Single women between ages of 16 and 35 who are discerning a vocation to the wholly contemplative life within the enclosure are welcome to visit our monastery to discover the tenor of life that binds us together in a family spirit. Please review our vocational qualifications here.
Corpus Christi Monastery does not have scheduled vocation retreats, but many young women who are discerning find it helpful to visit the monastery for a few days when it can work out with their schedule and ours. Arrangements are made on an individual basis by calling the monastery at:
+1 (815) 963-7343
When young women come for a visit they are invited to stay in our visitor’s quarters in the extern part of the monastery and to experience our life of prayer and humble work by following our monastic horarium as closely as possible from the outside. They will attend the Divine Office in the public chapel, have work periods and recreation with the sisters in the parlor, and may help with some yard work or on the shrine in front of the monastery. Meals will be provided. There will also be a time to discuss their personal vocation and the discernment process, as well as to learn more about the Poor Clare charism. Private prayer time will also be included in the schedule. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wisely noted: “Programs, plans and projects have their place; but the discernment of a vocation is above all the fruit of an intimate dialogue between the Lord and His disciples. Young people, if they know how to pray, can be trusted to know what to do with God’s call.”
In the book Clare of Assisi: Light from the Cloister, the author describes how the Franciscan spirit of poverty and humility captivated the young women in the twelfth century: “Then something unusual began to happen. A new spirit began taking hold of the young women of Assisi and the surrounding cities and towns. Families talked about it over supper; women gossiped about it at the cisterns and market; men discussed it at the fairs and mills; the city’s podesta and consuls were confounded. Even the priests and canons shook their heads in disbelief at what was happening. What started as a trickle soon became a great flood as more and more noblewomen left their well-to-do palaces and chose, instead, the poverty of San Damiano. The castles and fortresses of the nobility were being emptied of the most promising young women!” There were also women from every other social class of medieval society, and from all walks of life. They were all just the normal young women of their day, with the same dreams and aspirations of generous and noble-souled young women of every age. Like Clare, however, “these noble women had grown world-weary. They knew what it was like to live surrounded by those striving for ever more money, land, security and feuds… all of them longed for another way. And they found that way through the sermons of Francis and the friars. That flame within their souls was ignited as they, too, longed for a different spirit. Not the spirit of the present age, but the spirit of the Everlasting Age.” (cf. p. 128-130)
Young women of the twenty-first century are still being captivated by that same spirit. Why cannot a trickle again become a flood in our day and age?