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Grand Rapids Dominican Sisters say goodbye to their home of 100 years

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Posted at 9:10 PM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 23:22:16-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Dominican Sisters are getting ready to say goodbye to the place they've called home for 100 years.

The Sisters are in the last stages of moving out of Marywood off of Fulton Street.

"The Tabernacle is gone, and that was hard to see that go. The Tabernacle was in that little cove," Sister Mary Navarre told FOX 17.

Navarre is on one last walk through the Marywood Chapel Wednesday. It's a place she prayed at almost twice a day for close to 60 years.

"Any time of the day, the light is different in here and the year too. So, in spring, you get green, and in winter, the windows look white because of the reflecting outdoor snow, and in fall, you will get gorgeous fall colors. It was thoughtfully done," Navarre said.

For the past century, the Dominican Sisters have called this place home, which housed around 80 sisters at its peak.

It's also where students were educated in sciences, art and music.

"What beautiful, and when they had students, you can hear them. They had these beautiful windows pouring in the west classrooms," Navarre said.

The sisters are almost done moving boxes from their old home.

"Have you ever had to pack up your parents' home and leave your family home? It's kind of like that," Navarre said.

Their new home is a stone's throw away.

"So, we should be completing that move this week," Sister Sandra Delgado told FOX 17.

She says the new building, which is on the same campus as Marywood, has a lot of upgrades they've wanted.

"It was a much smaller kitchen, and so it's a little bit bigger, and we'll provide a full-service kitchen, and then basically it was just upgrading, cleaning up the rooms, some new flooring in some areas," Delgado said.

The Sisters say they needed a more updated place to continue their mission.

"We have been involved throughout our history in different kinds of ministries that provide service to people, you know, in different ways. So some is that church service through working in parishes, working in Catholic schools, but also social services," Delgado said.

The two Sisters love their newer chapel as all-natural light soaks in, but their former one will always have a special place in their hearts.

"It served us well, and now it's time to move on," Navarre said.

The new owner of Marywood plans to make the older building into affordable homes for seniors.

The two Sisters have even shown interest in living there.

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