I am happy to report that Cecilia has successfully navigated the intricacies of Poor Clare living for 24 hours (with a little help from her friends). She is pictured here earnestly accomplishing one of the first tasks of a new arrival: that of “marking her clothes”. Each Sister’s “mark” fulfills the eminently practical function of identifying her clothing so that she gets it returned to her after our communal wash day. “The mark” also serves to identify each Sister’s mailing pigeon hole, and where she puts her outdoor shoes (when not wearing them). It appears on the liturgical board to show which Sister has petitions at Holy Mass on what day. Aspirants get a Roman numeral as their temporary “mark”, which they will keep until the blessed day of Investiture when, along with her new name and title, a Sister receives a significantly identifying “mark”. Many Sisters have marks derived from the Passion of Christ: the cross, the crown of thorns, the spear, the hammer and the nails. As in all things, we seek to elevate and beautify the mundane with a touch of the spiritual.
Sisters embroider their marks on their clothes with blue thread, while Aspirants and Postulants do their embroidery in green. Sister Miriam Rose recently exchanged her Roman numeral III for a combination mark: a small “m” beneath a cross, signifying Our Lady at the foot of her Son's cross.
Phoenix still has a few
articles of clothing missing her green I and Sarah looks forward to exchanging
her green IV for a new blue mark. At the
rate Cecilia is going, she will probably have everything embellished with a
green II in no time!