In a article on some cloistered contemplative Poor Claire nuns participating in the enrichment program at St. Bonaventure.
…"There’s a sense of mystery about their life," noted Sister Roberta McKelvie, a Bernardine Franciscan nun who coordinates the program, which is in its sixth year. "They’re ordinary women who’ve got an extraordinary vocation."
…Some of the sisters simply enjoy being able to roam the campus grounds and to chitchat in the dining hall, without having household chores hanging over their heads.
Yet many of the nuns also indicated that they already were missing the normalcy of their cloistered communal living.
Instead of confining them, the cloister represents a kind of spiritual freedom.
More than anything, Sister Mary Francis Hone wanted to follow the example of St. Francis of Assisi.
"I felt I could do more for the world in the cloister or as a Poor Clare than I could in any other form of life," said Hone, who is from Jamaica Plain, Mass.
… Crosby came to Poor Clares by way of another group of nuns that is not cloistered, as did Sister Madge Karecki of Cincinnati.
For years, Karecki served as a missionary in South Africa, teaching at a university. She also did diocesan work in the United States.
While studying at St. Bonaventure one summer, she stumbled upon some of the writings of St. Clare and became drawn to the contemplative order.
"I just couldn’t resist anymore," she said. "It is a letting go at a different level. I always knew it was prayer that was at the heart of everything."
Sister Francis Vass, who entered a Poor Clare monastery in Delray Beach, Fla., 37 years ago, felt called soon after she was baptized a Catholic as a teenager.
"It was like God said, "You’re mine now,’ " Vass recalled. "You don’t think of what you’re giving up; you don’t think of family feelings; you just think of where you’re being drawn."