This year St. Joseph Hill Academy held its annual Homecoming Mass and Brunch in late Septette. These guests were invited to tour our new convent addition. Before entering the new convent door, Ms. Cotter pointed out that the Academy Building will be demolished and replaced with a prayer garden.
Once inside the new convent addition, Hill families fell in love with the Sisters’ new home. On the first floor, the tour was able to visit with the Sisters and peek into the infirm Sisters’ bedrooms. Also on the garden level, visitors were stunned by the beautiful windows in the dining room, cozy and comfy setting of the living room, and very happy to see that the Sisters’ home included a physical therapy room. This room was turned into a functional space thanks to a generous contribution from Dr. Jack D’Angelo, elementary alumnus class of 1973. The purpose of including this room in the floor plan of the new convent addition was to allow the Sisters to live at home rather than stay in a nursing home should they need rehab.
Not surprisingly, some of the younger Sisters are excited to have a treadmill for bad weather days and the more senior Sisters are thrilled that they don’t have to travel to the doctors office for their therapy. The next stop on the tour was the unbelievable new kitchen. The small dysfunctional kitchen the Sisters had has been replaced with bright yellow walls with rich caramel cabinets and a huge island perfect for baking cookies now serves as the hub of the new home for the Sisters. Here students were excited to hear that they are welcome to join the Hill graduates for cooking classes in this very kitchen. In fact, when hearing the December class is focused on Christmas cookies, our youngest visitor from the Elementary School jumped with joy. Mom commented, “Do you have the information for the cooking classes with you? It looks like we’ll be coming.” (For cooking class details, please contact Ms. Cotter at [email protected].)
On the lower level of the building, the tour visited the new meeting room where school board meetings will be held in addition to important gathering of the Sisters. While showing guests her office, Sr. Denise also pointed out where damage was inflicted over the summer when local teens broke into the contraction site. Further down the hallway Sr. William took visitors into a bedroom to explain the need for the building to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements and that the architect ensured each bedroom had a beautiful view of the campus—the Sisters’ only “wish list” item for their new home.
At the end of the tour, several visitors shared their congratulations on a job well done with Sr. Denise and Sr. William. The most frequent comment overheard was that the Sisters had gotten it right, a sentiment shared by Msrg. Whalen too.
Hopefully, in the coming months you will be able to visit our new home. If you wish to see the new convent addition at that time, please contact Ms. Cotter at [email protected] to schedule a tour.