Statue of St. Clare in Assisi, Italy. Photo by Marilyn Wilson

Minister General Massimo Fusarelli, OFM, has called together an International Commission for the Revision of the General Constitutions of the Order of St. Clare. Our Cincinnati Poor Clare, Sr. Vickie Griner, OSC, was appointed to serve on the Commission. She is one of 13 Poor Clares from around the world appointed to the Commission by their respective Federation presidents and language group regions.


Sr. Vickie Griner, OSC

The Commission is divided into four language groups (Italian, Spanish, French and English). Sr. Vickie represents the English-speaking region, which includes Great Britain, Ireland and the United States. There are also four friars on the Commission to assist the sisters in this process: Definitor General Fr. Cesare Vaiani, OFM; Delegate General Pro Monialibus Fr. Fabio César Gomes, OFM; canonist Fr. Aiden McGrath, OFM; and theologian Fr. Angel M. Fernandez De Pinedo Arnaiz, OFM.

“This is indeed a graced time in the history of our Order,” Sr. Vickie said. “The last time the General Constitutions were revised, input from the sisters was limited. Today, using a synodal approach, and with the advantages of technology, we [Poor Clares] are able to play an integral role in how our General Constitutions will be revised.”

The revision to the General Constitutions will incorporate Pope Francis’ 2016 Apostolic Constitution Vultum Dei Quaerere (“Seek the Face of God”), addressed to Catholic contemplative women religious, and the subsequent instructions provided in Cor Orans (“Praying Heart”), issued by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLSAL).


Minister General Massimo Fusarelli, OFM

The revision of the Constitutions is expected to be a four-year process. In describing the methodology to be used, the Minister General wrote to his Poor Clare sisters that he foresees three stages to this process that are “inspired in that proposal of contemplation of the Incarnation of the Son of God made by St. Clare to Agnes of Prague through three strong verbs: ‘look, consider, contemplate’” (cf. 4LAg 19-26).

After completing their Feb. 26 Zoom meeting, Sr. Vickie reported that the first stage of the Commission’s work, to gather information and generate an international report, is well under way.

(Sr. Vickie Griner, OSC, is a Poor Clare nun of the Franciscan Monastery of St. Clare in Cincinnati, Ohio.)