My life became more radiant after Sr. Clare entered it. I met Sr. Clare being one of her students at Assumption Catholic School. Sr. Clare truly brought this amazing joy into my life even when I was just a young girl. In 2008, I received my First Reconciliation and First Communion with my 2nd grade class at Assumption. Having Sr. Clare there, it was truly a blessing. She not only prepared us to receive Jesus, but she helped us to build our faith and she brought her happiness into every class period.
On the day of my First Communion, I remember sitting with Sr. Clare, as I was always attached to her side, and she looked at me and she said, "You know, once you receive Jesus, your heart will be filled with joy and you won't be able to stop smiling". To this day, I still smile each time I receive the Eucharist as I'm reminded of her.
First Holy Communion was just one of the many moments I shared with Sr. Clare. Every day after school, while Sr. Clare was still living at Assumption, I would go upstairs to the convent and sit with her. These were truly one of the greatest memories of my childhood. Sr. Clare and I, along with a couple of my classmates, would pray the Rosary, we would talk to Mary, and she would always read a story to me about Padre Pio. I was always in the convent with Sr. Clare. After spending so much time with her, I started to attend the Sisters’ retreats and I attended every retreat I could and I even went to a few summer camps. Next thing you know, I had helped start the Rosary Club with Sr. Clare at Assumption.
One of my favorite memories is that I would always follow right behind Sr. Clare every retreat, because I never wanted to leave her side. She made me happy. Finding out she was leaving to go to Ecuador was hard for me, but I knew God was calling her to do great things there. Years later, finding out she was missing and sitting in anticipation while waiting for the news of her passing was even harder on me, but I know she's in Heaven now watching over me just like she did when I was her student. I still have many of the various crafts I made with Sr. Clare from all the afternoons I spent in the convent and I have vivid memories of her that God has blessed me with. Sr. Clare is the reason I got stronger in my faith and I continue to grow in my faith thanks to her. She brought some kind of light into my life and the happiness she left behind is something nobody could ever replace.