WPCNR MAIN STREET JOURNAL. From the Sisters of Divine Compassion. November 30, 2015:
The Sisters of the Divine Compassion announced Thanksgiving Day the completion of the sale of their Good Counsel property at 52 North Broadway in White Plains to WP Development NB LLC. The purchase price was not disclosed.
A key element of the sale is the preservation and enhancement of the church on the property, the Chapel of the Divine Compassion. The Sisters will continue to use the Chapel, where Religious services, community celebrations and spirituality programs will continue to be held. In addition, the purchaser is working closely with the Sisters to create a heritage space in the chapel.
The Sisters of the Divine Compassion will also continue to maintain congregational leadership and operational offices in the building next to the Chapel.
The 16-acre property was sold unconditionally. The purchaser is evaluating potential future uses. The property includes 12 buildings including the Chapel encompassing 162,000 square feet of space.
Funds from the transaction will provide for the living and healthcare expenses of the Sisters over the next 30 plus years, and enable the continuation of their mission locally and globally, including ongoing education, spiritual development, compassionate care and human services in Westchester, the Hudson Valley and the Bronx. Religious congregations across the country are readjusting to smaller numbers of Sisters as they have existed for centuries before in the Catholic Church.
The Sisters have owned the White Plains property for 125 years. As the members have aged, the financial burden of maintaining the campus and the need for sufficient funding for ongoing and future retirement and healthcare needs led to the difficult decision to seek a buyer for the White Plains property. A two-year marketing and disposition process was conducted by CBRE, a prominent international real estate firm.
Of the Order’s current 80 Members, the 20 Sisters living on the White Plains campus have relocated to a variety of residences throughout the archdiocese, including homes owned by the Order as well as to Sacred Heart Convent in Yonkers. Those with ongoing healthcare needs have moved to assisted and skilled care facilities in the area.
Sister Carol Wagner, RDC, President of the Order, said that while the decision to sell the property has been very sad and emotional, it was based on a comprehensive evaluation of the financial needs of 80 Sisters, the ongoing costs of managing the buildings and property, and the necessity of ensuring funds for their mission to continue. “We have been blessed with the Good Counsel campus site for 125 years, and the necessity of putting the property on the market, has posed painful and difficult challenges on many different levels. We deeply appreciate the support and understanding that we have received from so many people as we worked our way through the sale process. We are also extremely pleased that the beautiful Divine Compassion Chapel constructed by Mother Mary Veronica will not only be preserved and enhanced, but that it will remain an active ongoing sacred place of worship, prayer and spiritual growth for us and the larger community into the future.”
The ministries of the Sisters of the Divine Compassion are diverse. They serve as educators, administrators, health care professionals and pastoral care ministers at locations in Westchester, Orange and Dutchess counties as well as the Bronx. They are joined by 75 Associates and Companions who work with them.