I had an e-mail which is both sad and uplifting.
Sad because the obvious decline of religious life.
Uplifting because of the potential and the fact that someone wants to do something about it.
Parishes far and wide are trying to figure out what to do with their schools and convents.
Here is the note I received. My emphases and comments.
I have recently been appointed to chair a committee to figure out what to do with the 9,000 square foot convent at our parish. It currently has 3 elderly nuns living their and it also houses the before and after school program for our parochial school. It originally housed 26 nuns from the daughters of Wisdom who staffed our school up until 1994. Our committee has come to the conclusion that the best use of the space would be to house a Day Care staffed hopefully by an order of young or younger nuns. We have the full support of our pastor so long as the nuns are as he put it “real nuns who are in habit”. [excellent]
So this is where you come in, do you know of any such nuns that might be interested? We would have a lot to offer them. The convent has 4 kitchens (one could be commercial if they wanted to set-up a business of some sort) a beautiful chapel that seats 35-40, a residential neighborhood, 2 garages, one minute walk to the church or school, a very active parish with over 1,600 households and regular weekend attendance of 1,300, a rather youthful and kind pastor in his 50’s, a parish school that has 215 students from PK thru grade 8, and the opportunity to share in the daycare business.
We conservatively estimate that if we can obtain 30 full time children at $20 a day per child at 5 days per week, year round would bring in over $150,000 in income per year. The $20 per day would undercut all the other day cares in the area by $18 to $31 per day so we could charge more. Also, there is a great need for day cares in our area so we believe we would get many more than 30 children. There would also be opportunities for the nuns to staff the school and other positions in the parish and in the City.
Our parish is Our Lady of Mount Carmel (ethnic Italian) in Waterbury, CT and our city has 5 Catholic Grammar Schools, 2 Catholic High Schools, 19 catholic churches, and a Catholic Hospital St. Mary’s. The city is 90 minutes from NYC and 2 hours from Boston, and 40 minutes from Bradley Int’l airport. The city population is about 105,000 of which 2/3’s are Roman Catholic. So I would think an order of nuns especially younger nuns would have a ton of opportunity here. If you can point me in a direction I would be very grateful.
Anyone who wants to respond can write to me and I will forward it. Put CT CONVENT in the subject line.
I wish the fictional groups of the Rubricians and the Sacristines actually existed so they could go there.
Teaching rubrics is sort of like day care… right?