As Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration we live a life of prayer and work which revolves around Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. It is His Presence that has brought us together in community. Just as the Eucharist is the heart of the Church, so too He is the heart of our vocation as PCPAs. In the final years of his pontificate John Paul II wrote much about "contemplating the face of Christ with Mary." With Mary, the perfect disciple and preeminent adorer, we gaze in loving adoration upon the face of Jesus, veiled beneath the appearance of Bread.
Our Order, the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, was founded in France the very day that Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854. Our contemplative Eucharistic life in a spirit of thanksgiving is our particular way of carrying out the Church’s vocation of praise, thanksgiving and love. Our vocation of perpetual adoration gives witness to the primacy of God.
Mother Marie Claire Bouillevaux, our Foundress, under the guidance of a Franciscan priest, Father Bonaventure, desired to begin an order which unites the Franciscan form of living the Gospel with a special devotion to Eucharistic adoration in a spirit of thanksgiving. Mother Marie Claire was inspired by the account of the ten lepers in Luke’s Gospel, which concludes with the words of Our Lord, “Were not ten made clean? Where are the other nine?” Mother Marie Claire wrote, “Is it not right then that His Eucharistic love should be glorified by unremitting thanksgiving?” Thus, the motto, “Adoremus in Aeternum Sanctissimum Sacramentum” (Let us adore for all eternity the Most Blessed Sacrament) has been a part of our tradition since the beginning of our Order.
From its beginnings in Paris, our order spread to Poland, Austria, America, Bangladesh, India and Japan. The first American foundation was established in Cleveland, Ohio in 1921 by Mother Agnes from Austria. This monastery became one of the first cloistered communities in the United States to receive the privilege of solemn vows. From the Cleveland monastery have sprung many other foundations, most importantly for us the monastery founded by Mother Mary Angelica in Alabama.
In September of 2007, with a monastery overflowing with vocations and an invitation from Archbishop Jose Gomez, we began to pursue the possibility of establishing a new foundation in San Antonio. St. Anthony was a great friend to us during our months of prayerful discernment. Our now perpetual novena in his honor was answered with many confirmations that God was indeed opening the doors for us to begin a monastery in Texas. On February 19, 2008, we received from the Vatican the final permission needed to embark on this new chapter of our lives. Leaving our beloved Mother Angelica, our vicar, Sr. Mary Catherine, and all our sisters in Hanceville was difficult, but we are heartened by the knowledge that this sacrifice will bear much fruit for the Church and the world. Our departure and the establishment of a new monastery will make it possible for many more women to dedicate their lives to God in our order.