Sister Cecilia Clare grew up in a "good Catholic family." The oldest of four girls, she credits her parents with instilling the good Christian values necessary for a happy life. "We were well cared for," she says.
Her first introduction to the Sisters of Divine Providence was in fifth grade. "My family joined Christ the King parish, where the Sisters of Divine Providence taught. I was in sixth grade when I began to consider the possibility of becoming a Sister. In particular, Sr. Mary Patrick Downes and Sr. Mary Georgiana Schulte influenced my decision to join. I recall being impressed by their dedicated, caring, and friendly spirit."
Teaching was a natural fit. She says, "Over the years my happiest times were spent teaching children in the elementary grades, getting together at CDP gatherings, and spending time with family and friends."
Ministry had its sorrows, too. Early in her career, Sister Cecilia Clare sometimes had to leave a mission after just one year of service, since organists were moved about frequently. Closer to home, her mother's death was a difficult transition. "It was really hard seeing her struggle at the end and feeling completely helpless in alleviating her suffering. One thing I am grateful for is that my dad and I were at the hospital at the time she died. However, I found it very difficult not having had the opportunity to say good-bye," she remembers.
Religious life has been a blessing, all in all. She says:
God has showered me with many beautiful experiences in my life. I have felt accepted by the congregation, my family, and friends. The Sisters I have lived with in community have been a source of encouragement and affirmation. They recognized in me my intuition to be foresighted. They appreciated my thoughtfulness of others and my respect for the beauty of nature. They also enjoyed the sense of humor I inherited from my dad. I found their spirit of love and kindness to be a sign of God's Providence.
One consistent thread has run through her life and ministry—music. "The people who have been my source of confidence have also enjoyed my love for music. All aspects of music hold a special place in my heart. It gives me great joy to know that I continue to enhance the lives of others by my playing the piano, singing, teaching piano lessons to children, and above all, teaching them to enjoy it. I consider using my talent in music a special contribution to my community and my ministry," she says.
Sister Cecilia Clare is grateful for all the ways community life has enhanced her spiritual growth and psychological development. She has loved her many retreats, workshops, and educational programs..