In 1991, the sisters accepted an invitation to live in the diocese and have committed themselves to praying for the intentions of the people.
SAGINAW — The Sisters of St. Clare have spent the past 20 years praying with and for the people of the Diocese of Saginaw. They have traveled throughout the 11-county diocese visiting churches and meeting the faithful. They have gotten to know thousands of people and have offered their prayerful support in times of both hardship and joy.
On August 11, the feast of St. Clare of Assisi, the Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw, will offer a reflection for the sisters during evening prayer at St. John Vianney Church, 6400 McCarty Rd., in Saginaw Township. All are invited to attend the evening prayer which begins at 7:00 p.m. followed by a reception.
The Sisters of St. Clare, a contemplative religious community also known as the Poor Clare Nuns, were invited to Saginaw in October 1991 by the late Most Rev. Kenneth E. Untener. Since that time, they have served the people of the diocese as Companions in Prayer, answering an average of 5,000 prayer requests each year.
“We are available to anyone seeking prayer, however they wish to contact us — through e-mails on our Prayer Request web page and through phone calls,” Sister Dianne Doughty said. “We listen to the anguish of someone in a troubled marriage, or grieving a death, or dealing with an unbreakable addiction. We share in the sorrows of the human heart — bruised, broken, crushed and betrayed — and bring the suffering ones with us to prayer.”
The Sisters of St. Clare pray together five times each day, and have dedicated themselves to praying with and for others. Upon entering their home in Saginaw Township, guests find the inscription, Pax et Bonum, which translates, “Peace and All Good.”
“When you share your struggles in prayer with another, it is no longer yours alone,” Sister Laura Hammel said.
The foundress of the Sisters of St. Clare is St. Clare of Assisi, a friend of St. Francis of Assisi. In the spirit of St. Clare, the sisters rely on alms for support. However, they also make and sell Fragrant Blessing Oil and greeting cards which offer hope and support and include a message of spiritual encouragement. Their oil and cards (including Christmas cards for which they create between four and five new designs each year) are sold through their web site http://srsclare.com/.
“We also rejoice in the joys and experiences of a person’s life — the gift of a birth, the joy of completing a project, success in accomplishing a goal, celebrating community birthdays, etc. God is here and present in all we experience,” Sister Dianne Doughty said.