In 1945, Sister Marie Beha professed her vows as Sister of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois. After 26 years in an active order, which including teaching at the College of St. Francis and serving as Associate Executive Secretary of the Religious Formation Conference, Sister felt a deep call to the cloister and a life of prayer.
Sister Marie met the Poor Clare nuns while giving a workshop there and was immediately drawn to the order. Because of this profound call to dedicate her whole life to prayer, she entered the Poor Clare Monastery in Travelers Rest, South Carolina and made her final profession in 1973.
When asked about her life as a Poor Clare, Sister Marie says, “It is a joy living with other women called to the same dedication.” That life of prayer is central to the Poor Clares, who gather throughout the day in community to pray. Being able to participate in that life of prayer as a community is vital to the nuns.
But for Sister Marie and the other Sisters who have hearing impairments, b
eing able to hear in the chapel was difficult. “Even when we used microphones, the sound was sometimes garbled, “ notes Sister Marie, “and we had to strain to hear during the Eucharist and Liturgy of the Hours.”
In 2015, the community approached SOAR! for a grant of $7,129 so they could install a hearing loop in the chapel.
Sister Marie noted, “We are so grateful for the hearing loop! Now, we can gather peacefully in expectation of the joy of beginning our prayer.”
When asked to share “a pearl of wisdom” on prayer, Sister Marie said, “Listen to the Word of the Lord in your heart, and you will find great joy.”