Our founding sisters arrived in Boston in 1906, and lived for 28 years in an abandoned building in Chinatown. Because we are an Enclosed Order of Nuns, there was no green space where they could walk, only the rooftop, and their health suffered from the smokestacks around them. Before long, they needed a larger and more suitable place for the increasing number of other young women wanting to spend their lives in prayer for our world. For years the sisters worked hard to sell their handmade items, and together with donations from people like yourselves, purchased this land in Jamaica Plain and built our beautiful monastery. Through all those years YOU have made our Franciscan Contemplative form of life in the city of Boston possible. Our gratitude to you is boundless.
Our situation today calls us to embrace yet another step in our 116 year history in Boston. For years, our building has had big problems. For starters, the asbestos around all pipes and in the floor tiles has to be removed, new heating system installed, all electric wiring replaced, plumbing pipes replaced, roof and bricks repaired, etc., etc. Since we do not have the finances to do major repairs – we are told it would cost 10 million dollars to bring the building up to code – we need to move into a smaller and newer building that we would be able to maintain. We’ve been searching for a suitable place for 20 years.
Unexpectedly, one day, when we were discouraged about ever finding a suitable place, a friend informed us about property not far away, and within the Archdiocese of Boston. It was an answer to our years of prayer and searching. The house has enough rooms for each of us to move right into. Praise God! Depending totally upon God’s guidance and Providence, so graciously expressed in the continued friendship and kindness of our neighbors, we need to move to this smaller place. Our need to take this step is urgent.
We depend upon the sale of this property in order to purchase the new place we so badly need. Understandably, because we love our home, designed by our own sisters as a monastery, a consecrated place, we feel concern for how it would be used. Various suggestions and plans presented to us altered it to such a degree that we thought it best that the building be razed. Since then, other ideas have surfaced that offer a more acceptable plan for its future.
Besides supporting ourselves, we also provide for the foundation we made in Japan in 1960, as there are few Christians there to help them. This was the fifth foundation made by our community, and we could not have done even one of them without you. Most of all, we need to know that you understand this is a difficult decision for us. When the sisters moved here from their temporary home near St. James Church, all their friends came that long distance to visit them as they always had. It was so heartening to hear a neighbor say just recently: “I’ll follow you wherever you go!”
Please be assured of our continued prayer for the city of Boston. May God bless you! Poor Clare Nuns of Boston
Your Poor Clare Nuns of Jamaica Plain, Boston, MA.