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Contact: Mary McLoughlin (616) 698-0748,
mobile: (616) 340-3784, Mary.T.McLoughlin2015@gmail.com

DOMINICAN SISTERS ~ GRAND RAPIDS WILL TRANSITION OWNERSHIP OF ITS “MOTHERHOUSE” TO DEVELOPERS TO RENOVATE INTO AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR SENIORS

The Iconic Motherhouse – the Stately Center Structure of Marywood Campus –
Currently Houses Dominican Chapel/Marywood, Dominican Center, and Housing for Sisters

GRAND RAPIDS, MI July 20, 2020 . . . For over a century, the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids staffed a parochial school system that flourished throughout Michigan and New Mexico and for nearly that long have called the 34-acre Marywood campus their home. With an increasing number of older members, the Sisters recognize the Motherhouse no longer meets their needs and have made the decision to repurpose the building to provide housing for low-income seniors. The campus will continue to be the Sisters’ home.

The Sisters have reached an agreement with Third Coast Development and the PK Development Group (3CPK) to transfer ownership of the Motherhouse to convert it into a state-of-the-art senior community, which will provide affordable senior housing using low income tax credits. The Sisters will continue to live in other portions of the campus including Aquinata Hall and the former Marywood Health Center building.

Sister Sandra Delgado, Prioress for the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids, said, “Our agreement with 3CPK honors the original intent for the Motherhouse, which was built not only as housing for the Sisters, but as a place of mission and ministry. Over the years we have devoted space in the building to share our ministries with others, including Dominican Center at Marywood – a spirituality center which offers programs and accommodates meetings and conferences for organizations throughout West Michigan – as well as Dominican Chapel/Marywood, which is open to the public for worship and prayer.”

Brad Rosely, of Third Coast Development representing 3CPK , views this agreement with the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids as a unique opportunity “to assist a venerable entity in achieving its long-term goals and preserving its legacy. We are honored to work with the Sisters and believe that the pristine beauty of the site is something that must be preserved. We want to develop this senior community so that all parties involved will be proud, especially the Sisters, but also the immediate neighbors, new residents, and the community in general.”

The entire Motherhouse building, including the space occupied by Dominican Chapel/Marywood and Dominican Center, is to be transferred and redeveloped. Plans for the redevelopment are not finalized and will not begin until approximately 18 months from now. 3CPK may decide to reserve space for a conference center that could house Dominican Center. If that were the plan, the Sisters are open to participating in that endeavor. The Sisters may also continue the operations of Dominican Center on the Marywood campus or perhaps off campus. Dominican Chapel/Marywood may close and it is likely the public will be welcome to worship with the Sisters at one of the two other chapels on campus.

The Sisters will continue to own and operate Aquinata Hall as an assisted living residence primarily for the Sisters. The Sisters will also continue to own and operate the former Marywood Health Center as their new residence.

Regarding the changes that will occur on Marywood’s campus, Sister Sandra said this: “While the composition of the property will change, neither our mission nor our ministries are tethered to the bricks and mortar of our buildings. This is an initial step with many additional decisions yet to be made. We cannot predict at this point what our ministries will look like but we look forward to all the new ways they will continue, including this next phase with 3CPK and the senior community they will build. We will be interested in continued work with them in the future.”

Sharing the bountiful gifts that Marywood offers has always been a hallmark of the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids. Carrying on the Sisters’ unique contributions to the community is a focal point of their mission. Paramount to the Dominican Sisters are its mission, sharing their space in ministry, and the care of its members, which include:

  • Ensuring the housing and health of the Dominican Sisters
  • Having the necessary flexibility to meet the challenges of a changing, unknown future, specifically as it relates to the Dominican Sisters
  • Allowing the legacy of the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids to flourish

The mission of the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids is that of Jesus Christ. Formed by the Word of God, we dedicate our lives to the mission of proclaiming the reign of God.

For more information about the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids, or the transition of ownership of the Motherhouse on Marywood Campus, please contact Mary McLoughlin at (616) 698-0748, mobile: (616) 340-3784, Mary.T.McLoughlin2015@gmail.com.

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