Sister Hildegard of the Redemptorist Nuns in Espopus, NY has just informed the Yahoo! news group, The Religious Habit, that their community of 10 middle-aged and older nuns are being forced to vacate their monastery as of 1 June, 2012. They are in a monastery built in 2010 on 400 acres of land that they love. Apparently the property is owned by the Baltimore Redemptorist order that wishes to lease it.
I think that this action is completely heartless. The Baltimore congregation knows that the nuns will hate to leave their property, and will have a very hard time finding anything suitable for them, let alone anything comparable to their current monastery and land. Land is now very valuable and almost all of the old convents and monasteries are too large, obsolete and have been torn down. There is another branch in St. Louis whose members are even older, who may or may not be able to take the current group.
It may also be unnecessary to evict the nuns. A number of aging Carmels (Indianapolis, Mobile, Kensington CA) have closed or merged recently, selling their properties. The aging nuns simply cannot keep up their monasteries. In a few years, the Redemptorist nuns may be in the same situation, and will leave the property of their own free will. I am not aware of any recent vocations ,and the nuns in their photos appear middle-aged and older, mostly older.
I have e-mailed the communications link at the Redemptorists and suggest that others do the same.
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