By John Woods
(CNS) – Twenty-six Sisters of Charity of New York will soon move into assisted living facilities at Jewish Home Lifecare in the Bronx after a multi-year study conducted by the religious congregation found it was “no longer feasible to continue doing our retirement ministry on our own.”
Most of the sisters had been living at Mount St. Vincent Convent in the Bronx and Mary the Queen Convent in Yonkers, two of the facilities where the congregation’s retired sisters currently reside. The third facility is St. Patrick’s Villa in Nanuet.
A few of the sisters had not previously been living in a retirement facility.
Sister Eileen McGrory, S.C., director of retirement for her congregation, told Catholic New York, the archdiocesan newspaper, that some 70 sisters would eventually move into Jewish Home Lifecare after the in-depth study involving consultants and a number of “possible partners” concluded that the Bronx facility offered “the best quality of long-term health care for all our sisters.”
Key factors, Sister Eileen said, were the facility’s ability to care for all the Sisters of Charity at its Bronx location, and the fact that the Jewish facility offers a continuum of care from independent living to assisted living to skilled nursing care in one location.
“Jewish Home Lifecare met our criteria on every level and has proven a very collaborative partner. The opportunity it offers is an act of God’s providence and we feel blessed,” said Sister Eileen, who is a member of the congregation’s leadership team, in a statement.
“We have witnessed the courage and faith of our sisters in accepting this new direction, particularly by the sisters who will be missioned to assisted living,” she added.
Along with being able to accommodate the sisters, Jewish Home Lifecare will provide chapel spaces for them in the home’s assisted living and skilled nursing areas as well as a community room where they can gather as a group, Sister Eileen said.
Additionally, the Sisters of Charity are working with ArchCare, the New York Archdiocese’s health care ministry, “to make use of their services, where appropriate,” at the Jewish-run residence, she said.
Given the age of Mary the Queen Convent, and the substantial costs a necessary renovation would require, such a plan would not have been a good value, Sister Eileen noted.
Mary the Queen opened in 1958. Instead, the convent will eventually be closed, though no timetable has been set, she said.