Bring Sisters to Catholic Kids!

Introducing a new series about the beauty and joy of religious life… Little Convent in the Big City, by Mother Clare, CFR

Book Three

Biggest Family Ever

Biggest Family Ever is the third book in Mother Clare’s series. The story follows Sister Mary Andy who is getting ready for the day she has been dreaming of for years—her final vows. Like any bride preparing for a wedding, she is excited, happy, and a little worried too. See just how much the Heart of Jesus can hold in Biggest Family Ever!

Book Two

The Light in You

The Light in You is the second book in Mother Clare’s children’s series, Little Convent in the Big City. In this new adventure, Sr. Mary Andy visits her neighbor Antonio in his darkened New York City apartment, eventually persuading him to attend midnight Mass.

See how Religious Sisters are Christ-bearers, bringing the light and joy of Jesus to human souls. A truly beautiful story to warm the hearts of children and adults alike!

Book One

The Unsolvable Problem

The Unsolvable Problem introduces kids to Sr. Mary Andy and her lovable convent of sisters, who encounter a big dilemma as they plan a patriotic picnic for the poor. Along the way, kids will learn about convent life, little prayers to Jesus and what do with they encounter life’s problems, big and small.

Illustrated by famed Catholic children’s book artist Michael Corsini, whose hand-painted style perfectly captures the spirit of the sisters.

All Three Books

The Little Convent Collection

Mother Clare Matthiass, CFR is on a mission to introduce religious life to Catholic kids who may have never even seen a sister—and to do so with humor, verve, and imaginative story-telling. Follow the adventures of Sister Mary Andy and help children open their hearts to God’s abundant love!

New animated video narrated by Mother Clare! 

Watch the Unsolvable Problem

A New Series for Kids

In the new series Little Convent in the Big City, Mother Clare invites readers into the real-life adventures of religious sisters in New York City.

Through playful and conversational language, kids discover the convent chapel, the compassionate work of sisters, and the importance of the chapel bells (which you obey, of course, just like you obey your mother).

In the first book, The Unsolvable Problem, children encounter themes of providence, patriotism, and prayerfulness. They learn about Adoration, service to the poor, and how to run to Jesus with life’s problems.

In the second book, The Light in You, children meet Antonio, an unhappy man who lives in a darkened apartment, whose life is brightened by the joy of the sisters. Kids learn about dealing with negative emotions, giving meaningful gifts, and the miracle of midnight Mass.

In the third book, Sister Mary Andy is getting ready for the day she has been dreaming of for years—her final vows. Like any bride preparing for a wedding, she is excited, happy, and a little worried too. See just how much the Heart of Jesus can hold in Biggest Family Ever! 

Sponsor a Classroom

Remember when Sisters taught our kids the simple truth? Let’s make it happen again!

Sponsor a second-grade Catholic classroom, and we’ll send every student a book!

Praise from the Media

At Home with Jim and Joy

“This book helps parents begin to ask the question to their kids, ‘What’s God’s perfect plan for your life?’ and to then to actually obey that call.” WATCH SEGMENT  


“The illustrator, Michael Corsini, poured out his heart on every page, adding as many details as possible…. And now Mother Clare is on a mission to get this book into every Catholic school!” WATCH SEGMENT


Watch Cardinal Dolan’s interview with Mother Clare, where she tells the story of the book’s origin and mission. WATCH CLIP


“The sight of religious sisters around the neighborhood may be unfamiliar to many Catholic youngsters these days, but Mother Clare Matthiass, CFR, is hoping to change that with the debut of The Unsolvable Problem…READ ARTICLE 

About the Author

Mother Clare Matthiass was born in Germany and spent her childhood moving from post to post while her father served in the military.

She attended Franciscan University of Steubenville, and joined the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal (CFRs) in 1998. (Wow–almost 25 years ago!) Her primary mission, like all CFR sisters, is hands-on work with the poor and evangelization.

She was instrumental in producing the film For Love Alone and is the author of the widely-used book Discerning Religious Life.

Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal

About the Illustrator

Michael Corsini is a renowned Catholic artist who has illustrated numerous children’s books. He is a graduate of both the Ringling School of Art and Design and the John Paul II Institute.

He lives with his wife and six children on a small homestead in Pennsylvania, where he seeks to proclaim the Gospel through art and music. Visit his website

“I often say that the spiritual healing and renewal needed in our time, begins through an encounter with Beauty; the kind of beauty that reveals Christ, and allows for Him to do His Work.”

Cute, but not too cute

The Unsolvable Problem delights without being sugary, teaches without being preachy, and both demystifies and illuminates religious life.

What other book includes both a kid-friendly explanation of the Eucharist and a recipe for root-beer floats?!

Based on an amazing true story that happened in New York City just before the Fourth of July.

Story of Mother’s Mission

Books with a Purpose

Mother Clare has long felt the Holy Spirit prompting her to a special mission: to let the world know that religious life is alive and well!

This “call within a call” began years ago—but gained new urgency when Mother Clare met a young woman named Kaylin with a remarkable story.

As a teen, Kaylin had begun sensing God had a special call for her. After entering a well-known Catholic university, she frequently prayed before the Blessed Sacrament, feeling deep within her heart that Jesus was calling her to be a religious sister.

Perplexed, she responded quite sincerely, “Lord, how can you be calling me to something that doesn’t exist anymore?”

This well-educated, “good Catholic girl,” attending a famous Catholic institution, sincerely thought that religious life belonged to a bygone era, and if it was not entirely extinct, was getting close to it!

