A few months ago, I wrote about the Dominincan Nuns at Our Lady of the Rosary Monastery (aka “the soap nuns”*) running out of room and launching a very necessary capital campaign meant to create enough space for younger women to find their monastic vocations, and older sisters to manage their way around multiple levels.
Part of their renovation plans would include a ramp for the less mobile among us, and a better elevator that the antiquated lift that is now in use. Over the weekend, the nuns got a serious reminder of how badly they need these upgrades:
Today one of our sisters had, as she calls it, an “adventure” due to some temperamental machinery. We have a “mini-vator” that allows sisters who need it to access the basement level without having to use the stairs. One unfortunate feature is that it is actually on the cloister, enclosed only by screens on the first floor. Today said sister was travelling between floors when the mini-vator abruptly stopped working.
We promptly called our handy-man….whose voicemail box was full, so we couldn’t leave a message! No worries, Sr. Mary Magdalene has a reputation around here for her strength and facility with all things mechanical. Sister quickly pulled the cover off, picked up the turning stick, climbed a ladder and began working to get sister to one floor or the other. Don’t be fooled by sister’s lightweight jacket (the first thing she grabbed), it was very cold out for New Jersey with a windchill of -6!
They’ve raised 1.2 million dollars for their campaign — for emergency accesses they currently do not have, for an elevator, for visitors, and physical therapy sessions (now held right outside the chapel) — and they have a ways to go. Check out their video, below, or their campaign brochure, and you’ll get a sense of how badly they need our help.
*I really can’t tell whether I prefer the new Tuscan Herb Soap or the Spearmint/Eucalyptus Goat Milk Soap better. The whole family loves both soaps, a lot. And the tumbler candles, used up, are our new favorite drinking glasses!