Are we losing the Visitation's Second Federation?



I’ve gone through a 1930 list of Visitation monasteries, and a majority of them are closed now.

The First Federation is cloistered. Monasteries such as Mobile, AL; Tyringham, MA; Maryfield (Snellville),GA; Richmond, VA; Philadelphia, PA; and Toledo, OH, are cloistered.

The Second Federation has anything from contemplative retreat house to cloistered.

Not sure if the convent in Mendota Heights, MN, still has an actual convent & novitiate:

These are the three Second Federation Visitation convents which are still open:

Minneapolis, MN:

Georgetown, DC:

Brooklyn, NY:

I am going to include a list of closed Visitation monasteries for the sake of a reality check:


Tacoma/Federal Way:

Georgetown, KY:

School still there:

Frederick, MD:


Rock Island, IL
Wheeling, W Va
Parkersburg, W Va

Possibly Wytheville, VA, as well.



In addition to Mendota Heights, MN and Fredrick, MD, there is Catonsville, MD;

Mount de Sales:

The Nashville Dominicans were able to send a detachment of sisters to Mount de Sales after the Visitandines left.



Visitation Academy of St. Louis is still there, but I had heard that the sisters had vacated the Ballas Road monastery, and moved to smaller quarters. There are other ministries now listed at the Ballas Road address.

Visitation Academy of St. Louis:

Visitation of St. Louis:



Add Baltimore to the demolished list:



Very sad to see that beautiful chapel being used as a banquet hall. :frowning:


The truth is that all convents that stopped wearing a habit are dying. The Visitation sisters that are still wearing one will most likely continue.

We need more non-cloistered sisters in habits. The habit is not only a sign of their vows, it’s an advertisement to lay people. It lets us know there is a religious person we can speak with when we need help. It give us an example to see, just like the Saints do.

Sisters (and priests) not wearing habits in public remove those examples of holiness from our everyday lives. We forget they exist because we don’t see them.

Honestly, I truly believe we will not dramatically grow vocations to the priesthood and religious life if we don’t see active sisters wearing habits in public.


My sister and BIL are art dealers and they said they have been to the Cardome for shows.

I was in college when I wrote the Cardome sisters. I wasn’t able to visit during the summer, and then I was hearing that they had closed. The building was a firetrap from what I heard. The new owners would have had to have fixed that before reopening.



Parkersburg had the habit, and they still closed. As did Frederick. The former wore updated garb; the latter, the old habit. A filmmaker did a documentary on Parkersburg. Should show up on Google.

God calls. Its just a matter of listening. I was hoping a thread like this would jar some ladies awake.

Discerners need to drop the list and go where they’re attracted, trusting that their relationship with their best friend Jesus will expand to others when they get there.



Very true.

to be clear, non-habit wearing sisters also hurt the habit wearing ones (at least now). For all vocations to increase, we need to see sisters being sisters.

When they are not wearing a habit, I could see a sister at a soup kitchen, etc and not even know they are sisters. I know I sometimes see sisters at an area McDonalds, but I can’t pick them out because they are in regular clothes.

When I saw huge numbers of nuns in habits at the World Meeting of Families, it was inspiring. Seeing the number of religious with my own eyes made me want to be more religious and made me see that I’m not alone.

That’s why priests and religious need to wear habits/collars in public; so we see them and realize they are not as rare as we think. So that we want to be like them.

Wearing the habit sets them apart from us in a good way; just like being a canonized Saint sets the saints apart from us in a good way. It gives us the examples we need to live holier lives.

But if few or no one is wearing habits in public; it hurts all orders.

However, in the long run, the habit wearing orders will be the ones that survive (maybe not individual convents, but the orders as a whole).

God Bless


My distinctive garb/uniform that I wear on Sundays has all the parish abuzz, and in a good way. When I was at another church, and there were two sisters in habits from different orders, one little girl saw the three of us standing and talking to each other, and I could tell the wheels were turning within her. I gave the sign of peace to a young lady (teenager) last Sunday, and I could tell she was making a mental note to consider a vocation.

I’ll be quite frank. The reason I wear distinctive garb is for the sake of the people, to let them know God isn’t dead, and that people are still responding to His call. When I tell them I’m a lay founder who is married, they are grateful to know that I listened. Now that Rome has said not to be suspicious of new movements, that helps a lot where wearing distinctive garb is concerned.

I ask the ‘clothing of the common people’ sisters to please listen to the needs of the people, and right now that’s to be reassured that God isn’t dead.



Add to the Re-purposed list:

Springfield, MO:



God Bless you!


The Visitation school in Frederick is also closing–as of this month.


Articles from Mount de Chantal in Wheeling are now in a new conservatory at Wheeling Jesuit University:



Wytheville’s convent burned in 1920, and the successor to that building, shown in Dehey’s 1930 book, also burned. Not sure where the sisters got off to after that.

Rock Island’s Villa de Chantal burned around 2008 when a developer was about to turn it into assisted living. The local school system reused the wrought iron front gate, and built their own school on the site.



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