11 August 2012 – Malasiqui, Pangasinan. Parishioners of the Parish of San Fabian, Pope and Martyr, went on a pilgrimage to the Poor Clare Monastery of Saint James the Apostle in Nancapian, Malasiqui, Pangasinan. Fr. Oliver E. Mendoza and Fr. Mario R. Morales led the pilgrimage. The Poor Clares were celebrating feast day of their foundress, St. Clare.
800th Anniversary of St. Clare’s Consecration
Eight centuries ago this year, St. Clare of Assisi consecrated herself to God before her holy mentor, St. Francis.
Clare Offreduccio grew up in Assisi, a small agricultural town in central Italy, at the beginning of the 13th century. Hers was a family of noble landowners. She was about 12 when the young man Francis Bernardone publicly renounced his father and his family wealth in the Assisi town square, choosing instead to follow Christ radically.
The decisive moment of her life came on Palm Sunday in 1212, when Clare was 18. After observing the holy day with her family, she sneaked out of her house at night and hurried to the little church of St. Mary of the Portiuncula. Several friars waited with torches and led her into the church. Inside, she presented herself formally to Francis, who cut her hair in a rite of tonsure, symbolizing her renunciation of the world and consecration to God.
Pope Benedict XVI wrote in his letter marking the Year of Clare, “The story of Clare, together with that of Francis, is an invitation to reflect on the meaning of existence and to seek in God the secret of true joy. It is a concrete proof that those who do the Lord’s will and confide in him not alone do not lose anything, but find the real treasure that is able to confer meaning on everything.”
First and Only Monastery in ALD
The Poor Clare Monastery of Saint James the Apostle located at Brgy. Nancapian, Malasiqui, Pangasinan was inaugurated on January 21, 2012.
The said monastery now serves as the house of four religious contemplative nuns who pray for the sanctification of priests and to offer their hidden sacrifices to sustain the church mission for the world.
“This monastery is the powerhouse of (our active ministry in) the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan,” Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas said referring to the Poor Clare Monastery of St. James the Apostle, the first and the only monastery in the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan.
Mass of Thanksgiving
The mass was celebrated by Fr. Oliver E Mendoza, Team Moderator, with Fr. Mario R. Morales, Team Member of the Parish of St. Fabian, Pope and Martyr.
Rev. Fr. Oliver E. Mendoza and Rev. Fr. Mario R. Morales
Photos, courtesy of Bro. Bernie Solis and Sis. Violeta Omiles.