Poor Clares of Santa Barbara
Founded from Oakland, California in 1928 at the request of the Friars of the St. Barbara Province, our monastery is located near Old Mission Santa Barbara, and the Friars have been our chaplains over the years. They are a fraternal support to the community just as Saint Francis and Saint Clare desired them to be. We strive to remain faithful to the ideals of Saint Francis and Saint Clare, adapting to modern times without accommodating to the ways of the world. Our community observes the reform of Saint Colette, dating back to the 15th century. As Poor Clare Colettines, we have retained the traditional habit, night rising, perpetual fast and the observance of papal enclosure. We also continue to go barefoot as a sign of Gospel poverty and in witness to the transcendence of God:
“Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy” (Ex 3:5).
Saint Clare loved Our Lady, imitating her virtues so well that she was called “Footprint of the Mother of God”. Every daughter of hers shares this devotion to Mary, ready to say with her, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done unto me according to your word” (Lk 1:36). Thus we open ourselves to bear and bring Christ anew to the world today.
The infinite Love which we contemplate each day in prayer flows out to our sisters in community and in a mystical way to the whole world. In a family spirit, each sister is appreciated, loved, and respected as we accept our diversity and rejoice in one another’s gifts of grace and nature. Living in love as a religious family in an enclosed community, we bear witness to Christ and are a sign of hope and healing to a torn and fragmented world.