Happily, Kaylin spoke to a good priest who steered her to a good religious community, where today she is thriving in her vocation.

Mother Clare was struck by this young lady’s story. As she put it: “It absolutely lit a fire within me! If ‘good Catholic girls’ are growing up thinking religious life is only from a history book, we’ve got to put this light on a hill!”

Little Convent in the Big City is part of this mission. The new series introduces both girls and boys to the joy of religious life–in a down-to-earth way that both makes sisters real and illuminates the beauty of their vocation.

Little Convent in the Big City

So many kids don’t even know religious life exists! Mother Clare’s book introduces children to the warmth and love of sisters, who care about the well-being of their souls.

Little Convent in the Big City
Little Convent - The Unsolvable Problem

What people are saying about The Little Convent in the Big City


For young people to learn about vocations and that religious life is a joyful vocation! It’s not a depressing lifestyle but one filled with great joy and adventure. I want my daughter to see this!


I love a good children’s book, the more we can familiarize our kids about their faith the better off we all are.


I teach at a Catholic school and teach our first communion class at my church so I know I could use this with so many kids. My own two kids will love it. Great idea about the floats. I love those connections for our kids to realize our faith is so much more than just rules.


My daughter wants to be a nun and I don’t want her to lose her enthusiasm. Plus she is 7 and learning to read! We met your sisters in Rome and we learned about the new book!


As a kid in a small town, I never knew that religious life was an option for me. Now that I’m grown and have such admiration for this particular vocation, I know the importance of sharing with children the beauty of the priesthood and all other religious vocations.


I have four kiddos and I teach kindergarten at a Catholic school. I would love to share this book with my students and my own children to help them have a deeper understanding of religious vocations and help them discern where God is calling them.


I was exposed to religious sisters very early in grade school and it made a lasting impression on me. I seriously discerned myself but now I have two daughters of my own


We live in an area where Catholics are a minority, and my kids never even see religious sisters out in the world. My daughter wants to be a nun after learning about saint rose of Lima and I would love to give her the opportunity to learn more about what being a sister is like!


It is beautiful to show our children our world through a nun’s eyes. And it is so important to expose them to religious life so it is not foreign to them


So excited for this new series! What a great way to introduce religious life to children.


I am a teacher at a Catholic school. I had sisters who taught me. I send my kids to Catholic school and unfortunately, they did not get the experience of being taught by sisters. It is important for kids to know there are sisters around. My own daughter has interest in becoming a sister one day and we talk about it.  


Our children do not have much exposures to religious communities in our area! This is such a great way for them to get a glimpse of a vocation God may call them to!

Little Convent in the Big City


I have been very intentional in supporting and encouraging my catholic school students and 5 children to consider religious life as a normal option for everyone who feels called. Books like these expose children to the beautiful possibility that they wouldn’t always get a chance to witness in their communities.


It’s important to share with children that God leads us to his plan and his plan is the best for us. Our vocation is an invitation to serve God and one that can bring so much joy!


I have a daughter, and I want her to know that being a Sister is a beautiful vocation that she may or may not be called to.


Many girls have misconception about what sisters actually do in their vocations and this will show it!


There needs to be more books like this for kids and the beauty about the religious life and the beauty of their life and the many aspects.


I know as a child a sister impacted my life in a wonderful way and I want to share this with my own children.


Love the artwork and the message. My great aunt was a religious sister and so I grew up with her and others from her convent around. She was very influential in my life.


Girls have very little exposure to female religious life. Even my own daughters, outside of summer camps, have not had as much experience to the convent life. I believe a series like this is essential in good formation for Catholic girls.


My daughter has been called to religious life… We’ve had Dominican sisters come to our parish to assist with VBS periodically over the years… Thank you, Mother Clare for your efforts, joy, and listening to God’s call!


Many children have never met a Catholic nun, especially my own grandchildren! I attended Catholic school and loved the nuns who taught there… A delightful way to introduce kids to this vocation.


First off I adore the CFRS! Vocations are essential for us all. Young children need to witness and explore the beauty of all vocations especially religious life. My first baby sitter became a Carmelite and that exposure towards religious life heavily impacted me. Even though I was called towards marriage and motherhood doesn’t mean that my children are called to the same vocation. I need to provide them resources to show them the beauty of all vocations especially religious life!  


My favorite teacher was Sr. Connie Tarrallo, who taught me in first grade! My kids and I spent so much time with these beautiful sisters. We went to their houses for meals, served with them, and two of my children even received Sacraments with the Missionaries of Charity sisters there….  Sisters and nuns are treasures, and every child should know what basking in their joy and love is like.


I want to teach my kids about Catholicism and about religious life in an entertaining way.


Boys at least see priests every Sunday at mass but girls can go their whole life without meeting a single sister. Ideally we would like to move to a place or community where our daughters can be around religious sisters but until that happens, this book will introduce them to the beauty of a religious sister’s life and vocation!


There’s not enough books with a fun message and makes it real too!!!


It is so important that kids see vocations as a normal, joyful option for them.


Kids don’t have as much exposure to religious sisters as they did back when my mom was child and saw sisters in town in habits. It’s a mystery or something they may not often think about and this will help get a glimpse into convent life in a fun way.


I grew up in a community with nuns from several orders, so it shocked me recently to talk to several high school students – all Catholic – who have never met a religious sister! How many young women could better understand their religious vocation if they or their families just knew more about various orders, and could see the joy that so many sisters have in their lives and ministries?

Little Convent in the Big City - The Unsolvable Problem