|Boston Chapel, Sisters of St. Margaret|
Here is the link to the original article:
However, as those links do not last as long as they might, I'll post some of the article below and the rest in the comments section so that it doesn't take up an outrageous amount of space.
Meanwhile, keep us in prayer. It will be a very busy year, as this is a massive undertaking for us. And keep the neighborhood and potential buyers in your prayers as well, that the best possible match might be made for all concerned.
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Since the late 19th century, the Society of St. Margaret, an order of Episcopal nuns, has maintained a quiet but steady presence in Boston, nursing the sick, caring for the poor, and welcoming travelers in need of a quiet place to stay, all while keeping a rigorous schedule of prayer and silent contemplation.
For more than 100 years, the nuns lived in four brownstones in Beacon Hill’s Louisburg Square, worshiping at the nearby Church of the Advent and the Church of St. John the Evangelist. In 1992, they sold their quarters — one of the buildings is now home to Senator John F. Kerry — and converted a nursing home they had previously run on Fort Hill in Roxbury into their convent.
But in recent years, the sprawling 35,000-square-foot convent has become too expensive and difficult to maintain for the 17 women who live there, many of them elderly, and the order has decided it is time to move again — to a retreat center the sisters operate in Duxbury.
Selling the convent, said Sister Carolyn Darr, the superior, would allow the sisters to devote more money and energy to their charitable and spiritual work — in particular, their small mission in Haiti, which the order has run since the 1920s and which suffered severe damage in last year’s earthquake.
“We had been talking about it because [the building] is simply more than we can manage,’’ Darr said in an interview in the convent’s sunlit chapel. “Then when the earthquake came, of course, that is our vital ministry, and we wanted to put our money behind the mission.’’
Bishop M. Thomas Shaw, a monk who is a member of the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Cambridge and the leader of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, said the move makes sense. “Religious communities are like families in many ways, and I think families go through changes,’’ he said. “They’re going through some changes now, and refocusing in terms of what exactly their community is, and trying to be responsible as their finances are concerned, and having green buildings — and it just doesn’t work in Roxbury.’’
St. Margaret’s is one of three Episcopal religious orders in the Boston area, and one of 16 nationally. Although relatively rare in the Anglican Communion — they were suppressed in England after the Protestant Reformation — religious orders experienced a modest revival in the mid-19th century, in response to a movement to restore some Catholic traditions to the Church of England, and also in an effort to address urban poverty after the Industrial Revolution. Members take vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, and most lead lives that blend prayer and work.
St. Margaret’s was established in 1855 as a nursing order in Sussex, England, according to the society; the order came to Boston in the early 1870s to run Children’s Hospital. But the nuns soon delved into other fields, and these days, each sister does whatever she feels called by God to do — one is a jail chaplain; another works with a children’s program run by Episcopal churches; three are priests.
(Continued in comments)