The Horarium

12:30 a.m.     Rise for Matins (1 hour)

5:00 a.m.       Rise

5:15 a.m.      Lauds, coffee, order cell

6:25 a.m.      Bell for meditation

7:00 a.m.      Holy Mass, thanksgiving, Terce, work blessing

10:45 a.m.    Spiritual reading, Sext, examen, dinner

1:10 p.m.      Bell for None

4:05 p.m.      Rosary, Vespers, collation

6:00 p.m.      Free time

6:25 p.m.      Recreation

7:30 p.m.      Compline

8:45 p.m.      Retire


Who are they?

Founded in 1212 by St. Francis and St. Clare as the Second Order of St. Francis, Poor Clare Nuns are called to a life totally dedicated to God. They live within the cloister observing strict papal enclosure. They are totally dependent on God’s Providence through benefactors He sends them.


What do they do?
They pray.

Shortly after midnight, they rise to praise God in the Divine Office and six more times during the course of the day. After Mass at dawn, they come to chapel for silent adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.


They Labor/Fast
Their life of prayer is interspersed with periods of work during which they take care of their household. Silence is ever present and the work becomes an extension of prayer. The nuns follow the Lenten fast.

Whom do they serve?

Their apostolate serves everyone. The power of prayer is tremendous and is not limited by boundaries. Having cloistered contemplative Nuns in a diocese is like having a spiritual reservoir to bring refreshment in all need.


The life of a Poor Clare revolves around the liturgy. With Holy Mass as the center of each day and the Divine Office calling her back to choir seven times daily, the liturgy of the Church permeates every aspect of her life.

The work which re-creates a nun for more prayer is also the complement of prayer which ennobles and gives significance to her work. Whether she bakes bread or writes books, sweeps the cloisters or paints in watercolors, patches habits or plays the organ, the Poor Clare strives to remain united to God. 


All or any of these works have meaning only insofar as they are the functions of her obedience, the sacrifice of her hands or mind, the overflow of her prayer. “The prayer of an obedient person,” said Saint Colette of Corbie, “is worth more than one hundred thousand prayers of a disobedient one.” It is thus that a basketful of weeds pulled up from the cloister garden may shine as gold and curl as incense in the sight of the Lord.


The idea of work being “a grace” was a novel one in Saint Clare’s thirteenth century. It is more novel in our century.







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