Friday, March 11th, 2011...11:51 am

The story of the Poor Clare’s

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The assistant archivist for the Sisters of St. Clare, Sister Joan, came in to our class to tell us about the Sisters of St.Clare. She told us the story of the poor Clare’s and how they were founded. It was Really interesting so we decided that maybe other people would like to know about it too, especially if you are a pupil in St.Clare’s :

In Ireland, being a catholic was a dangerous decision to make. This is why people who wanted to join Convents or monastery’s had to emigrate. Most “Nun to Be’s” went to Belgium, along these was the founder of “the poor Clare’s” as they were called, Mary-Anne Cheever’s. But Mary-Anne missed Ireland, and wanted to come home. She also felt that Irish Catholics should have the option of becoming a Nun if that was what they wanted. She decided that she would return to Ireland and set up a convent, taking with her some fellow Irish Nuns.
When they arrived in Ireland they started to board in a house and began to look for land or jobs as teachers. After about a year, Mary-Anne and her sisters were about to go back to Belgium, when a lady called to them. She was in charge of an orphanage/boarding school and wanted the sisters to take over and give a catholic education to the children. Naturally they agreed and began to work there. For years the poor Clare’s enjoyed their work at the orphanage, but it began to get over-crowded and less comfortable. One day when Mary-Anne Cheever’s and and some of the sisters were walking through Harold’s Cross they noticed a “for sale” sign on a large plot of land. The land was big enough to build a good sized convent and a nice orphanage/school. The sisters decided to buy the land where our school still stands today, but remember, Catholic orders were illegal in Ireland at the time, and so getting the convent built was not easy, and virtually impossible to build without a few untruths. One of the requirements for the new convent was that the bell had to be built in a way that it was on top of the convent, yet invisible to the world outside of the convent. It is still pretty hard to see the bell but if you stand at the right angle you can. The sisters only lied about the chapel, which they said was a ballroom. They even told the truth about their identities saying that the ballroom was being built for a lady and her sisters!

So that’s the story of how our school was built and how the order became. Thank you and bye!! 😀

You can listen to our interview with Sister Joan below. We split it up into two parts. Enjoy

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