Guadalupe Cedeño: She was so much fun. Her attitude and the way she took things made work a lot less burdensome. She never wanted to waste time.
I met Sr. Clare when I was 17. I went to Holy Family Educational Center in Playa Prieta, Ecuador, where the Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother teach. I was in my last year of high school and Sr. Clare was my English and Religion teacher. I also belong to the Home of the Mother Youth, and we often did activities with the Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother. I shared a lot of moments with Sr. Clare.
In general, I saw Sr. Clare quite often: at class in the morning and in the afternoons, I went to the sisters’ house to study or help them with whatever they needed. I had a very close relationship with Sr. Clare. I loved her classes. She didn’t always focus exclusively on the day’s lesson, but she taught using examples from real life, from saints or people she knew. Sometimes she talked about her own experience and the mercy God showed her. She amazed everyone, and she helped my classmates and me. She encouraged us to be better, to work not to please others but God.
When I went to help the sisters in the afternoons, I almost always worked with Sr. Clare. She was so much fun. Her attitude and the way she took things made work a lot less burdensome. She never wanted to waste time.
At that time there was no Mass in Playa Prieta, so we had to go Mass somewhere else. I went with the sisters every day. After Mass and before going back home, the other girls and I would talk with Sr. Clare and the other sisters for a while. We talked about many interesting, edifying topics.
I would describe Sr. Clare as a joyful, dedicated person who, forgetting about herself, devoted her constant attention to others. She always encouraged everyone. She trusted the youth a lot, even when they didn’t even trust in themselves, myself included. She wanted us to grow closer to God and—most importantly—be always in the state of grace. She wanted us to love the Virgin Mary, and above all, not let Her down by going after worldly things.
Sr. Clare’s joyful and attentive personality made her stand out even though she didn’t realize it. I admired her simply because her life was an example. You could see this when she was with adults, youth and kids. You could talk with Sr. Clare about anything, knowing that she wasn’t going to judge you. She gave you advice or corrected you, but it was for the good of your soul.
I saw examples of some of Sr. Clare’s virtues, especially charity, humility and patience. I remember that at the last summer camp she went to, she was one of the sisters in charge. I remember that at the end of camp she and some of the girls got sick. We were exhausted. It had been a very exhausting camp and all we wanted to do was go home. The bus soon arrived and we got on. Sr. Clare sat next to me and said she didn’t feel well and that her head hurt. A little while after telling me she didn’t feel good, the younger girls came up to her and surrounded her making a racket saying, “Sr. Clare, Sr. Clare, sing us a song! Sing with us!” I told Sr. Clare, “Sister, if you want, I’ll tell the girls that you can’t sing right now and that they have to go back to their seats.” Sr. Clare said, “No, I’ll go to the back with them.” And she got up and spent the rest of the ride home singing and talking with the girls..
I can say that during the time I shared with Sr. Clare I didn’t see a single fault in her. She always obeyed right away and did the work her superior gave her, even when she suffered from constant migraines. She never showed that had migraines! She always supported her sisters in the community in any way she could. She had many gifts, but she put them at the service of others completely.
When someone is united to God, they express it by what he or she does. Sr. Clare lived in deep union with God. She did everything for His greater glory. I remember that she sang until her voice cracked. She always said that she sang for the Lord. She encouraged you to pray and wanted all youth around her to understand that God alone is the meaning of our life and that we can’t do anything without Him. I remember in the morning before going to class, the sisters opened the tabernacle and gave us some brief ideas to think about during the prayer time in silence. When Sr. Clare talked to us, you could tell that when she talked about Our Lord, she did it with great love and she conveyed that love. She made you realize how important God is and that He’s the only One who can satisfy you. I’m not the only one who experienced this; my classmates did too.