Saturday, November 5, 2016
Just over three weeks after they were evacuated due to a major fire at St. Michael Villa, our eastern regional center in New Jersey, the majority of the sisters have returned home to Englewood Cliffs.
Most of the sisters spent the three weeks after the fire taking temporary shelter at two of our CSJP sponsored ministries, Peace Care St. Ann's in Jersey City and Villa Marie Claire Hospice in Saddle River. While they were away, the infirmary building was cleaned of smoke damage and prepared for the return of the sisters, thanks to the hard work of our incredible and dedicated staff.
The main building received much more damage, and we are unable to use that space for the time being, which includes the chapel, community room, kitchen, dining room, and living space for independent and assisted living sisters. This has required some creative thinking and adaptive use of the infirmary building to accommodate sisters and provide services. The activity room has been adapted as a chapel space, and on Friday afternoon our chaplain, Fr. Jim McDonald, offered mass for the sisters to welcome them home.
We are very grateful for the ongoing prayer and support of the wider community. Please keep our community in your prayers as we adapt to our new situation and discern best next steps.
Many thanks to Associate Frank McCann for documenting their homecoming with photos!
"So yes, we are forever beginning, and the best we can do is be very grateful that each new beginning is one more chance to grow. "
Margaret Byrne, CSJP