Sr. Stacey Donovan, SHM: It really helped me to see her so transparent and happy, because she was doing the Lord’s will.
I met Sr. Clare in 2007 at a summer camp at Cherry Lake, FL. I was 19 years old. My older sister, Sr. Mary, had entered the Servant Sisters’ of the Home of the Mother novitiate in Spain, and I thought it would be good to have more interaction with the Home, since I had a sister with them. That is why I signed up for summer camp that year. I do not remember a whole lot about the camp, because I do not have a very good memory, but I do remember Sr. Clare. She was one of those people hard to forget for her joy and great sense of humor. During the camp, Sr. Clare and Sr. Grace improvised acts as if they were hosting a TV show called “Life with the Home.” It was a way to talk about important topics and make us think while making us laugh. Sr. Clare was with the little girls during the camp and always created a serene atmosphere by singing, laughing, or whatever was necessary.
The most beautiful memories I have of her are from a pilgrimage we made in 2008. We went to Canada, New York, and Philadelphia. There were three sisters and nine girls in a twelve-passenger van. We had a great time. For all of us who went, it was a time of intense graces. One of the sisters was Sr. Clare. My little sister was there, too, before her conversion and immersed in vices. She went on the pilgrimage because my siblings and I pushed her. So at the beginning she was there unwillingly. This pilgrimage was a very great grace of conversion. Sr. Clare was also the instrument the Lord used to change my sister’s heart.
Sr. Clare saw herself in several of my sister’s attitudes and knew, therefore, how to reach her. I believe the conversations in the van driving through the US where very important. When my sister listened to Sr. Clare’s conversion story, the wall that she had built began to collapse. My sister started opening her heart to God and took Sr. Clare to be her spiritual director. She still has all the letters and messages from Sr. Clare, for she received a lot of help from those conversations.
Sr. Clare was always very clear when something had to be said. She never presented truths about God in a lukewarm way. She was ardent; she was a real woman.
Sr. Clare had a gift with youth, especially the tough ones because she, too, had experienced the Lord’s mercy. I will be forever thankful to her for all the good she did for my sister and my whole family.
Sr. Clare was also a point of reference for me on that pilgrimage. At the time, I was in full combat with my vocation. I knew that I had to make the decision to go back to Spain or not, because I was experiencing the Lord’s call very strongly. During that summer, I had put everything aside, more than anything so as not to hurt my dad. The pilgrimage made me think everything all over again. I remember talking to Sr. Clare a lot throughout the pilgrimage. It really helped me to see her so transparent and happy, because she was doing the Lord’s will. I then received the grace to say yes to go back to Spain to be a Servant Sister.
During the pilgrimage we went to the Shrine of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, a Native Indian. All of a sudden, it dawned upon Sr. Clare to give each one of us an Indian name. We laughed so much! She gave a whole spiel and said that to give a name she had to receive an inspiration. When, all of a sudden, a name came to her, she became very serious—well, more than serious, clowny—and turned toward you to tell you your new name. I was Dancing Bull. It was a way to create a good atmosphere among us.