Thursday, February 5, 2009

No mercy for Sisters of Mercy

From 1010WINS:

Since 1862, the fortress-like complex has sheltered, educated and nurtured people in need, from Irish orphans to developmentally disabled adults and poor Hispanic children.

But suddenly, some months ago, the convent's elderly residents faced shattering news: They learned they'd be forced to leave the "mother house" of the Sisters of Mercy in Brooklyn, a Roman Catholic order whose aim is "to help people to overcome the obstacles that keep them from living full and dignified lives," according to their mission statement.

The reason for the convent closure in mid-February: money. Engineers said it would cost more than $20 million to fix structural and safety problems discovered in the building in the Fort Greene neighborhood.

Preservationists fear that the property, a collection of buildings that covers almost a city block, could be targeted by developers and demolished, like other religious institutions across the country that have vanished for lack of money or members.

Here's a slideshow.

What will the Sacred Sites program do about this?


westernqueensland said...

Disgusting tragedy

Anonymous said...

If this were Queens,
that site would already have been razed...and afterwards,
a short prayer for the developer's success on his new project
would be offered up by Helen Marshal!

As for Sacred Sites...
it shuns the sites that are
far more sacred to developers!

Snake Plissskin said...

As for Sacred Sites...
it shuns the sites that are
far more sacred to developers!

so why does the mainline presevation community do something about this - at least look into it?


Anonymous said...

That is easy.

They write grants for the five boroughs, then spend it all in Manhattan.

Is the Four Boro group doing anything about this?

No, they want to set up four more preservation commissions ... with them on the boards!

Anonymous said...

These sisters have given their lives to those made poor and have worked towards social justice. What a miracle if the wish of the sister on the video were to come true: To have a similar organization come in to this location and to continue to serve those who are made poor. It does not even have to be a religious organization, although that would be preferable. We need to preserve sites like this which offer a place to continue to do so much good in the world.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

I wish I had money to give them. How sad.

Rocketcab said...

This is tearing me apart !!!

Thirty-three years ago (1976), I was brought to the Sisters Of Mercy on Willoughby Avenue by the police, after being abandoned by my parents.___That is to say; my baby brother, my two sisters and myself.___When we got there, we were starving, dirty and quite traumatized by our time on the street.___Simply put, the Sisters saved our lives.___Most likely, the very same Sisters mentioned in the above article.___In the decades before-and-since, they saved hundreds (perhaps thousands) of lives, just like mine and asked for nothing in return.___That this was allowed to happen-at-all to these longsuffering, kind and saintly Sisters says very little for the ungrateful generation(s) they helped to save.___I pray God shields them, in some way, from the ugliness of these purely monetary circumstances.___The Sisters don’t deserve to “go out” like this.


Anonymous said...

I just found this site while trying to find out about the Convent of Mercy. While I was attending a Catholic high school in the late 1960s, I and some classmates did volunteer work at the orphanage there. Our job was to visit the children. We each were assigned one child, and we visited him or her (I remember mostly little boys) and just gave him our undivided attention for about an hour--playing a board game, reading stories, building with blocks.

I will never forget the time I spent there, and how impressed I was with the kindness of the sisters. It was such a relief to see that the children were loved and well cared for, and I was proud to be a small part of that.