A postulant of the Bethlehem Monastery of Poor Clares in Barhamsville, VA named Kimberly did not know her religious name until she was received as a novice recently. Following an ancient tradition, the Poor Clares choose the name for new members of their community, and reveal it only at the reception ceremony.
On their new blog, Poor Clare Heart Ponderings, they tell the story and say, “We believe that God reveals this new name to Mother Abbess who does not divulge this divine secret until the very end of the ceremony of investiture.”
Taking on the Holy Habit
The Sisters say, “When a young woman takes on our Holy Habit, it signifies that she is ‘putting on Christ,’ taking up her Cross and following in His footsteps in a life of joyful penance. Yes, joyful penance! We deny ourselves, not out of hatred for our selves, but so that we can give our entire selves in love to the Divine Bridegroom who beckons us. Sin and selfishness are in the way of our union with Him, so they must go. It is that devastatingly simple.”
On Dec. 12, the beautiful feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Postulant Kimberly received her habit and was transformed into a Poor Clare novice. Her name is now Sister Marie Elise.
Visit the Poor Clares’ website, or read Sister Marie Elise’s story on their blog, Poor Clare Heart Ponderings.