Clare House

A Contemplative Dimension of the Franciscan Spiritual Center

The history of the house

Clare House was founded in the spirit of St. Clare of Assisi, the first contemplative Franciscan woman.  It is the oldest house located on the property of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, probably built in 1740 on land traced back to 1661 and its original owner, William Penn mortgaged 1000 acres of land to William Rowland in 1681 who sold it to Thomas and Mary Dutton in 1682.  In 1895, the house and property were sold to the Sisters, who made additions to the house both during the 1800’s and most recently in 1984.

What it offers?

Clare House offers contemplative space in a home-like atmosphere   The wooded setting fosters a gentle reverence toward God, self, and all creation

Clare, Center, Hermitage 028Its Franciscan hospitality offers

  • First floor kitchen, sitting room, library, and enclosed porch/dining room.
  • Second floor chapel with windows opening to the woods
  • Six private bedrooms (linens and towels included) on second and third floors with a common bath on each floor.
  • For an additional cost a continental breakfast, light lunch and/or a simple supper can be arranged, but you are welcome to do your own cooking.

The contemplative space

Clare House provides contemplative space for persons of any faith who desire to deepen their relationship with God.

Individuals can comeClare, Center, Hermitage 026

  • for a day
  • overnight
  • weekend
  • or longer

Spiritual Direction is available for those who wish at an additional cost if pre-arranged.


  • Please call (610-558-5372) to find out the cost for individual or group use.  
  • Spiritual Direction  is available  on any day at a cost of $30/session if previosly arranged — to arrange contact the Director of Clare House (610-558-5372)

Directed Prayer Weekends

A directed prayer experience is an opportunity for individuals to spend some time with God in a personal way.  As well as enjoying an atmosphere of prayerful silence, each person meets with a spiritual director daily to share what happened in his/her prayer and dialogue with God.  It is an occasion similar to the type that Jesus offered the disciples in the midst of their busy lives.   

Guided Weekends

This guided retreat opportunity invites participants to pray with a theme of the season as it relates to their daily life experiences.  Participants may come for the day, overnight, or the entire weekend.  The time will include a brief input session on Saturday morning, questions for reflections and a concluding prayer together.  The rest of the weekend allows time for contemplative silence.
Christa sitting insider looking out porch window

Contemplative Mornings

These mornings of contemplation will be a time of quiet gazing at Christ and His presence in our lives.  Each morning is introduced with an individual theme for entering into this quiet time.

Private Group Retreats

Clare House is available for a group desiring contemplative space for group sharing.  The Group can bring their own facilitators or a facilitator can be arranged for the group.    The group can be no larger than six if staying overnight.  Larger groups could be accommodated for one day.   Contact the Director of Clare House for specifics (610-558–5372).


From Route I-95:

  • Take exit 2 in Pennsylvania
  • *Follow Route 452 North
  • Pass the 5 point intersection of Concord Road
  • At the lighted intersection for Glendale Boulevard (Barnaby’s Restaurant) turn left
  • *at the stop sign on Glendale Boulevard (Barnaby’s Restaurant) at region road go across Legion Road directly into the driveway of Clare House

From South or North on Route 1

  • **Turn onto Route 452 South to Glendale Boulevard (at Barnaby’s Restaurant).
  • Turn at the lighted intersection for Glendale Boulevard (Barnaby’s Restaurant)
  • at the stop sign on Glendale Boulevard (Barnaby’s Restaurant) go across Legion Road directly into the driveway of Clare House

From the PA Turnpike

Coming East, exit at Downingtown (Exit 312, Pottstown).  Turn left at the end of the ramp and follow signs to 202 south (route 100 merges into 202 South).  follow 202 South to Route 1 North.  Continue with directions**above.

Coming West, exit at Mid-County (Exit 333).  Following 476 South to the Lima/Springfield Exit 5.  Go toward Lima and route 1 South.  Continue with directions ** above.

From the New Jersey Turnpike or Interstate 295

From New Jersey Turnpike  (taking Exit 2) or From Interstate 295 (taking the Commodore Barry Bridge Exit), follow 322 West and cross the Commodore Barry Bridge.  Continue on 322 West to 452 North.  Continue with directions * above.


Rooted in the Gospel...We welcome all as sister and brother.