By Ilia Delio

A 6-Week Study: Beginning the week of July 8th through the week of August 12th. 

Join us as we continue our Year of the Mystics by embarking on a summer of learning about the Franciscan Tradition through Francis and Claire of Assisi. This study follows up on our study of St. Francis through Richard Rohr’s Eager to Love. 

However, this is a stand-alone book and group, and anyone is welcome to join us even if you didn’t attend the last study. 

Grow with us as we learn from Clare and one of our favorite theologians Ilia Delio. 

This shorter session designed for the summer will have lighter reading than most of our groups. We also understand that folks travel during the summer and may have to miss sessions.

About the Book

From the Introduction: Although this is a small book on the spirituality of a medieval woman from a glorious past, it is also a book about Christian life today. Clare’s decisive emphasis on the person of Jesus Christ is an emphasis on the human person as well, what we are and what we are called to be.

Clare of Assisi: A Heart Full of Love explores Clare’s deep desire to live the gospel life, more precisely, her desire for all of us to reflect on Christ and his crucifixion in order to see our own strengths and weaknesses, and most importantly, our capacity to love. Ilia Delio illustrates how Clare, through her life, her writings, letters, prayer and example, is truly a mystic who helped generations of Christians clearly see how Christ took on human flesh, not just to suffer and die for us, but to help us all in turn reflect back the face of Christ to the world.

Clare was not simply a follower of Francis, she was a formidable, resolute, devout and loving saint whose life centered on this essence of human identity—Christ is in each of us—and who sought to teach us to just be ourselves and to let God dwell within us. In Clare of Assisi: A Heart Full of Love, Ilia Delio shows us just how Clare’s simple, but powerful beliefs transformed the way we all think about Christ—even today.

About the Author

Ilia Delio, OSF, PhD, is a Franciscan Sister of Washington, DC, and an American theologian specializing in the area of science and religion, with interests in evolution, physics, and neuroscience and the import of these for theology.

Ilia currently holds the Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair in Theology at Villanova University and is the author of twenty books, including “Care for Creation” (coauthored with Keith Warner and Pamela Woods), which won two Catholic Press Book Awards in 2009: first place for social concerns and second place in spirituality. Her book “The Emergent Christ” won a third-place Catholic Press Book Award in 2011 for the area of Science and Religion. Her recent books include “The Unbearable Wholeness of Being: God, Evolution, and the Power of Love” (Orbis, 2013), which received the 2014 Silver Nautilus Book Award and a third-place Catholic Press Association Award for Faith and Science. Ilia holds two honorary doctorates, one from St. Francis University in 2015, and one from Sacred Heart University in 2020.

About Clare

Chiara Offreduccio (16 July 1194 – 11 August 1253), known as Clare of Assisi (sometimes spelled Clara, Clair or Claire; Italian: Chiara d’Assisi), was an Italian saint who was one of the first followers of Francis of Assisi.

Inspired by the teachings of St. Francis, she founded the Order of Poor Ladies, a monastic religious order for women in the Franciscan tradition. The Order of Poor Ladies was different from any other order or convent because it followed a rule of strict poverty. Clare wrote their Rule of Life, the first set of monastic guidelines known to have been written by a woman. Following her death, the order she founded was renamed in her honor as the Order of Saint Clare, commonly referred to today as the Poor Clare’s.

Her feast day is on 11 August.

Meetings Times (Central Time): 
Wednesdays at 1:30PM
Thursdays at 11:00AM
Saturdays at 9:30AM

What Happens Next

All groups are hosted on The Contemplative Cathedral, an online platform that allows for sharing, discussion, access to Zoom links, and multi-model learning and engagement. You will receive an invitation to join the group in The Cathedral at least a week before we begin.

About Contemplative Conversation Circles
In our groups, we create a safe sacred container for conversation and practice as we journey together through books on contemplation, Christianity, and spiritual growth. Through a set of shared ground rules and curiosity, we learn from each other, ourselves, and the text. Many participants stick with their groups for future studies and become ongoing groups.  
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