comprised of four stages: aspirancy, postulancy, noviceship, and temporary vows. During this time care is taken to form the whole person in faith and the contemplative life in the cloister according to the Poor Clare charism.
Special attention is given to foster a healthy and balanced human development and growth in holiness. Each member is assisted during initial formation to understand the tenor of our life and to assimilate it at her own pace in order to make a free, total, and radical offering of herself in solemn vows. Ongoing formation continues during the whole time of our life as we strive daily to renew our self-offering to the Lord.
Age range/limit: 18-40
Belated vocations? No.