How did Clareshare happen?
Clareshare began, as most good things do, by what looked like an accident. An American physician, Dr Joseph Mercola, who had been involved in some of the research on the measurable affects of prayer, put our community’s name on his website as a resource for prayer for the sick. The first we knew about this, one unsuspecting morning, was a download of more than seven hundred prayer intentions!
Our sisters whose task it is, answered the emails as they answer the other calls for prayer made by letter, phone or received from visitors who have come in person to ask for prayers here. But we began to take life online very seriously and to see what a great gift had been given to us.
We encountered three particular people on the net around that time. They were: Granny, with new-born twins living on the edge of medical expertise, Betty, whose family included two children with Leukaemia, and David, struggling heroically with suffering and debt, who, in thanksgiving for the prayers of the sisters wanted to do something for the community.
Though we live, very simply, on what people give us, we did not think it right to accept financial support from someone who was struggling for sheer survival. Praying for children is a special tradition for the daughters of St Colette, so we asked David if he would be pleased to pray with us for the children recommended by Granny and Betty, and for another very special child called Liam, who is brain damaged, blind, paralysed and epileptic - results of injuries received in the first weeks of his existence with his natural parents, from whose care he was removed.
We have never met dear Granny, who lives on another continent, but she felt we ought to have help with all this praying! So she put up a notice on her parish bulletin board and we, here in Wales, picked 40 names at random off our address book (which by this time included the 700 mentioned above) and asked them if they would like to share in our life of prayer. Most of these people we did not know. Only one of them positively did not want to pray for anything, and such was our limited skill with the internet in those early days, we could not for the life of us get this good lady off the list!
However, our communications skills improved and another Clareshare foundress, Maryanne, explained to us what a useful thing BCC was for not distributing one’s address list! In the heat of the moment, with a particularly urgent intention we once forgot to send BCC and we had our only other cancellation to date; the good lady said that, much as she loved us and accepted our profound apologies, our technological carelessness amounted to terrorism (we agreed without reservation) The rest of the Clareshare family generously forgave us our trespasses!
Clareshare began in 2001. Three weeks after it tumbled into existence, as planes ploughed into the sides of the two towers we began to understand more fully what the Lord had in mind.
This is what we do with prayer intentions!
Here at Ty Mam Duw, the many intentions we receive every day are remembered by name at the Office of Terce, around nine in the morning gmt. The sister who has your intention carries it with her through the day and you are remembered, again, after Compline at around 8.30 pm and are part of the litany of intercession at Matins (around midnight). All your Christmas greetings are brought to the Crib on January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany. On Easter night all the prayer slips, letters and emails go up in a blaze as part of the Easter fire from which the great Paschal Candle is lit!
In response to requests, our Sister Secretary also began a daily mailing list called Littlehearts, as most of our Sharers are Littlehearts we have tied the two together. So, though there are around a thousand Littlehearts who are not Sharers, all Sharers will now gat a daily update as well as the weekly prayer list. If at any point you would like to stop receiving the mails, just send a blank email with the header Unsubscribe! Bless you
A family of Strangers and Pilgrims
For our Clare brothers and sisters in the world we send, on request, a pack that includes the community’s daily prayers, St Francis Office of the Passion and an Office for the Dead. With this we add a copy of the daily timetable for those who especially like to link up their praying with ours.
Our Sister secretary is there to help you if you would like support or a very humble offering of what some call ‘spiritual direction’.
Some of our Companions have also formed Clare prayer groups and over the years quite a number of people have come here to visit from near and far!