Hundreds celebrate as Poor Clares turn a youthful 50

GREENVILLE — The Poor Clare Sisters at the Monastery of St. Clare celebrated their 50th Jubilee on May 29. Bishop Robert Baker presided at the Eucharist service that began the day’s events. Three hundred fifty people joined the sisters for buffet brunch following the service, and toured exhibits showcasing the Monastery of St. Clare’s 50-year history.

Also on display were preliminary sketches of the new monastery the Poor Clares will build on a 15-acre rural site 15 minutes from their current location on Pleasantburg Drive. The Poor Clares plan to move into their new home during Advent of 2007.

Sister Joan Kimball, one of the pioneer sisters who came to Greenville from the Poor Clare Monastery near Boston, Mass., in 1955, reflected, “When we came here, Pleasantburg Drive was a two-lane dirt road with little traffic noise, so the fact we had open windows instead of air conditioning did not matter to us. But now, it is a seven-lane commercial thoroughfare, and the noise is not conducive to our life of contemplative prayer.”

“We are so moved by the love and blessings that these people who are here with us today provide us,” said Sister Carolyn Forgette, abbess of the monastery. “It is an honor to have 350 people care enough about us to be here. We thank you for making our life of prayer possible.”