“By coming in poverty, many people welcome them,” the archbishop said. “Their strong and beautiful prayer life sustains them in living out this radical poverty.”
The sisters travel in threes to beg for their daily bread in the tradition of St. Dominic. They offer to pray with and for the people they meet and share the Gospel with them. Their motto is “Wounded, I will never cease to love.” Please look them up on your own.
My first thought was that the symbolic language here is powerful because the elements of worship and life are united and harmonious. I sensed that intuitively, even before I began to explore the details.
The buildings are located on a modest plot of land in the middle of a neighborhood where some of the houses are in terrible disrepair and I am guessing that many residents are renters.
However, there are also signs of new life. For example, one house directly across from the monastery, was newly renovated and looked strikingly attractive. This is what can happen when a committed religious community moves in. They bring stability to an area and new hope.
There might have been more icons in the processional order, but you get the idea. You are approaching the Light of Christ. Under each, you can pause to venerate or adore. Although the iconography is not original, the artworks chosen are "the best of", quality reproductions by Russian iconographer, Andre Rublev, the famous Life of St Clare icon from the Basilica di Santa Chiara in Assisi, the Vladimir icon, at Mt Sinai Pontocrator and more.
The last three photos are of the exterior, central front hallway and the sacristy which, if ordered even a foot smaller, might have qualified to be called a cupboard. Perhaps a handful of people could squeeze in together, but it most appeals as a solitary, prayerful space for preparation.
In sum, it was all wonderfully inspirational and pure. Visitors are welcome.