In 1980, the Community of Capuchin Poor Clares of Guadalajara, Mexico, was visited
by Fr. David G. Zumaya, a priest of the diocese of San Antonio, Texas originally
from Mexico. They told him that they were hoping to establish the Order in the United
States. He mentioned that he had some funds which could be used to aid the desired
Fr. Zumaya spoke with Bishop Leroy Mathiesen, recently consecrated Bishop of the
Diocese of Amarillo, and discovered that the bishop was very interested in having
a contemplative community in his diocese. He asked Fr. Zumaya to extend an invitation
to the sisters in Guadalajara to consider a foundation in his diocese.
Mother María de Jesus Ibarra, President of the Federation of Capuchin Poor Clares
to which the monastery in Guadalajara belonged, wrote to Bishop Mathiesen to say
that the sisters had received his invitation with great joy and was very interested.
On January 8, 1981, Bishop Mathiesen wrote the community in Guadalajara and told
the sisters he would visit them on February 9 to get to know them and to discuss
the new foundation with them personally. From that time a series of meetings led
to the date for the new foundation to be set as August 13, 1981.
Eight sisters made up the founding group, seven in perpetual vows and one in temporary
vows. These sisters would begin the new foundation for the praise the Lord and for
service to the Church, especially the diocese of Amarillo, Texas. The new monastery
would be a place of perpetual adoration. It would also be the first monastery of
Capuchin Poor Clares in the United States.
After attending mass at 5 a.m., on August 13, 1981 the sisters said farewell to the
rest of their dear sisters in Guadalajara and traveled to Amarillo. On their arrival
at the airport in Amarillo they were overjoyed and encouraged by the presence of
Bishop Mathiesen and many priests, religious, and laity of the diocese who were on
hand to greet them. The Bishop presented them with a beautiful yellow rose, and this
loving gesture, they sensed, would set the tone for our new life in the United States.
On August 15 the holy mass was celebrated in the sisters’ chapel for the first time.
After mass the Bishop blessed the Monastery and exposed the Blessed Sacrament to
begin perpetual adoration there.
The name of the new monastery: Monastery of the Most Blessed Sacrament and of Our
Lady of Guadalupe. The motto of this fraternity is: To become one in heart and soul.
Three months later the Monastery was canonically established, on November 8, 1981.
Ever since the sisters have been blessed to serve God and His people in the Diocese
of Amarillo, bringing the thanks and petitions of many souls to the loving heart
of Jesus. Their life of prayer and service in the spirit of St. Francis and St. Clare
continues, with new vocations received over the years. Although retired, Bishop Mathiesen
is still their chaplain, celebrating the mass for the sisters each day and encouraging
them to live our vocation faithfully.
On February 4, 2001, Bishop Arturo Tafoya, was granted his wish of having another
branch of our Monastery establish in Pueblo Colorado. Six of our sisters went from
Amarillo, Texas, to establish the monastery of Our Heavenly Father.