Tracing our Heritage: San Damiano to Kokomo
Although the Poor Clares have only been in Kokomo since 1959, our little monastery is part of a long lineage of communities, tracing back to the monastery of San Damiano. Holy Mother Clare enclosed herself within that small space in 1212, shortly after her flight from home, and remained there, together with her first followers, until her death in 1253. It is truly humbling and awe-inspiring to see ourselves linked to 800 years-worth of Poor Clare nuns, each generation passing onto the next our Gospel Form of Life within so many different communities.
Our seven founding sisters arrived in Kokomo in 1959, responding to the invitation of Most Rev. John J. Carberry, the bishop of the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana. Expressing their love for our Blessed Mother, they chose Maria Regina Mater as the title of their new home on Sycamore Street. It was to be another ten years before they would be able to build our present monastery located just outside the city limits of Kokomo. Later, in 1986, through the grace of God and the goodness of our benefactors, our permanent chapel was added, completing our monastic home.