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About Us
( ...in the 1960's )
     When the initial building proved inadequate for the growing community, plans were made to build a larger, permanent monastery in Sherwood Park just off Military Trail. November 1967 ---- there were only three other homes  in the neighborhood when the Sisters moved in.  Besides these few homes, our only other "neighbors" were the cows across Military Trail and the foxes that roamed the open fields nearby.  Eventually that changed, and now many homes surround the monastery. Emmanuel Catholic Church is right next door. The new monastery was dedicated by Archbishop Carroll on February 5, 1968.
 
Ever since moving to Sherwood Park in west Delray in 1967, we have been privileged to have as our chaplains, the priests from St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach. Bishop Carroll's desire from the beginning was to have a connection between the monastery and the seminary, so that the Sisters would pray not only for the priests  and people of the area but also for the men training to become priests for all of Florida and beyond.
 
In 1988, Bishop John Nevins of the Venice Diocese saw a need for a local monastery on Florida's west coast, and invited the Poor Clares of Delray Beach to help establish it. Sisters Mary Emmanuel, Mary Frances and Agnes were the pioneer Sisters who made that foundation of Poor Clares at Fort Myers Beach.
 
Planning for our future ---- we are now looking toward a New Beginning. During the past fifteen years especially, our efforts to maintain our present building have become more and more futile. This is due to many factors, including the age of the building, nearly fifty years old, the sprawling design which makes it difficult for our Sisters with physical limitations to traverse, and the ever-rising cost and lack of available repair parts for the antiquated mechanical systems. To make matters worse, we have endured several great hurricanes  that had created more destruction than we have been able to restore, even after several attempted renovations. We have never quite recovered from the damaging roof leaks and resultant loss of living space. We know with certainty that we can not occupy this present structure for much longer -- we're running out of patches!
 
We plan to significantly reduce our property size to something more manageable for us. We will build a smaller monastery that is energy efficient, cost effective, low maintenance, and handicapped-accessible. In addition to living space, there will be offices and a larger area for our altar bread work. We plan to have a chapel where people can come to worship with the Sisters. The cost of this effort is substantial.  Obtaining needed funds for this project and also for our ever-increasing, daily living expenses, seems an incredible task, but through God's grace and the help of many kind benefactors, we believe that we can accomplish our goal.
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Palm Beach Post Archives Ad, January 21, 1966