Bishop waited patiently for Poor Clares to arrive in Pueblo

By Michelle Hill
Bishop Tafoya spent 14 years patiently waiting for the Capuchin Poor Clares to arrive in Pueblo. On June 14, 1987 he visited the Capuchin community in Amarillo, Texas for the first time.

His goal was to invite the Poor Clares to the Diocese of Pueblo to establish a community.

The mission of these sisters would be to support the pastoral ministry of the bishop, priests and religious of our diocese through prayer. Unfortunately, there were not enough sisters in Amarillo at that time to begin a new monastery, so his petition was referred to the Federation of Poor Clares in Mexico.

Over the course of the next three years, Mother Ines Cacho visited the Pueblo twice. She hoped to send a group of Poor Clares to Pueblo. Unfortunately, it was not possible at the time for various reasons. Bishop Tafoya would not be deterred though. He continued to talk with the Amarillo community, and prayed. Providentially, the community in Amarillo saw a significant number of vocations in a relatively short period of time, which allowed them to begin to consider Bishop Tafoya’s petition.

In 1999, six sisters were selected to pray and reflect on the petition. They willingly accepted the invitation to come to Pueblo. Their new monastery would be dedicated to him, because it was the year dedicated by the Church to Our Heavenly Father, and on February 4, 2001 the six sisters left for Pueblo. The Poor Clares have been with us since that time, living their contemplative life and supporting themselves financially by sewing and embroidering vestments, altar linens, and similar items. They belong to the Franciscan family and profess the Rule of St. Clare: living the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Poor Clares live in accordance to the spirituality and ideals that Venerable Maria Lorenzo Longo had when she founded the Capuchin Sisters in Naples, Italy in 1535.

The community of Poor Clares in Pueblo are a part of Bishop Tafoya’s living legacy. We are blessed to have them with us, praying for us. “Let the sisters to whom the Lord has given the grace of working faithfully and devoted after the Hour of Terce at work that pertains to a virtuous life and the common good. They must do this in such a way that, while they banish idleness, the enemy of the soul, they do not extinguish the Spirit of holy prayer and devotion to which all other things of our earthly existence must contribute.” (Saint Clare)