The Poor Clares of Jerusalem elect new abbess

Posted on Feb 29, 2016

160223 Poor Clares

( & February 23, 2016 – A new abbess was elected on Friday, February 19. In the quiet convent chapel, one sister made the last arrangements before the ceremony, which was presided over by Monsignor. Soon thereafter, you could hear the sisters approaching, as they processed over from the cloister, accompanied by the Patriarch and Br. Stéphane Milovich, OFM, the patriach’s delegate for the the community.

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal announced the results of election. The new elected sisters were Sister Mariachiara Bosco, as mother abbess; Chiara Cristiana Ianni, as vicar, and Sister Mary of Nazareth Munganyiki, the latest arrival to the community, as discreet.

After the results were announced, the Patriarch handed a sign of responsibility [to the abbess, the keys and the seal of the monastery. When asked about the significance of this election, Sister Mariachiara said: “It is not a question of democracy within the community. Saint Clare said that the abbess is the servant of all of the sisters and at the service of the unity of the community. She is a sister among her sisters but with the role of unity, guidance, but especially service.”

The convent of Saint Clare in Jerusalem was founded in 1888 by a French community of Paray-le-Monial. Since the overhaul in 2008, with the help of the patriarch and the Father Custos, this place of prayer is now linked to the Italian city of Assisi. Today, the community is composed of eleven sisters of three different nationalities (Italian, French and Rwandan).

In Jerusalem, the Poor Clare Sisters are in communion with the Mother Church of Jerusalem. They are a prayerful and peaceful presence with other contemplative communities. Located between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, it is surrounded by the mystery of the redemption. Now the vocation is rooted in this land at the service of the people who are from here and who come from beyond. The prayers are like the roots of a tree, they are hidden but the tree cannot live without its roots. The Poor Clares, just like other communities, have a place and a mission in the Church; it is hidden but it is also connected to others through prayer.