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The Poor Clare contemplative nuns in Barhamsville, Virginia are part of the great Franciscan family. Called Poor Clares, their title bears both the name and aspiration of their thirteenth century foundress, St. Clare of Assisi, who was a radical lover of Christ and a radical spouse of His self-emptying. And her life commitment to Him, without ever turning back, made her an heiress of the well-springs of joy. Nearly eight centuries later, Clare's daughters bear her bright charism in their own hearts. In this little portion of cloister on Mount St. Francis, they receive the flame which has been passed from their foundress over times, and distances and cultures, so that their lifestyle (for all seasons and centuries) and their garb (ever in fashion) give striking witness to their inner quest for that which is eternal.



The contemplative is an incessant seeker of God. She is one whose life's journey is a long trek within to the heart where waits her God. A Christian and cloistered contemplative is one who has joyfully sacrificed everything else so that her one task may be the following of Christ. She is one whose whole life is contingent on Him, her only reference point. Her very atmosphere is His amazing and intense Love. She is a bride and beloved one of this wondrous Spouse of her soul.



Her poverty proclaims "God is enough, and everything else is not enough!" Her obedience is her liberation into the eternal. Her chastity is a flaming expanse of love destined to consume her and light the way for many. Her enclosure is a spacious silence where the will of God can sing. She has befriended solitude, waiting, listening, and a certain inevitable experience of aloneness as companions on the way into the center of her being. Following their Mother St. Clare and inspired by their Seraphic Father St. Francis, Poor Clares are deeply devoted to the Eucharistic Presence of the Lord. Daily exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament feeds their ardent desire to "seek His Face". Their spirituality focuses on the mysteries of Christ's earthly life, particularly on His birth in the utter poverty of Bethlehem and His self-emptying death on the Cross.