News & Events

 

McCarty Hall Becomes Home for Annunciation Community

In February 2018, members of IHM Leadership and the Formation Team shared with the congregation their desire to explore new ways to companion those who are in initial formation and who are preparing for vowed commitment in a changing world. In a letter to the sisters, they wrote: “In the spirit of making space for a new story to emerge, we will be establishing a new IHM formation house and community at a site to be determined.” Four months later and after numerous negotiations with Marywood University and the reception of about $100,000 in grants and contributions, Sister Ellen Maroney  announced that the site of the new formation house would be McCarty Hall, the brick building on Marywood’s campus at the corner of College Avenue and Gillet Lane.

The transformation of McCarty Hall from a university dormitory to a home for seven IHM sisters began in earnest in mid-June 2018 with a target date for occupancy in September. It was a huge undertaking! The initial renovations took place in the midst of our IHM Chapter of Affairs and Elections and the inauguration of the new leadership team. It soon became evident to IHM maintenance personnel and the sub-contractors hired for the renovation project that creativity, fresh thinking and imagination would be needed as they encountered hidden challenges within the walls, floors and ceilings of McCarty Hall which necessitated updating heat, water and electrical systems.

At the beginning of August, the following sisters were named as part of the formative community to live in McCarty Hall: Mary Elaine Anderson, Betty Bullen, Giovana Fuentes Bendivez (novice), Joan McCusker, Liz McGill (candidate), Mindy Welding and Kieran Williams. The sisters decided on a name for the new formation house: McCarty Hall—Annunciation Community. While renovations continued to progress steadily in McCarty Hall, the sisters began the task of collecting and sorting through furniture, appliances, linens, dishes and all sorts of decorations and knickknacks which arrived from closing convents and apartments, Friends of the Poor and personal donations. They also began the process of saying good bye to the sisters with whom they lived and the four local communities who sent them forth on their new venture: Holy Trinity Community, St, Joseph Center, Maria House and the IHM sisters on Capouse Avenue.

The members of the new formative community began to move their personal belongings into McCarty Hall the last two weeks of October. It was not until November 7 that they were all together in their new home for the first time. What a grateful moment that was for Annunciation Community!

The location of McCarty Hall - Annunciation Community on the campus of Marywood University and its proximity to the IHM Center, Our Lady of Peace Residence and St. Joseph’s Center offer women in initial formation the opportunity to root themselves in the IHM history, charism, spirituality and mission. We ask your prayers for Giovana, Liz and the sisters who accompany them. Through this lived experience, may they deepen their call and their commitment to religious life, the IHM congregation and the people they serve!

Betty, Mary Elaine, Kieran, Joan, Mindy, Giovana, and Liz would like to express gratitude to the former and present leadership team, Sister Mary Persico and Marywood administrators and in a special way to the IHM maintenance personnel who labored in love and with a lot of patience to make McCarty Hall a home for Annunciation Community!

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L-R front: Sisters Betty Bullen, Kieran Williams, Liz McGill.
L-R back: Sisters Joan McCusker, Giovana Fuentes Bendivez, Mary Elaine Anderson, and Mindy Welding