Poor Clares elect Sister Nancy Shively as new abbess

Sister Nancy Shively was elected Jan. 22 to a three-year term as abbess of the Poor Clares in Travelers Rest. (Provided)

TRAVELERS REST—The Sisters of the Poor Clares in Travelers Rest have a new leader. 

During elections held in the chapel at The Monastery of St. Clare on Jan. 22, the sisters elected Sister Nancy Shively to a three-year term as their new abbess. 

Sister Nancy has been a Poor Clare since 1994. She originally was a Franciscan sister for 28 years, but discovered the Poor Clares when she visited the monastery for a retreat in 1993, and transferred to the contemplative order shortly afterward. 

She will serve as leader for the community and guide the South Carolina sisters as they make decisions that affect the community as a whole. She succeeds Sister Carolyn Forgette. 

Also elected to three-year terms at the monastery are Sister Rucia Rauton, who became vicaress, and three sisters elected to serve as councilors: Sister Annemarie Dudek, Sister Bernadette Marie Coppola, and Sister Kathy DeLancey. 

Currently, 13 professed sisters live a contemplative life at the monastery, which they moved into in 2008. Their day is focused on the liturgy of the hours and praying for the worldwide church, its leaders, and an ever-changing list of intentions that people email through the sisters’ website. 

An ecumenical retreat house on their property, called La Foresta, helps support the sisters, but their primary source of income is making and providing altar breads for Catholic churches. 

To learn more about the Order of St. Clare, known as Poor Clares, visit www.poorclaresc.com. 

The new leadership team is pictured here with Franciscan Father Tom Hartle, who was present for the election.