Friday, 03 February 2017 21:00

She Had a Gift for Lifting Our Spirits

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Sr. Kristen Gardner, USA:  Sometimes at night after dinner (when it was just us girls) she would act like she was seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary. She would look up as if she was hearing a voice, and responded: “Yes, yes. You want us to eat chocolate?"

hermanakristenSr. Kristen Gardner coincided with Sr. Clare when both were in their first stages of formation as Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother. First, as candidates, and later during part of each one’s novitiate. We publish here the second part of Sr. Kristen’s testimony with funny and often edifying stories of the first moments Sr. Clare spent in Spain.

La hermana Clare comiendo helado como candidata

Sr. Clare as a candidate

I remember several funny stories with Sr. Clare during that time. She had a very special gift for making people laugh, livening the environment and lifting our spirits. Sometimes at night after dinner (when it was just us girls) she would act like she was seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary. She would look up as if she was hearing a voice, and responded: “Yes, yes. You want us to eat chocolate? Of course. We cannot deny your wishes. Where are they? Oh, there, yes.” She would point her finger in the direction  of the cabinet where we kept the chocolate. She would stand up, with her head looking upwards the whole time, looking in the direction of that cabinet. Then the “vision” would end and she would look at the candidate in charge with a “What do we do now?” expression on her face. And the candidate in charge would laugh and allow Clare to take the chocolate and distribute it.

We would do several processions in the “casita” (the little house next to the Sisters' house in Zurita where we lived) singing songs to the Virgin Mary, going from the dining room to the second floor where a picture of the Our Lady was and back again several times. Clare used to put her jacket on her head, imitating Blessed Jacinta from Fatima and making all of us laugh.

Hermana Clare como candidata

Sr. Clare as a candidate

She had an extraordinary openness to learn more about Our Lord, the Virgin Mary and the Saints… I remember she would come to me often with “theological” doubts, and would ask me how God was three persons in one and things like that.

One time during a meeting, Father Rafael told her that she should try to enter the chapel with her head bowed, in a humble attitude. She was surprised because she did not realize that she walked into the chapel in such an “arrogant” way. Immediately, she made an effort to change the way she entered the chapel.

I also remember the phone calls from her manager, who insisted that she go back to Ireland and that she was wasting her time because she could become famous… But she always answered with a firm ‘no,’ and then would tell us about it.

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If you have any favors, memories or stories about Sr. Clare or any of the 5 postulants who died in Ecuador, please fill out this form or send us an email: sisterclare@homeofthemother.org

In addition to your stories, please indicate where you are from, which of the six Sisters you are speaking about and how you met her. We are also thankful for videos and pictures.

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