Brick by Brick

Chapel Stair repair.

If you visited the monastery lately and pulled into the driveway, you have probably wondered if we were building again! The new wing is happily all finished but now we are giving attention to the urgent repairs that were put on hold until the building was finished. First on the critical list was the rebuilding of the chapel stairs. If you come to our chapel you know how badly they were in need of repair.

JR Prisco sent over masons who, in the summer’s heat, jack hammered the stairs to the “foundations”. We all breathed a sigh of relief to be told that all was tight and dry as there had been concern of leaky pipes. Now, the stairs are rebuilt and enhanced by side “walls” with planters. Not only will these enhance the beauty of the monastery but they will prevent any visitors (or nuns) from puncturing their car tires on the corner of the bottom step. Obviously, we’ve had experience!

Sr. Judith Miryam gives Jay a piece of her famous carrot cake. It’s his favorite!

Sr. Judith Miryam gives Jay a piece of her famous carrot cake. It’s his favorite!

While this was going on, our faithful friend, Frank Korfmann sent over Jay to renovate the old sewing room area and temporary gift shop in the basement of the old building. Frank and Jay renovated our kitchen and refectory 10 years ago. Now we have a second hall for receptions which should give everyone a little more elbow room. We’ve named the new room St. Albert the Great Hall. Chairs and tables arrived this week in time for the festivities for our centennial celebration on October 2nd.

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Over the last few months sisters have been surprised by puddles of water on their cell (bedroom) floors. At first we thought it was an overflow of rain spilling over from the windowsills but in fact it was coming from above the lintels of the windows. So, one day JR Prisco dropped off (if you can say that) a large boom in the driveway so that Adrian could go up and repair the crumbling bricks. After all, the monastery is 80 years old. In fact, the basement area is almost 100 years old! The damage was more extensive than originally thought but providentially we have a lot of extra brick from the new wing that can be used. The repair brought with it a lot of fine dust which managed to come in even with the windows closed. However, it is a small price to pay to have our monastery all tight as a bug in a rug for the coming winter.

Meanwhile, this morning, workmen are replacing the fans in the chapel and choir.

As rewarding as it is to complete these repair projects what we are all really excited about is the Vestition Ceremony for Sr. Lauren on Sunday, September 8th, Our Lady’s Birthday. Sister will receive the longed-for Dominican habit and a new name. At this point your guess is as good as ours so if you’d like to give a guess put it in the comments. If you guessed correctly, you’ll receive a rosary made by Sister-What-Will-Her-Name be herself!