Regional Day in Newry


Our Regional Day began at 10am after Mass and a cup of tea in the dining room where everyone participated in a warm meet and greet.  Sr Zita welcomed everyone into St Clare’s Convent Chapel, Ashgrove and placed us all in the inspiring and competent hands of Sr Briege O’Hare, from Faughart, who spoke to us about THE RADIANT CLARE and LADY POVERTY.

She exposed us to the two prophecies about St Clare which brought us on a journey of understanding, interest and enlightenment, peppered with light-hearted humour and much joy.  After a short break Sr Zita and her team gave a variety of inputs relating to the work that the sisters carried out in their communities on the five parts of our chapter mandate. After the input each sister was given a recyclable bag containing symbols and thoughts around our mandate.  The sisters then had a wonderful lunch break and another opportunity to chat and socialise.  At 2pm everyone gathered in the Chapel for Sr Briege’s second contribution on Lady Poverty. Both her talks were accompanied with PowerPoint in picture and word. After her talk she was open to questions and interesting comment.  Sr Briege expressed her sincerest gratitude about being asked to speak to the sisters.

Sr Zita brought proceedings to a conclusion by giving each community a copy of their work collated concisely in a beautiful booklet.  This was accompanied by a special prayer candle which will be used in each community as a reminder that our mandate is a work in progress for the rest of our lives.   A vote of thanks was given by Sr Concepta followed by concluding remarks by Sr Zita. A heartfelt thanks was given to Sister Tarcisius, her community and kitchen staff for providing such generous hospitality.  The afternoon ended with prolonged applause by all the sisters.  Everyone met in the dining room for more tea and goodies to round off such a wonderful day which ended around 3.30pm.


Loving and Provident God, who has called each one of us to the Gospel way of life as shown us by our founders, St Francis and St Clare, today, we gather together to rededicate ourselves to our vocation as Sisters of St Clare.  We come to offer you, Father of Mercies, all of our committed effort as a Region in the work of renewal over these past three years in exploring and living out our Chapter Mandate.

We bring to your altar the San Damiano Crucifix as a symbol of our work on strengthening integral transformation. This Crucifix, so dear to the Franciscan Family, depicts the Crucified, Risen Lord in one image – Jesus, who was transformed through suffering. We pondered on this first point of our Chapter mandate through the medium of film, personal reflection and trustful sharing in community. In this way we opened our minds and hearts to the mystery of your Death and Resurrection at work within each one of us. Take our efforts, Lord, and continue this work of transformation within our souls that our lives may give you glory.

We now bring to the altar an icon of the Myrrh Bearers – the women of the Gospel who followed Jesus and came to the tomb to anoint his body. We bring this as a symbol of our work on the second point of our Chapter mandate to cultivate authentic relationships with our sisters in community. We recognize that, like these women, our life in common is only possible because of our relationship with Jesus. Like them, we anoint one another in our daily lives together by our listening, caring, forgiveness, tolerance, laughter and simplicity. Accept all of our efforts, Lord, and bless all of our communities – may we continue to grow in love and sincerity together.

We bring to the altar the Gospel which is our Form of Life and a globe to symbolize the witness of Gospel Challenge within and to the Church as well as compassionate solidarity in our world. This Gospel is our daily nourishment calling us to witness to it’s challenge within and to the Church but always with the compassionate heart of Christ. By pondering on the words and deeds of Jesus in the Gospel and on the witness of many women in scripture who strived to answer God’s call in the particular circumstances of their own lives, we were challenged through reading material and film, to be more effective witnesses to the spirit of the Gospel within and to the Church and to carry the needs of our world in our hearts with deep compassion. We are grateful for the inspiration we received from the talks given by Sr Brenda Dolphin, Rev. Ruth Paterson and Sr Briege today. We pray that we will never be complacent but continue to be challenged anew by the Gospel and bear witness by our lives to the God who is love.

We bring to the altar a plant to symbolize our work on the last part of our Chapter Mandate to promote environmental stewardship in the care of our Mother Earth. By reading and discussing together the material provided by the Regional Team, we reinvigorated our commitment to care for our planet by doing what we can personally and in community. We raised our awareness on issues of consumerism, carbon footprint, greenhouse gasses and committed ourselves to recycle, reuse and reduce. We pray for our wounded planet and for the people in the developing world already affected by climate change. May governments at international level and each of us individually do what we can to live in harmony with Mother Earth so that future generations can enjoy with work of your hands.

Prayers of the Faithful:


1.         Heavenly Father we thank you for the gift of your Son who showed us the “Way” and for all your gifts so freely bestowed on us.  Response

2.         We thank you for humanity in all its diversity, for the e unique individuality of every person. Response.

3.         We thank you for the task of our Chapter Mandate which  demanded our best efforts, commitment and dialogue and a means of showing respect and dignity to all.  Response

4.         We thank you for leading us to the accomplishments of the Mandate which satisfy and delight us and for making us beacons of light in our world.

5.         Thank you for giving us special gifts and responsibilities, for enabling us to make choices and presenting us with opportunities to promote justice and peace. Response

6.         We thank you for the Sisters of our Congregation past and present, for those who care for our welfare and the success of new missions. Response

7    We thank and praise you Lord for the gift of creation, for the wonders and beauty of our world, the immense value of the earth’s resources which enrich our lives and for our share in       continuing the work of creation and the protection of Mother Earth. Response