Sunday, August 27, 2006

Benedictine Nuns in Maplewood may sell land for shelters, low-income housing

St. Paul's Monastery in Maplewood might be just a little too peaceful for the 34 Sisters of St. Benedict who live there.

Believing they aren't fully making use of their 100,000-square-foot residence, the sisters are looking into selling the monastery and some of their land and constructing a much smaller monastery for themselves on the remaining grounds.

"The first word people say when they walk in here is 'peace,' " said Jean Hartman, the monastery's finance director. "Basically, the sisters would be sharing the peace and the beauty within these walls with people who need some peace and beauty in their lives.''

That's why they have entered talks with the Tubman Family Alliance and CommonBond Communities to make over their 33 acres at Larpenteur and Century avenues.

A preliminary plan calls for Tubman, a family-violence prevention agency, to buy about 10 acres at the monastery, including the existing building. The agency would consolidate its East Side emergency shelters and other advocacy services there, Tubman spokesman Randy Schubring said. [snip] Pioneer Press

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