Today the parish has been celebrating the feast of its patron, St Clare.
St Clare was born in Assisi in 1193 and chose to leave behind the great wealth of her family to live a life of poverty and total dedication to Christ, founding a community of 'Poor Ladies' who would eventually become the 'Poor Clares', an order still very active in the world today. This wonderful saint took her inspiration from St Francis of Assisi after she heard him preaching. We celebrated Mass for the feast at lunchtime, then this evening we prayed evening prayer with the 'Transitus' of St Clare. This is a service from the Franciscan tradition in which we celebrate Clare's journey (transit) from this world to the life of heaven. We heard an account of the last days of St Clare's life, and a candle representing the saint was carried from in front of the altar and placed by the tabernacle. In this way Clare's journey to heaven was symbolised, because now she is close to the Lord in eternal life. After the liturgy we had a get-together in the parish hall, and it was great to see a good number of people stay behind. It's a shame that St Clare's feast day falls in August, when so many people are away - but maybe that's a further sign of her legendary humility!