by Sister Annette Koss
There is no more dramatic scene apart from the Passion
than that of the washing of the feet in the Gospel of John:
"Do you understand what I have done to you?"
was one question that Clare was able to answer with
She spent herself in the service of her sisters
and was an example of all that was embodied
in the image of Jesus as foot-washer.
Clare rarely gave an order, instead she would do things
preferring to do things herself rather than ordering her
She frequently and reverently washed the feet of the serving
who returned from outside and, after washing them, kissed
Clare's foot-washing ministry became the central metaphor for
humility and service.
I recall a visit to the hospital after one of our seniors,
suffered a massive heart attack.
In his last hours, his wife and six children washed his
with a hospital basin of water and dried them with hospital
They did this in faith and prayer as a symbol of his life lived
in humility and service.
He served as husband, pastoral council member, trustee and
catechist for 53 years.
Carl hoped that all the members of the parish community could be
serving generously in humility.
He understood that Christian leadership always needs to be an
act of foot-washing.
I would rather wash feet than get my feet washed.
Yet, I know, that letting someone else bend low in front of
like Clare, causes me to gaze, consider and contemplate.
I am inspired to imitate Jesus and Clare in this reverent act of
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