It’s now the site of the Evansville Christian Life Center, an independent non-profit organization devoted to community outreach through a variety of services. But for almost 90 years, the structure at 509 S. Kentucky Ave. was the location of the Monastery of Saint Clare.
The monastery was established when Mother Mary Magdalen Bentivoglio came to Evansville in 1897 after one of her fellow sisters in a convent in Omaha, Neb., inherited some land from an Evansville relative. The Kentucky Avenue structure became the convent’s third monastery building.
On July 6, 1984, the Monastery of Saint Clare moved to 6825 Nurrenbern Road, where there are currently eight sisters devoted to living a life of prayer, community, and joy. The new monastery sits on land that belonged to the Diocese of Evansville and was donated by Bishop Francis Shea. Meanwhile, a businessman and his family donated the former monastery to the Evansville Christian Life Center organization.
“We are a group of religious women and our main work is prayer,” says Sister Jeanne Maffett. “We are considered contemplative nuns because we don’t have an active apostolate.”
For more information about the Monastery of Saint Clare, call 812-425-4396 or visit poorclare.org/Evansville.