A History of the Memphis Monastery

When the diocese of Memphis was created in 1971 it was given the responsibility of a large debt but at the same time it was the recipientof one of the treasures of the diocese of Nashville - the Monastery of St.Clare located in Frayser.

The Monastery of St. Clare in Evansville, Indiana was invited by Bishop Alphonse Smith in 1931 to open a community in Tennessee. The condition on which the Sisters based their acceptance of this invitation was that the diocese would provide an acceptable site and building for the Sisters and would also be sure that their financial needs could be attended to by the people of the area.

Both of these conditions were answered in the affirmative by Bishop Smith. Fr. James Whitfield donated his recently closed parish church and school complex called the Madonna of the Nativity and Bishop Smith was confident that the Catholics of Memphis who were always generous would continue to be so to the Sisters in the future.

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