Franciscan Focus

Just a simple blog of a Secular Franciscan trying to live with a Franciscan focus.
(And one of these days I'll fix the template and add a Search feature. :-P)

07 July 2006

Poor Clares in Mexico need help 

Got the following alert from my Regional Minister recently and meant to post about it. Got sidetracked an' am finally sharing it now (feeling lousy over the delay).

The details: A community of Poor Clares from Mexico has been in contact with Sr. Maria Burke, S.Sp.S., of the Archdiocese of Chicago's Pastoral Center and are seeking financial assistance to repair a collapsed wall of their convent. Sister Maria sent the following letter to my Regional Minister, who in turn shared it with many of us:

"The Poor Clares have a convent near the [Basilica] of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico. Currently there are 20-30 nuns belonging to the convent, some of whom are elderly and or sick.

"Five years ago, [a builder constructing condos next door undermined their foundation, causing a wall of the convent to separate from the rest of the building] and the back of the convent collapsed. The nuns have been totally unsuccessful in obtaining redress from the contractor and have been unable to obtain any assistance from local authorities, despite the fact that their claim to the land does not seem to be questioned. The community continues living in the front of the convent.

"The nuns have obtained assurances from a Mexican contractor (a cousin of the woman who hosts them in Chicago) that he will rebuild the destroyed portion of the convent on a pro bono basis. But their contractor cannot absorb the $70,000 cost of the materials. The Sisters have been sending four of their congregation to Chicago for the last 4 years to beg outside stores in the Little Village Mexican enclave in Chicago. In the half decade, they have raised about $30,000.

"They have been coming to me asking for help. Since they are not 'a mission,' I cannot help them directly. Nor can they beg outside of churches which would conflict with the Mission appeals. It occurred to us that maybe [members of the Secular Franciscan Order] might be able and willing to help the Poor Clares. We would dearly like to help these nuns and deeply appreciate any assistance you can give them. ... I have not told the Sisters that I have contacted you, but, should you wish, I will be glad to give you a name and number for you to contact them directly."

The Poor Clares also met with folks in the Franciscan Outreach Association (Chicago, IL); the following is from one of FO's staff members:

"I have met with the Poor Clare sisters who are here in Chicago trying to raise funds to repair the wall of their convent that is about to fall down. ... They've explained their situation to me, brought plans and photos, and a letter of recommendation from the Vicar for Religious Life of the Archdiocese of Mexico City. I hope we can help them before it falls in and causes more damage!"

Please, spread the word that our family members are in need, and if you can help, contact Sr. Maria Burke, S.Sp.S.

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Blogger Chris Dickson, F.L.A. said...

We will help getting the word out for our dear Sisters!

09 January, 2010 09:37  

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