The late Seamus Heaney has given to the world a wonderful line that has been used to capture the essence of occasions of special significance. He spoke of moments when ‘hope and history rhyme’. I believe that this joyful ceremony of the First Profession of Sr. Clare O’Donovan is one such moment. It’s a ‘gathering time’ when Sr. Clare’s hopes and history merge with the noble hopes and history of the Poor Clare Sisters, and it is good for us to be here.
It all began so simply when the young Clare of Assisi made her solemn vows before St. Francis on Palm Sunday 1212, committing herself totally to a life of poverty, penance and prayer in the service of the Lord. It was no easy choice for Clare, coming as she did from a wealthy family, who wished her to take a very different path in life. But the Master’s voice proved the stronger, and, today she must be smiling down on this happy scene. She could scarcely have imagined that her humble gesture just over eight hundred years ago would find echoes one day in the town of Drumshanbo.